Sunday, March 28, 2010

Surrender Like Christ

Today is Palm Sunday, celebrating the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem to begin the pentultimate week of his life which would end in the most important event in human history. As Christ willingly surrendered himself for our sake, we should follow his lead. Our inspiration can be found right in the Bible, in Proverbs 16.

It is the Old Testament's Book of Proverbs chapter 16 where we learn to "entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed." This important chapter of God's own book of wisdom is full of lessons and inspirational sayings that guide us to surrender our lives to the Lord.

We all make plans and set our lives on a course. But no matter how well-meaning or well planned that personal direction might be, you will not find ultimate success without the blessings and guidance of the Lord. You must not only make your plans, but your plans must include yielding to God's ultimate plan for you.

"In his mind a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps" says Proverbs 16. "Happy is he who trusts in the Lord." Make your plans, they are necessary. But just as necessary is to both pray on your plans and to include in your prayers to God an acknowledgement that He might have another direction for you. Make your plea that His will be done.

By acknowledging to God that you are at His mercy and will succeed only with His grace and blessings, you humble yourself appropriately and place your ultimate fate in His hands. "All the ways of a man may be pure in his own eyes, but it is the Lord who proves the spirit."

Proverbs 16 gives advice for avoiding the influence of negative or evil people who will try to distract you from good in lessons such as "A scoundrel is a furnace of evil, and on his lips there is scorching fire" and "He who winks his eye is plotting trickery; he who compresses his lips has mischief ready."

The book urges one to speak only truth and to bring positive messages to the lives of others with sayings such as "Pleasing words are a honeycomb, sweet to the taste and healthful to the body." And yet we must do more than talk the sweet talk. Like Christ, we must be willing to walk the hard walk and surrender to God's will for us.

"How much better to acquire wisdom than gold!" sparks the book. "To acquire understanding is more desirable than silver." We want to succeed, and we often measure that success by money, goods, and power. This is not how God sees, or will measure, your success.

Like Jesus Christ, as you plan and train and work towards your worldly goals, remember that you need to ask for God's help and blessing. You need to be willing and open to His possibly having a different direction in mind for you. And you need, as Proverbs 16 and other books of the Bible can teach you when regularly and reverently, to recognize that worldly success is not your ultimate or most important goal.

NOTE: this entry is the continuation of the regular 'Sunday Sermon' series which can be found here most Sundays, all entries for which you can view by clicking on the below label from the www.mattveasey.com website

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