by their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, [2 corinthians 9:15]
there is something about the word submission.
the word is rarely received warmly. it is scorned, laughed at, derided, and belittled in almost every context. our culture despises it. the church is embarrassed of it. and, most Christians avoid it like that “uncle” we often try to avoid during the holidays. there is one context where it is needed – even demanded – following Jesus.
- with nicodemus, the religious ruler, he told him he must trust his soul (believe) to Jesus alone if he wished to have eternal. [john 3:1-21]
- with the rich young ruler, he told him if he wanted to have eternal life he must sell his possessions and follow him. [luke 18:18-27]
- with the crowds he said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” [luke 9:23]
- and, “why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” [luke 6:46]
- according to john mark, in one of his first sermons Jesus declared these words, “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” [mark 1:15]
all of these accounts have one thing in common – submission. to follow Jesus, what is required is submitting to Jesus as King. and, not just submitting to him like we do begrudgingly to our parents or the police at times. but submission that says, “you alone can save me. you alone can take my sins and make them right. you alone can make the mess i am and make me right before holy God.” we are not just submitting to do what he says. we are submitting our soul to the one who says – you have no life now or in eternity without my soul changing work.
today – may we redeem the word submission. for when it is attached to Jesus, it changes our soul, our heart. and when our heart is changed, we submit to radical things like generous giving so others can see the generous grace of our extravagantly generous God who forgave you even though you did not deserve it.
LORD, i submit my mind, my will, my heart to you today. it is how you received me as a broken hopeless sinner when i fell at your feet in need of your salvation. it is how you received me and it is how i come to you today. i submit to your ways, to your rule, to your love, to your righteousness, to your power, to your grace – i submit to you King Jesus. have your way in me and through me today!
~ john ryan