“And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” — Romans 12:1
The other day I was reading an incident in the life of Mathew Sands, a retired pastor. He was on his knees, weeping over a telegram that he had just received. The message read: Your son David has been reported missing, believed dead. Mathew Sands was speechless as confusion thundered through his head like runaway horses.
As he recalled the life of his son, an Air Force pilot, he wondered, “What should be my response, Lord?” At last he turned the telegram over and wrote on the back of it, “All that I have and all that I am, I give to God and for His service.”
These words of recommitment brought comfort to his shredded heart. In a few moments the phone rang. A university in the area was expressing an interest in Mathew Sands and was inquiring about his availability to teach. En route to the university for an interview, he came upon an abandoned church. Beside it a sign read: “For sale by auction.” He entered th church to pray and while there decided to buy it and restore it to its holy mission.
Later, another man entered, Andrew Jelks. He had come to appraise the property. If acquired, Jelks planned to turn the building into “Andy’s Amusement Arcade.” Mathew Sands determined to write the trustees and make them an offer.
When the day of the sale arrived, a curious group of people gathered about the church. Mathew Sands, standing among them, put his hand into his pocket only to find the letter addressed to the trustees. In his confused state of mind, he had inadvertently enclosed the telegraph message from the War Office instead of his offer. He was disappointed and disgusted with himself, but it was too late. Anyway, he decided to stay for the auction.
The man in charge of the sale finally announced that the church had been sold to Mathew Sands, declaring that his was the highest offer. He then read aloud the bid: “All that I have and all that I am, I give to God for his service.”
As was true with Mathew Sands, so it is of us. God’s greatest advances in the Kingdom come through the most thorough acts of surrender on the part of His children. In our deepest desperation, victory is at hand. It is when we lift our hands in surrender that the enemy is put to flight.
Has the Lord shown you mercy? Have you tasted of his kindness and patient love? Why not respond in the only way that will give glory to Him for what He has done? Why not begin the rest of your life with these simple words: “All that I have and all that I am, I give you Lord for your service!”