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Thursday, January 6, 2022

Romans 6:13

"The Greatest Resignation"
(Part 2)

Message summary: The ultimate greatest resignation is resigning ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness" (Romans 6:13).

Yesterday I wrote a note of condolence to Mel, a friend whose father recently passed away. He wrote back and shared a link to his father's obituary. I learned that his paternal grandmother's maiden name was Weber and I considered stories I heard as a child that I may have ancestors who were Pennsylvania Dutch so that was interesting. Who knows, I may have some roots here in Lancaster County! (For those unaware I grew up in the Kansas City, Missouri area.)

But what especially caught my attention was that Mel's father, a lifelong farmer, had 11 children, 90 grandchildren and 162 great grandchildren! Should his entire family attend a reunion it would require a very large facility to host a family of this size. I did the math and that gathering would include 263 family members without the in-laws! Imagine if they chose to visit a Sunday morning worship service - that would sure make a memorable service for any pastor!

Today I consider this man whom I never personally met. He was a member of one of several faith groups common to our area who are often referred to as "Plain people" or "Old-order". Over the twenty years we've lived in Lancaster County we have befriended many from these groups and some are our neighbors. They may be described as "salt of the earth" type Christians and demonstrate an earnest faith. In fact Mel is a Bishop in that group and a very thoughtful and serious follower of Christ. (The 17 Ohio missionaries who were kidnapped in Haiti from Oct. 16 through December 12 last year were from a group like this. After their daring escape they have a marvelous testimony of God's protection and deliverance from their captivity.)

In yesterday's message we considered "The Great Resignation", a term currently being used to describe the large number of employees who are quitting their jobs, contributing to a significant labor shortage in many companies. But we made our message about a much greater resignation, the resignation of those who no longer follow the Lord based on the awful description in John 6, “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66).

Since we dealt with the negative aspect of resignation in Part I, today let us consider the positive aspect of resignation, that is, resigning ourselves fully to be instruments of righteousness, for that is actually the greatest resignation! Today's text summarizes this resignation.

"Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness". That's a serious call for the faithful follower of Jesus. But so many dabble in sin and left unchecked this inevitably leads to destruction.

"But rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life." In keeping with our resignation theme we could render this "but resign yourselves fully to God". This a result of our redemption as "those who have been brought from death to life". A song, "Death Was Arrested" describes this spiritual process in the following stanza:

Our Savior displayed on a criminal's cross
Darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost
But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand
That's when death was arrested and my life began

"And offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness." Notice the "full surrender" aspect of this verse, "offer every part of yourself". Perhaps this is the basis of the old hymn, "I Surrender All". Consider the great power of instruments of righteousness wholly submitted to doing the will of God. We admit, for us it's an aspiration, as we can't say we are there yet and are unlikely to get there on this side of eternity!

In his sermon "Christian Resignation" CH Spurgeon states: "So, this resignation to God’s will gives, first, joy in the heart, and then it gives fearless courage. And yet another thing follows from it. As soon as anyone truly says, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt,” this resolve tends to make every duty light, every trial easy, every tribulation sweet." [Note: This attitude of "light", "easy" and "sweet" when undergoing trial has not always been our experience, to be honest with our readers, but is more often felt when looking back in hindsight of the trials God has brought us through.]

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I thank You for Jesus who bore the weight of my sin on Calvary's cross, thereby giving me to privilege of being called a child of God. So I offer each part of myself to You as an instrument of Your righteousness that I might further the Kingdom of God here on earth. Your love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all so I resign myself into Your loving care. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Surrender All"  Video  Lifeway Worship

"When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"   Video  Keith & Kristyn Getty

"When Death Was Arrested"  Video  Calvary Church Worship Team

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