A Congregation of Conservative Evangelical Christians

“Our Daily Bread” Devotion, January 25, 2021

January 25 | Bible in a Year: Exodus 9-11; Matthew 15:21-39

Surrendering All
Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”
Mark 10:28
READ MARK 10:26–31

Two men remembered for serving others for Jesus left careers in the arts to commit themselves to where they believed God had called them. James O. Fraser (1886-1938) decided not to pursue being a concert pianist in England to serve the Lisu people in China, while the American Judson Van DeVenter (1855-1939) chose to become an evangelist instead of pursuing a career in art. He later wrote the hymn “I Surrender All.”
While having a vocation in the arts is the perfect calling for many, these men believed God called them to relinquish one career for another. Perhaps they found inspiration from Jesus counseling the rich, young ruler to give up his possessions to follow Him (Mark 10:17-25). Witnessing the exchange, Peter exclaimed, “We have left everything to follow you!” (v. 28). Jesus assured him that God would give those who follow Him “a hundred times as much in this present age” and eternal life (v. 30). But He would give according to His wisdom: “Many who are first will be last, and the last first” (v. 31).
No matter where God has placed us, we’re called to daily surrender our lives to Christ, obeying His gentle call to follow Him and serve Him with our talents and resources—whether in the home, office, community, or far from home. As we do, He’ll inspire us to love others, putting their needs above our own.
By Amy Boucher Pye
REFLECT & PRAY
Jesus, help me to surrender my all for You today as I serve You and those around me for Your honor.
Who comes to mind when you think of someone who’s sacrificed for Jesus? How is God calling you to surrender?

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT
The Jews believed that material wealth was a merited reward from God for one’s obedience to the Torah (Deuteronomy 28:1-6). In Mark 10:17-22, a rich man claimed he’d faithfully kept the law since his youth, so he assumed he deserved eternal life. When challenged to give up his wealth to follow Jesus, he wouldn’t because he loved his money more. In contrast, the disciples had left their families and professions to follow Christ (Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9). Peter boasted, “We have left everything to follow you!” (Mark 10:28). Jesus said the reward gained from following Him would far outweigh any loss, but He also warned they too must face persecution (v. 30). To follow Jesus is to serve, and that will include suffering (8:34-36; John 15:20). The disciples weren’t to look down on others just because they sacrificed more or followed Jesus first: “Many who are first will be last, and the last first” (10:31). K. T. Sim