From the letter of Paul to Philemon
The way of the disciple is the way of surrender…..”Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ…” Philemon 1
Paul wrote his good friend, Philemon, while the apostle himself was in prison in Rome. God had used Paul, a few years before, in Ephesus, during his second and third missionary journeys, to lead Philemon and his household to faith in Christ. Sometime later, Philemon would move his family to Colossae to start a church in his house for that community. And how did Paul address his letter? He identified himself as a prisoner…not of Rome, but of Jesus Christ.
Throughout his Christian life, Paul would identify himself as a servant, a bondslave, and now a prisoner of Jesus Christ. Each of those descriptions has one main thing in common…surrender. Paul testified that he had been called by Jesus Christ…chosen for the glory of Jesus Christ…and saved from his sins to serve Jesus Christ and His kingdom purposes. It was in that disciple relationship, that Paul had with Christ, that led the firey apostle to surrender his will every day to Jesus….allowing Christ to call the shots in his life every moment.
Disciples are prisoners of Christ who surrender their everything to the Lord…their hearts, their heads, their homes, their devotions, their money, their family ties, their work place, their hobbies, their friendships, and their futures. Disciples, and everything they have, belong to Jesus now.
God used the following song in 1970 to bless my heart as a brand new believer in Jesus. I sang it with my new church family…Fairway Baptist Church, Wichita Falls, Texas.
All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.
(Judson W. Van de Venter)