Tag Archives: Living in the Light of Eternity

All-Out Surrender

Living in the Light of Eternity - KP Yohannan Books

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Once your life is given over completely to the Lord, you will no longer be intimidated by circumstances or swayed by what others think. Paul said, “All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” (1 Corinthians 3:21–23).

Paul also said, “No matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

When we understand who Christ is and surrender our lives to Him, we recognize that He is not a tyrant who sits on a high and mighty throne, shaking His finger at us and saying, “No!” Paul tells us that in Jesus all the promises of God are “Yes!”

When the Lord calls you to consecrate your life to Him, He is looking for a living, breathing, moving sacrifice. He wants a total surrender of your will, your intellect, your mind, your five senses, your emotions, your actions.

This, then, is the ultimate secret: We hear and respond to the call of God when we surrender ourselves to Him. Each of us has been given one life and the choice as to how we will live it. The apostle Paul pleads with us:

I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1–2

What will you do with your self? Many men and women are still in darkness, trying to figure out the meaning and purpose of life. But no matter what you try to do with your self—whether you deny it, obliterate it, annihilate it, accept it or express it—believe me, it is still alive and kicking.

Jesus tells us what to do with the self: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). But questions remain: How do we follow Him? How do we hear God and implement the power of the Gospel in our lives?

This can happen only through an all-out surrender of ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. It means acknowledging the Lordship of Christ in our lives, not just in theory but in practice. Jesus asks us to love Him supremely, more than anything or anyone else, and to let Him live in us and through us. Paul expressed it beautifully: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
When I let Jesus live in and through me, my self is no longer the one that directs and dictates to me. Now it is Christ, His will and desires, living and acting through me. This is why the habit of compartmentalizing our lives must end. All of me, all that I am, belongs to Christ.

It is a daily practice to learn this principle and live it out in our lives. The choices we make are ultimately not collective ones that we make as a church, a family or even a couple. They are choices we make as individuals.

I pray that you will take a closer look at who you are. From now on you can live your life for a different purpose than for this world alone. I pray that you will hear the call of God and begin to consider eternity as your perspective.

But I must also warn you: If this is your decision, know that you have chosen to walk a narrow road. When Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, He set some conditions before them. The choice you make to follow Christ involves a cost. There will be inconveniences, difficulties, pain and counterattack by Satan.

But praise the Lord, whether you are standing or have fallen, you can rejoice because you have surrendered your self to Him. When everything has been said and done, and the earth as we know it is only a memory, Jesus will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And His approval is all that matters.

Excerpt from Chapter 4 of Living in the Light of Eternity (ISBN 9781595891402) © 2014 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.

A Lifelong Commitment to God’s Kingdom

Living in the Light of Eternity - KP Yohannan Books

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Jesus did not train His disciples in a classroom; He taught them through example. He lived His life before them and then willingly laid it down. No wonder that, after the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they remembered Jesus’ words to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. And every one of them laid down his life for preaching the Gospel.

At one time I thought John was the only disciple who was not martyred. Later I learned that he was beheaded. Another disciple, Thomas, journeyed to India in AD 52, where he preached and laid down his life for Jesus. One of the seven churches he planted is located about three miles from where I was born and reared.

Doesn’t it seem strange that these men who walked and lived with Jesus for three years, men who saw miracles almost beyond belief and who must have had great faith, were not supernaturally translated to heaven, but died criminals’ deaths? How could they have traveled to places and done things they knew would put their very lives at risk?

Because Jesus was their example. Jesus was never the kind of Master who told them, “Do what I say, don’t do what I do.” No, He said, “Come, follow Me.”

Jesus also said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).

I remember studying the book of Acts in Bible college. As we went through it, I thought it was a fascinating piece of history. But it is much more than history. The book of Acts is a living, open-ended book whose story continues even today in the lives of committed believers. It is a book filled with the stories of people who were absolutely sold out, who had only one thing on their minds: Jesus died, He rose again, He is our Lord, He is coming back and we must tell our generation!

These believers yielded their lives unselfishly to communicate this message. When they were misunderstood, mistreated, persecuted, stoned and beaten up, they did not go around mourning their losses and licking their wounds. They went right back out and preached the Gospel—and not just the apostles, but the believers, the everyday, “normal” people like you and me.

When we read about Jesus’ life and are challenged to follow in His footsteps, we feel overwhelmed. I can’t help it, we rationalize. I’m only a human being. Jesus is God. How can I expect to keep up with Him? And we excuse ourselves from total commitment.

Then we come to Paul. It is not easy to write Paul off because he was just as human as we are. “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature,” he wrote in Romans 7:18. He considered himself an earthen vessel, a jar of clay (see 2 Corinthians 4:7).

Paul recognized that in his own strength he started from zero. He confessed his weaknesses and inadequacies continually. This is a man who argued with Barnabas, his co-worker. Acts 15:39 tells us that “they had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.” But for this normal human being named Paul, following Jesus was not a nine-to-five job, nor did it have a finishing point. This was everyday life for him.
Let’s look at an incident that took place in Paul’s life when he came to Thessalonica:

The Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here. . . .”
Acts 17:5–6

This incident was just one of many for Paul, an everyday occurrence in his Christian walk. He was accused by the crowd of, in the words of the King James Version, having “turned the world upside down.” But to him this was simply part of following Jesus.
There was no dichotomy in Paul’s life or in the lives of the early believers. Their lives were not compartmentalized into “spiritual” and “secular” activities. Their whole existence was a solid commitment, a life given for the Lord and His kingdom.

Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Living in the Light of Eternity (ISBN 9781595891402) © 2014 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.