Through their lives, I am encouraged

“All to Jesus I surrender.
All to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live.”

These are the lyrics to the first stanza of Judson Van DeVenter’s hymn “I Surrender All”. Judson said, “The song was writ­ten while I was con­duct­ing a meet­ing at East Pal­es­tine, Ohio, in the home of George Seb­ring (found­er of the Seb­ring Camp­meet­ing Bi­ble Con­fer­ence in Seb­ring, Ohio, and lat­er de­vel­op­er of the town of Seb­ring, Flor­i­da). For some time, I had strug­gled be­tween de­vel­op­ing my tal­ents in the field of art and go­ing into full-time evan­gel­is­tic work. At last the pi­vot­al hour of my life came, and I sur­ren­dered all. A new day was ushered in­to my life. I became an evang­el­ist and dis­cov­ered down deep in my soul a tal­ent hi­ther­to un­known to me. God had hid­den a song in my heart, and touch­ing a ten­der chord, He caused me to sing.”

As it was with Judson Van DeVenter, so it was with me and my relationship with God. The moment came in my life when I realized that I needed to surrender my all to Him and to trust in His saving grace through the placing of my faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. When I did, a new day was ushered into my life.

This surrendering of one’s self to God in order to usher in a new day occurs at the mission as well. Men and women across the ministry are faced with the decision of either continuing doing things their way or surrendering their lives to God, trusting in Him to direct them down a bright and hope-filled path. I am encouraged when I see men here at the Lighthouse surrender themselves to God. I hear it in their voices. I see it in their faces. I witness it in their lives by the decisions they make. Through their lives, I am encouraged to continue down the bright and hope-filled path that God has laid out for me. In fact, I am challenged to live my life, day by day, for the Lord.

My this be a challenge to you to get to know some of the men and women whose lives have been surrendered to God. And may this be a challenge to you as well – if you haven’t done so already – to surrender your all to God.

Chris Ellison Director, Lighthouse Rescue Mission