June 22

Written by Bill Grandi on June 22nd, 2023

I recently read a story about Sam Houston, the hero of Texas history, who gave his life to the Lord in later years and asked to be baptized. He was taken down to a little country stream, and the pastor said, “General Houston, you should take your glasses off because I’m going to immerse you in water. There were also some papers in his pocket, so he took them out as well.

Then, just as he was getting ready to go into the water, the pastor noticed General Houston still had his wallet in his pants. He said, “Well, General, you might want to take that wallet out of your pants. It is going to get wet.”

Houston replied, “If there is any part of me that needs baptizing, it is my wallet.” So Houston was baptized, wallet and all.

This devotion is not about baptism. Nor is it about your wallet or giving. It is about surrender. Many people want to give their life to Jesus, but on their terms. They want to give their life to Jesus, but hold back. I once heard of an ancient army that submitted to be baptized but with their sword hand (with the sword) out of the water. We are good at playing mind games, i.e. “I’ll give my life to Jesus, but…” We hold back. We hold back our speech, our job, our time, our wallet, our play, our family, our actions. We want to give part of us to Jesus but not all of us. We want to hold back.

Unfortunately for us, it doesn’t work that way.  The Gospels tell the story of Jesus calling people to follow Him and they had excuses. He said (upon one occasion), “Let the dead bury their dead. You come, follow me.”

He says the same to me and to you. “Come, follow me. All of you. Not part of you. All of you. Not what is convenient. All of you. Not what you are willing to give up.”

Surrender is not laying down the flag, but keeping the rifle cocked and ready. Surrender is laying down the flag and the arms and being “done.”


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. You are so right, Bill. Jesus doesn’t ask us to give some; He wants all of us, every bit, surrendered to Him.
    Blessings, my friend!

  2. gail says:

    Perfect reminder Bill, it is easy to say I will surrender all to the Lord, but still wanting control of things. When we know that the Father is going to take care of us and that He is going to work all things for our good, why would we try to do anything on our own. I have no idea why, but sometimes I feel the fight, and I will say no I am not controlling that Father, You know best and yet I am still in a tug of war over it. For the longest time I did not understand Luke 9:60, but I do now. I surrender daily to the Lord, but I also know I have to work at it, and make those words count. I want it to be head to the heart knowledge, total surrender is not easy, and I will not be successful 100% of the time, must I must keep trying.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Gail. I, too, am guilty of saying, “I surrender Lord” but then trying to control things on my own. He does know what is best even though I find myself even fighting Him on that. I’m afraid the song “I Surrender All” might be better sang, “I Surrender Some.” That is to my detriment, of course. Thanks for the comment. Glad you don’t and won’t give up

  3. Glynn says:

    I was just reading that Sam Houston was governor of Texas when the state voted to secede in early 1861. He refused to support secession, and he was removed from office. I lived in Texas for five years and never heard that story.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I never heard that either Glynn. The man stood by his convictions regardless the outcome.

  4. Cheryl says:

    So true, Pastor Bill. Jesus surely gave His all for us, and we owe Him our all. May He help me live surrendered every moment I am alive.