Joy Petroelje

Read: Colossians 3:1-17

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (v. 2)


All to Jesus I surrender,

humbly at his feet I bow,

worldly pleasures all forsaken,

take me, Jesus, take me now.


When evangelist Judson W. Van DeVenter decided to enter full-time ministry, he penned the words to “I Surrender All.” Published in 1896, it has become one of the most well-known Christian hymns. While over a century has passed since its writing, the words of this song still serve as an encouragement for us when we feel entangled in the chains of sin. Whenever I sing it, I am personally challenged to consider what I need to surrender to God so I can love him more.

We may be tempted to run hard after position, popularity, perfection in our work, our social standing, and even our family life. We pursue “worldly pleasures” expecting great fulfillment, only to be disappointed. Why? Because as John reminds us in 1 John 2:17, “The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

Surrender is challenging to consider, and even more difficult to do. When you struggle to surrender, think of the one who spread his arms wide on the cross, letting go of all else, to bear the weight of sin for us. Jesus surrendered himself fully to bring glory to God and save us from death. Through life in Christ we too can drop the shackles of this world and know the peace of true surrender.—Joy Petroelje

Prayer: “All to thee my blessed Savior; I surrender all.”