Your question makes it sound as if FAITH is something passive, but we read in James 2:26 that “faith without works is dead.” This means that if there is true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, good works will follow. Earlier James made the case that our faith is revealed to others through our works, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I WILL SHOW YOU MY FAITH BY MY WORKS” (verse 18). James is teaching us that a LIVING FAITH results in GOOD WORKS that will be SEEN BY OTHERS, thus proving to them the reality of our faith.

When we speak of “good works,” it refers to many things and would surely include “surrendering every single thing to the Lord.” In Proverbs 23:29 we read, “My son, give me your heart.” In these few words we see the Lord asking every “child of God” (i.e. those who have been “born again” into God’s family…see John 1:12) to “surrender their heart to Him.” That is the greatest thing we can give to the Lord, for in giving Him our heart we are surrendering our whole being to Him (body, soul and spirit). I suggest it also means we are willing to surrender our time, our talents, our money, and whatever else He has blessed us with, for once we give Him ourselves, it will be easy to give Him everything we have.

A beautiful example of this is found in 2nd Corinthians 8:1-5: “Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty ABOUNDED IN THE RICHES OF THEIR LIBERALITY. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and BEYOND THEIR ABILITY, THEY WERE FREELY WILLING, imploring us with much urgency that we would RECEIVE THE GIFT and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but THEY FIRST GAVE THEMSELVES TO THE LORD, and then to us by the will of God.” The apostle Paul was speaking to the saints at Corinth of a collection that was taken up to minister to the poor saints at Jerusalem and he uses the poor saints at Macedonia as a prime example of God’s grace moving them TO GIVE. The fact is they gave “above and beyond” what could be expected of them. They were more than willing to “dig deep into their pockets” to give the little money that they had so they could be a blessing to others. But the KEY to their giving is seen in those words, “they first gave themselves to the Lord.” They had already “given their hearts to the Lord,” and now anything else that they possessed they were willing to “surrender to the Lord” too.

What was it that led them to “give their hearts to the Lord?” Ah, it was the GRACE OF GOD that moved their hearts to surrender their hearts! When we see how much God has given us (GRACE speaks of God giving us what we don’t deserve) we will then respond by giving back to Him things He has blessed us with. A wonderful verse that teaches us this is Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, BY THE MERCIES OF GOD, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Here Paul is basically encouraging them to “surrender their whole life to God” BECAUSE of what God has done for us. The “mercies of God” will be the driving force that prompts our hearts to surrender our life to God! Some of the “mercies of God” are outlined in chapters 1-8 of this book. They include being JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD (3:20-5:1), IDENTIFIED WITH CHRIST (5:12-6:11), being UNDER GRACE (6:14), NO CONDEMNATION in Christ (8:1), the HOLY SPIRIT INDWELLING US (8:2-27), Divine ELECTION and PREDESTINATION (8:28-30) and NO SEPARATION from God’s love (8:35-39). If we truly lay hold of these “mercies” we WILL respond by “surrendering our life to God.” (375.5)  (DO)