I surrender all

We sang "I Surrender All" at church today. An oldie and a goodie. This American hymn was written in 1896 by art teacher and musician Judson Van DeVenter. Winfield S. Weeden put it to music.

Words of Judson W. Van DeVenter, 1896:
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.
Here are the lyrics:

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


I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my bless├Ęd Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.


All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.


All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.


All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His name!


After we sang it, I was thinking about what, exactly, we give to Jesus. We give to Him our will, our life, our mind, our strength, our soul. We give Him our sin. It is all we have to offer.

Paul says in Romans 6:19b,

so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

Jamiessen-Brown-Fausset Commentary says of Romans 6:13-19,
Neither yield ye your members instruments of unrighteousness unto Sin, but yield yourselves—this is the great surrender.
We read the following excerpt from Bible.org, Mark #9 of the mature Christian: surrender
As mentioned in the last study and as seen in the life of Christ, servanthood is ultimately the outcome of one who, having first surrendered himself to God, is able to give himself sacrificially for God and others. This element of surrender is seen in the single-minded devotion of the Jesus who came to do the will of the One who sent Him and to complete His work (John 4:34). But Christ’s single-minded devotion or commitment to the will of the Father was the result of the surrender of His life and will to the Father’s agenda. Such surrender meant giving Himself sacrificially for our redemption in keeping with the Father’s plan (John 3:16).

Thus, as qualities that characterized the Lord Jesus, surrender and self-sacrifice form two more vital marks of spiritual maturity. These two qualities, however, are here treated together because they are so related as cause and effect or root and fruit. Further, because they are so much a part of the character of Christ and true maturity, they deserve special mention in any list of qualities of spiritual maturity and leadership.


The first step (the root) is surrender. To surrender means to relinquish possession or control to another, to submit to the power, authority, and control of another. The entire New Testament, as summarized in Philippians 2:6-8, shows us that Christ was willing to surrender His rights and prerogatives as the second person of the Trinity to the will and purpose and plan of the Father. Then, out of that surrender came the willingness to sacrifice for God’s plan no matter what the plan called for. Surrender, then, is part of the pathway to maturity and effective Christ-like ministry.

Lord, I surrender all to You. I know I am a sinful creature and though I claim I surrender and say I pick up my cross to follow You, I retreat, waver, and stumble. Lord, help me surrender my own will to Yours and follow You wherever it takes me. You are worth it. I have nothing to commend myself to you except gratitude for the great exchange of Your blood for my sinful life.


  1. Amazing how God uses all things to help us surrender and grow. We sang that song too!
    I just got a set of Matthew Henry's commentary, so excited to study...

    1. Wow, so thrilled for you getting the commentary! Enjoy!


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