Mar 22, 2023
Judson Van DeVenter was an art teacher and artist when he became a layman in the Episcopal-Methodist Church. He was passionate about his work, but also actively devoted to the evangelistic meetings held at his church.
Seeing his abilities, Judson’s friends urged him to quit his job and become an evangelist. For five years, he wavered between the ministry and seeking recognition as an artist. He felt God’s call on his heart, but it was a difficult choice to set aside his career and artistic talent.
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
One of the most challenging things we can do as humans is to surrender our lives to God. We want to control our lives and make our own decisions, but true freedom comes when we surrender to Christ.
Judson Van DeVenter, or “JW” as his friends called him, finally surrendered his life completely to Christ, and traveled extensively throughout the United States, England, and Scotland as an evangelist, visiting art museums and studying painting as he shared the Good News about Jesus. Along the way he wrote the beloved hymn “I Surrender All,” among other songs, and was credited later in life as being a positive influence on the work of Billy Graham, who counted him as a friend and enjoyed time in his home for fellowship and singing.
When we surrender to Christ, we allow Him to take control of our lives. We become more focused on following His will, and less concerned about our own desires. We become more dependent on Him and less dependent on ourselves.
Dear Lord Jesus, today I surrender all to you. Let me lean more on you, and less on my own desires. I give you my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.