Are You Willing

30 08 2011

It’s easy to say that you’ll DIE for Christ, the question is, will you LIVE for Him?  I remember a youth camp speaker saying that when I was a youth pastor, and have NEVER forgotten it; and I’ve used it in sermons myself.  Today in my quiet time I saw it in a whole new way.

In Mark chapter 14 Jesus again warns the disciples that He was going to be killed, BUT on the 3rd day be raised from the dead.  (Side Note:  It always strikes me that EVERY time Jesus mentioned dying BUT rising from the dead, the disciples never said “Wait, did you say RISE FROM THE DEAD?”!  They just always protested that He would die.  They focused on the problem not the promise.  That’ll preach there) A dialogue then ensues between Jesus and Peter that we’ve all heard a 1,000 times, but it hit me in a new way today.

Mark 14:29-31  29Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.”  30 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.”  31 “No!” Peter declared emphatically. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the others vowed the same.

Yet we all know the story.  Jesus is arrested, and Peter denies his involvement with Christ, even to a young girl!  Where had the fire gone?  Where was the passion?  Where was the zeal and determination that made him the first to stand up and say “Even if I have to DIE for you I will NEVER deny you?”  I mean, even in the garden, as Jesus was arrested, Peter drew his sword and was ready to fight toe to toe with the Roman guard, and side by side with his Lord.  And THAT’S where it hit me.

Peter was HOPING for and EXPECTING in a Messiah that would start a new regime.  A Savior who would overthrow Ceasar, take His rightful throne in Jerusalem, rule the entire nation, and PETER would be His right hand man.  Jesus said it to him once before “You’re seeing things merely from a human perspective, not God’s.”  So here it is:

Peter was willing to DIE for Jesus, as long as Jesus was willing to LIVE for Peter.  Think about that.  It’s SO true for SO many of us.  As long as Jesus does things MY way and in MY time and with MY plan, I’ll do ANYTHING for Him.  I’ll even DIE for Him.  But we aren’t really willing to die for HIM are we?  We’re willing to die for OUR CAUSE.  Jesus just happens to be attached to IT!

It’s easy to say you’ll DIE for Christ, the question is, will you LIVE for Him…EVEN in the face of death?  EVEN when it doesn’t go your way?  EVEN when it doesn’t fit your plan?  EVEN…

Choosing to LIVE even if I DIE,

Jeff

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