John 13:38 “Then Jesus answered, ‘Will you really lay down your life for Me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown Me three times!’”
The question Jesus posed to Peter is a question for every Christian to ponder. It is posed throughout the Bible in many ways, but it takes you to the baseline of being a follower of Christ: Are you willing to put Jesus ahead of everything in your life – including your life? Peter flippantly answered Jesus in the affirmative only to prove himself wrong multiple times thereafter. The value of this question is that it takes you to the core of discipleship – making Jesus Lord of your life. Making Jesus Lord is the gateway for experiencing all that Christ has for you. John 12:24-25 figuratively describes what happens: “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” Three things result from dying to self: 1) You produce fruit (many seeds) 2) You experience abundant life now; and 3) You will experience eternal life when you physically die. As you look at your life, do you see God’s multiplying life in and through you or is your life in the world’s straight-jacket?
What does an inventory of your life look like? On one side of the ledger are items you are willing to totally surrender to Jesus, while on the other side are items you are not willing to surrender. This process can quickly become very legalistic and exhausting. The point is not if the ledger favors Christ or you, but where is your heart? Is your heart captured by Jesus or the world? Is your heart captivated and exhilarated by Christ or by your desires? Does the ledger reveal a heart controlled by you or Christ? No one except Jesus has achieved a clean ledger. Jesus knew the condition of man’s heart before He came, lived, and died for you. Your ability to live totally for Jesus is dependent upon you learning to be reliant on Him. It is through dying to self that the Holy Spirit can thrive in your life. Be willing to step off the throne of your life and into the power and work of the Holy Spirit. It is out of death that your life will flourish!
John 14:12-14 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”
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