10/8/11 Jeremiah 5-6; John 12
S: John 12:24-26 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honour anyone who serves me.
O: Jesus is preparing for his sacrificial death on the cross, but here He is now applying the same principle to all of us who follow Him.
A: We are in the midst of the 40-day prayer & fasting called by the NECF (the umbrella organisation for Evangelical churches in Malaysia) leading up to Malaysia Day.
Today's prayer item was for religious liberty, and the passage is Daniel 3:17-18. How apt! This ties directly in with Jesus' call upon us in today's Life Journal reading.
In one sense, for those of us who have internalised the truth that "for me to live is Christ and to die is gain", death holds no fear. If someone were to hold a gun to my head and say, "Deny Christ or die!" the choice would be simple, "Go ahead and shoot," just like what happened to Cassie Bernall or Valeen Schnurr during the massacre at Columbia High School.
But what is more difficult is to live for Christ! To daily take up our cross and follow Him is a bigger challenge for me, though now that I have a wife and children depending on me, I guess dying for Christ has an increased difficulty as I would be concerned for what happens to them when I'm gone.
But even so, I think it would still be easier to die for Him than to live for Him. Almost every day, I struggle with facing temptation and the split-second choices to do it God's way or to do it my way.
P: Father, I present my body as a living sacrifice to You. Renew my mind by Your Word so that I will be conformed to You and not to the world's way of doing things. Lead me not unto temptation but deliver me from evil. In Jesus' name, amen.