“Whoever would preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will preserve it.” –Mark 8:35
Jesus’ first question to His disciples was not “Who do you say that I am?” (Mk 8:29) Jesus felt compelled to introduce the big question with another question: “Who do people say that I am?” (Mk 8:27) He intentionally set up the contrast between what others say and what we individually say.
When we give our lives to Jesus, we make a personal, individual decision. The saying goes: “God has no grandchildren.” That means we are all called to relate to Him directly and not “once removed.” We can’t live on what our fathers, mothers, pastors, or teachers told us. We must know Jesus personally, not just know about Him. We have to stand on our own faith, not on anyone else’s.
As individuals, “we shall all have to appear before the judgment seat of God” (Rm 14:10). It won’t matter if we’re better or worse. God does not compare His children. Each of us lives, dies, and is judged on the basis of his or her individual response to God’s grace. Jesus’ question remains: “Who do you say that I am?”
PRAYER: Jesus, I repent of my sins. Forgive me, come into my heart, take over my life. Fill me with Your Spirit. You are my Lord.
PROMISE: “Morning after morning He opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back.” —Is 50:4-5
PRAISE: Praise You, risen Jesus, God of forgiveness, mercy, and love.