Focal Passages: John 12:24-33, 35-36, 44-48
How many books have been written on finding the secret to happiness? How many commercials have tried to illustrate how someone can find happiness? A life changing truth in being a Christian is gaining the understanding that temporary happiness is not important. Instead, we realize that true joy comes through dying to self and living for God.
Jesus illustrates this powerful principle of Christian living in John 12:24-26. Jesus calls us to serve and follow Him by dying to ourselves.
Dying to ourselves involves a cost that Jesus explained could involve a literal death. He predicted His own death in John 12:32-33.
As I read these words of scripture, I feel like I can hear the urgency in the voice of Jesus. He went on to tell His listeners that He would be with them “only a little longer” (John 12:35). He was pleading with them to understand that this life is temporary, and it is urgent that we believe in Him and follow Him. As we try to live a selfless life, we model a message for non-believers. A godly life is countercultural. The next time you sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back,” ponder if this is truly what you are doing on a daily basis. We can sing all the verses fully from memory but not practice it when we leave the steps of the church building.
I strongly encourage you to take the time to read it. It is a beautiful and encouraging account of being willing to die well in two different ways. The writer describes his friend who experienced a physical death and truly sought the strength to die well by honoring God to the end of his earthly life. The writer died to his comfort level and chose to step out on faith to live for Christ. What is Jesus calling you to die to today?