“You remember,” Stan asked one morning, “when we’ve talked about how the apostle Peter and the other disciples were so bold in telling Jesus that they would die rather than abandon Him when He was going to the cross?”
“I do,” I said. “What about it?”
“I revisited Mark’s gospel account of that this morning and saw an application to me and my faith walk I hadn’t really focused on before.”
“While Peter and the others may have been sincere in what they said to Jesus,” Stan replied, “that they would die before denying Him, it seems to me that they were missing a vital point and going against God’s will in saying that.”
“Going against God’s will? How so?”
“If they were willing to die at that point, who was going to build the church?” Stan asked. “It seems to me that Jesus was going to the cross to redeem all who believed. That was what was going to happen because He was going to be obedient to His Father’s will. That was what God the Father had for Him to do. The role of those who were left behind after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension was to build the church. They couldn’t do that if they were dead.”
“But God could have raised up someone else if He wanted,” I replied.
“Of course,” Stan said. “God is God and He can do whatever He wants. But it seems to me that if Peter and the other disciples were willing to die and not be available for what God had for them to do, the same thing can happen with me.”
“What same thing?”
“Ignoring what God may have for me to do for Him and His kingdom by running ahead of Him with what I think is best. If I’m off doing what I want to do without regard for what God may have for me to do, I will be missing the point of why I’m here!”
“Missing the point?”
“Yes,” Stan replied. “I believe there’s a point for why I’m here, why you are here, why each one is here. God did not take me to heaven the moment of my conversion because He wanted to keep me here to help build His kingdom.”
“Just like Peter and the others,” I commented. “If you’re not here you can’t do that.”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “And there’s a whole lot more to being ‘here’ than just being physically present!”
Bible verses to conquer:
And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, that you yourself this very night, before a cock crows twice, shall three times deny Me.” But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they were all saying the same thing, too. Mark 14:30-31.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your free and gracious gift of life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you, too, that you have things for me to do before then to work out the salvation you have worked in. Too often I run before you, thinking I am doing your will, without taking the time to seek and to find what you have for me to be doing. Please help me to follow every step of your lead so that I only follow, not seek to lead with what I think best. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you have the assurance of salvation for when it’s time to step into eternity? If no, why? Do you not know it is God’s free and gracious gift that only needs to be accepted by faith? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing in working out that salvation on this side of eternity? Do you tend to want to run ahead of God with what He may have for you to do for His kingdom? If so, why? If you sense that some changes may be appropriate, how are those changes going to happen?