April 9th, 2017
Mark 8:35; 14:37-38
Jesus knew He would soon be handed over to Roman soldiers and put to death. Though His spirit wanted to do God’s will, His flesh dreaded what was coming. Even so, as our perfect example, Jesus surrendered His flesh to God’s sovereign plan. Simon Peter, on the other hand, who had earlier claimed he was willing to die for Jesus (Mark 14:29-31), could not even stay awake to help Jesus pray.
Maybe you can relate: have you ever been excited about living for God one moment, such as during a moving church service, only to feel spiritually drained the next morning? It was easy for Peter to make bold promises when emotions were running high, but he was unable to follow through with his good intentions when his flesh became uncomfortable.
When it comes to denying the flesh, we should follow Jesus’ lead. Jesus lived and died by what He’d taught His disciples: those who surrender their lives for the sake of God’s plan will save it. When we honor God with our lives even when it makes our flesh uncomfortable, we will truly know what it means to offer a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15).
Pray: God, I love You, yet there are times I do what’s comfortable for my flesh rather than doing what I know is Your will. Forgive me for my weakness! Help me to grow in You to the point that no sacrifice is too great a price to pay to know You. I want to be an authentic Christ-follower with a genuine, living encounter with You.