As I watch things unfold each day and see the moral direction of our country, the words of Psalm 11:3 resonate within me, “if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
- How are we to respond to a culture that is aggressively rejecting Jesus and the faith that we hold so dearly?
- How do we show them what Jesus is really like?
I think Jesus gave us the answer when a group of God-fearing Gentiles asked to see Him on the day. You can find the account in John 12:20-26.
20Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
For these men and all who would truly seek to know Jesus, there was only one path. The only way for them to see Jesus, to really know Him as their God, Lord, and Savior is if He would lay down His life for them.
This was the Father’s plan. It was the only way for the sin-infected human race to be reconciled with God. Jesus had to walk the path of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. As Jesus did this, as He allowed Himself to be lifted up on the cross, He drew people to himself. This once-for-all-time act demonstrated God’s love for the lost human race whom He dearly loved. If you’ve put your faith in Jesus then you have been adopted into God’s family! You can call God your Heavenly Father. Praise the Lord!
The thing I want to focus our attention on is found in verse 26 of that passage. Take a moment to go back and read that verse again. I think this mandate to follow Jesus by laying down our lives is one we don’t often want to think about, yet is needed now more than ever. Just as Jesus’ ultimate act of love resulted in people seeing Him as their Lord and Savior, so our laying down our lives as living sacrifices is the way our spiritually blind culture will be able to see Jesus for who He really is.
So what does this look like?
- It looks like putting others’ needs above our own, loving others the way Jesus loved us.
- It looks like giving a gentle answer when falsely accused, and speaking the truth in love even if it means opposition and even persecution.
- It looks like being confident in our Heavenly Father’s love and sovereignty and not giving in to worry and fear.
So where does the power come from to live this way? It can only come from the Holy Spirit of Jesus who indwells each believer. He is the source of the power we need to live fully surrendered. He will pour the love of God into our heart as we live by faith. His love is what drives out fear. He is the One who helps us let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts when life seems crazy.
Friends, let’s surrender every part of our lives to Jesus that once again this world will see Jesus!