VIDEO The Life of Power to Follow – Would You Die For Me?

The Life of Power to Follow

Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” —John 13:36

“And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me’ ” (John 21:19). Three years earlier Jesus had said, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19), and Peter followed with no hesitation. The irresistible attraction of Jesus was upon him and he did not need the Holy Spirit to help him do it. Later he came to the place where he denied Jesus, and his heart broke. Then he received the Holy Spirit and Jesus said again, “Follow Me” (John 21:19). Now no one is in front of Peter except the Lord Jesus Christ. The first “Follow Me” was nothing mysterious; it was an external following. Jesus is now asking for an internal sacrifice and yielding (see John 21:18).

Between these two times Peter denied Jesus with oaths and curses (see Matthew 26:69-75). But then he came completely to the end of himself and all of his self-sufficiency. There was no part of himself he would ever rely on again. In his state of destitution, he was finally ready to receive all that the risen Lord had for him. “…He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ ” (John 20:22). No matter what changes God has performed in you, never rely on them. Build only on a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Spirit He gives.

All our promises and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to accomplish them. When we come to the end of ourselves, not just mentally but completely, we are able to “receive the Holy Spirit.” “Receive the Holy Spirit” — the idea is that of invasion. There is now only One who directs the course of your life, the Lord Jesus Christ.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Am I getting nobler, better, more helpful, more humble, as I get older? Am I exhibiting the life that men take knowledge of as having been with Jesus, or am I getting more self-assertive, more deliberately determined to have my own way? It is a great thing to tell yourself the truth. The Place of Help, 1005 R

Depths of Love

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

Three-year-old Dylan McCoy had just learned to swim when he fell through a rotted plywood covering into a forty-foot deep, stone-walled well in his grandfather’s backyard. Dylan managed to stay afloat in ten feet of water until his father went down to rescue him. Firefighters brought ropes to raise the boy, but the father was so worried about his son that he’d already climbed down the slippery rocks to make sure he was safe.

Oh, the love of a parent! Oh, the lengths (and depths) we will go for our children!

When the apostle John writes to believers in the early church who were struggling to find footing for their faith as false teaching swirled about them, he extends these words like a life-preserver: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1). Naming believers in Jesus as “children” of God was an intimate and legal labeling that brought validity to all who trust in Him.

Oh, the lengths and depths God will go for His children!  

There are actions a parent will take only for their child—like Dylan’s dad descending into a well to save his son. And like the ultimate act of our heavenly Father, who sent His only Son to gather us close to His heart and restore us to life with Him (vv. 5–6).

By:  Elisa Morgan

Reflect & Pray

When has God rescued you from a dark well of need? How have you seen Him bring you to a place of hope?

Oh, heavenly Father, thank You for reaching into the well of my need to rescue me and bring me back to You!

Read more about the love of God at DiscoverySeries.org/Q0612.

Setting Goals

James 4:13-17

Few things in life are accomplished by accident, which is why it’s important for us to set specific goals. However, in our planning, we should always seek the Lord’s guidance and not simply aim for our own earthly ambitions.

Whenever a new goal comes to mind, we should consider whether it is in line with God’s will. Some topics may be scripturally clear, but many are not, so we must also examine our motives. Are we seeking to please God or ourselves? Are we pursuing money, power, or self-advancement without considering its pitfalls (1 Timothy 6:9-10)? Does a desire for holiness and God’s glory influence our plans?

What’s more, we must hold our goals loosely in case God, in His providence, changes them. As Christians, we are servants of Christ and should readily yield to Him. So if our plans are upended, we must ultimately trust the Lord’s goodness, omniscience, and wisdom because He alone knows the best path for us.

Remember, the Lord is much more interested in your spiritual growth than in your temporal success. If your goals are truly of God, they will advance your maturity as a Christian. So evaluate them honestly, with a willingness to let them go.

My Strength and Victory

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners” verse two highlights His attribute of strength. David wrote of encountering and benefitting from it when he hid safely in Him. “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5).

Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him;
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my vict’ry wins.


In times of opposition, we can go to Him for comfort and protection. In Psalm 23:4, we are comforted to read, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” We can likewise pass this along to bolster others in need, for “we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

When conflict comes, our Friend for sinners provides a way out. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Ultimately, victory is ours through His great strength and wisdom. In eternal glory, we are told that “now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10). Forever we will hide safely in Him. JDM

Really Knowing or Knowing About?

For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. —2 Timothy 1:12

In religion more than in any other field of human experience a sharp distinction must always be made between knowing about and knowing. The distinction is the same as between knowing about food and actually eating it….A man can remain spiritually dead while knowing all the historic facts of Christianity.

“This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). We have but to introduce one extra word into this verse to see how vast is the difference between knowing about and knowing. “This is life eternal, that they might know about thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

That one word makes all the difference between life and death….

We dare not conclude that because we learn about the Spirit we for that reason actually know Him. Knowing Him comes only by a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit Himself. POM063-064

The Spirit is an imperative necessity. Only the Eternal Spirit can do eternal deeds. MDP066

The Silences of Christ

Isaiah 53:7

We remark, and rightly so, on the virtues of Christ’s speech, “His words were with authority.” And so were His silences. The written word is wonderful, but what of the unwritten story which lies folded between the ordinary incidents of that wonderful life?

The things He did were wonderful; what of the things He did not do? All we know of Him is marvelous, but where were the springs of His character? Through what solitudes did He grow brave and strong?

I feel it to be true that people’s attraction to the Master is in large measure attributable to those silent depths that were in Jesus.

No man can ever say that he has discovered the last beauty in that calm, deep character. That is why the multitudes are still studying, preaching, writing about and, in part, seeking to emulate the beauty of this at once simplest and profoundest character ever revealed to man.

When the Jewish ruler paid Him the high compliment, “You are a teacher come from God,” (John 3:2 KJV) the Master did not reply, “Thank you; which of My sermons impressed you?” He ignored the well-meant praise and went directly to the main business. Witnesses to God’s message in this sin-stained world are not sent forth to court praise but to cry aloud “You must be born again.”

Our Master’s speech was admirable in its restraint. It may truly be said that we would be better understood if we said less. God will surely count a prudent silence unto us for righteousness.

In the midst of our activities we need a central place of rest, a place for meditation and prayer where the busy, fevered spirit can find sanctuary. It was ever so in the life of the Master. Again and again we come across those retirements and silences, still veiled with the sacredness of the secret place. We can never learn some of the sweetest things about Jesus, except by turning aside into the secret place to meet with God the Holy Spirit. The Son of Man had need of much meditation and private communion with His Father, and certain it is that no follower of His can keep up the rush and stress of life without following the Master’s example.

Jesus lived above the world while yet He was doing His work in it, and He left us an example that we might follow in His steps. May it be yours and mine so to do by the grace of the Christ who was as wonderful in His silences as He was in speech.

Albert Orsborn, The Silences of Jesus

Your Compelling Call

For though I preach me gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! —1 Corinthians 9:16

The true minister is one not by his own choice but by the sovereign commission of God. From a study of the Scriptures one might conclude that the man God calls seldom or never surrenders to the call without considerable reluctance. The young man who rushes too eagerly into the pulpit at first glance seems to be unusually spiritual, but he may in fact only be revealing his lack of understanding of the sacred nature of the ministry.

The old rule, “Don’t preach if you can get out of it,” if correctly understood, is still a good one. The call of God comes with an insistence that will not be denied and can scarcely by resisted. Moses fought his call strenuously and lost to the compulsion of the Spirit within him; and the same may be said of many others in the Bible and since Bible times. Christian biography shows that many who later became great Christian leaders at first tried earnestly to avoid the burden of the ministry; but I cannot offhand recall one single instance of a prophet’s having applied for the job. The true minister simply surrenders to the inward pressure and cries, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”   GTM087-088

Lord, I’m here in this ministry not because I chose to be, but because I’ve sensed Your call on my life. Help me always to be faithful to that call, in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.