Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me?” John 13:37-38
I remember reading this scripture as a teenager and wondering if I would be willing to lay down my life for anyone. I thought I should be willing to at least die for my family and friends, but I wasn’t certain I could if the time ever came. Then my husband and I had children. From the moment our daughters were born there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I would sacrifice my life for them if ever it were needed.
I have since pondered my imperfect love as a parent as compared to God’s perfect love for us as his adopted children. I can understand more how Jesus could die for us. We are God’s beloved children, and God’s love for us is perfect. Of course our heavenly father would do anything and everything in his power to protect us.
The question remains, am I willing to die for Christ? Are you?
Jim Elliot was one of five missionaries killed during “Operation Auca;” an attempt to spread the gospel to the Waodoni people of Ecuador. He was only 28 years old. Jim Elliot was sure of his life’s purpose. He certainly did not want to die, but he considered his work to be more important than his life. He said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Not unlike the verse found in Luke 9:24.
It is an inspiring story. Jim Elliot’s wife, Elisabeth, along with other missionaries, returned to Ecuador after the five were killed to continue the work among the Auca Indians.
My husband and his brother were heavily influenced by Jim Elliot’s conviction and the story of their sacrifice.. My brother-in-law became a missionary and served in Ecuador for twelve years. My husband was called to ordained ministry. Countless other people were impacted by this story that drew international attention.
A movie, End of the Spear, was made a few years ago (2006) about the true follow-up to this incredible story. Steve Saint, the son of Nate Saint, the murdered pilot of the plane that flew Jim and the other missionaries to meet their death, returned to Ecuador. (I have attached the film trailer.)
Steve Saint is interviewed here and offers his perspective as the son of a martyred missionary, and as a boy who grew up near the natives who speared his father. http://
Jesus said, “Will you lay down your life for me?”
What are some ways you can offer your life to Jesus on a daily basis?
How can you love and serve God in your daily life?
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”
A prayer for today:
Almighty God, you have declared that you have a plan for each of us. Thank you for the saints who have risked everything for the sake of the gospel. You have given everything for us. Help me to have the courage and love to open my life and my heart to you and your people, that I may fulfill the purpose you have for me. Today and every day. In Jesus’ name and for his sake. Amen.