READ: Mark 14:27-52
THINK: Do you ever worry that you won't have the guts to stand up for Jesus if confronted with the prospect of severe consequences or persecution? Perhaps you've gotten discouraged in the past because you've backed down in your faith when faced with very little pressure. Well, you don't have to wonder if you will have the strength; God promised to provide that. The Holy Spirit will even give you the words to respond to challenges (cf. Mark 13:11). God will do His part to help you stand firm. But you do your part by staying in tune with God through consistent time in His Word and prayer.
RESPOND: What did Jesus mean when He told His disciples, "You will all fall away" (v. 27)? Why would this happen? Why do you think Peter was so emphatic, yet mistaken, in claiming that He would never deny Jesus (cf. vv. 66-72)? What did Jesus later challenge the disciples about that could have kept them from failing during the difficult hours and days ahead? (See 14:37 note.) Why should we not compare the disciples' failure at the time of Jesus' arrest to the moral failures of some spiritual leaders today? (See 14:50 note.) How would you describe a strong prayer life? (See articles on Effective Praying, p. 446, and Campus Missions Commitment to Pray, p. 1744.)
PRAY: Pray for the strength to resist falling away from Jesus when times get tough and you face pressure to deny your faith in Him. Commit to a spending consistent daily time talking to and listening to God.
ACT: Do something bold to identify with Jesus today. Preferably, look for an opportunity to interact personally with someone to whom you can talk about your faith or spiritual matters. Or invite someone to youth group or another ministry event. It might help if throughout the day you take every opportunity during your free time to focus on God in prayer. You can pray silently on your way to class or take time in study hall or during a work break to read your Bible. If someone notices you doing this, it will almost certainly spark a conversation.
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