Monday, August 16, 2010

Will You Deny Him?

John 18:25
As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, "You are not one of his disciples are you?" He denied it, saying, "I am not."

Everybody wants to be a part of something great, something bigger than themselves. When other people are enthusiastic about someone or something it is contagious. It is only when something becomes controversial or unpopular that we see enthusiasm begin to wane.

There is a difference between a fair-weather fan/friend and a devoted follower. Fair Weather friends/fans will be there as long as it appears that you are winning or your popularity ratings are up in the pools, but as those numbers begin to dip you start to see who was with you out of hype and who was with you out of hope. Jesus is my Hope for tomorrow or as Tye Tribbett sings, "He's everything to me," but sometimes it's tempting to deny Him than it is to die with Him.

Jesus was arrested and was on his way to be executed one of his most adamant followers tried to prevent his arrest by cutting off the ear of one of the arresting officers. Jesus told Peter to put away his sword. When Peter saw Jesus' surrender and arrest it took something out of him, not only the fight but the will to follow. Have you ever lost your will to fight or to follow? When you are following someone under attack and they don't fight back or perform the way you thought they should it makes you have second thoughts. You start distancing yourself because this is not what you signed up for. Have you ever been in a place where you denied following Jesus because you thought you would be associated with his condemnation? Peter denied Jesus but it started when He:

1. Followed Jesus from a distance. After Jesus was arrested Peter followed him to the judgment hall from a distance. He wanted to be close enough to say he followed Jesus but not close enough to be accused of being a disciple. We do this when we have a casual allegiance to Jesus that leads us to church on Sunday but through the week we keep a safe distance so people won't think we are really serious about following Jesus. It might offend somebody.

2. Fellowshipping with non-believers. Peter was warming himself by a fire with people who were against Jesus. Our denial starts when we are hanging out with people who don't love him like we do. When you can't be vocal about Jesus then you are hanging with the wrong crowd.

3. Forgetting what he promised Jesus. Peter told Jesus that if he got arrested or had to die then he would suffer with him. Like Peter we have the greatest of intentions when we have goose bumps under inspiration but it's another thing under the perspiration of persecution. Will you deny him under pressure and forget what you promised him? I promised him that I would serve him 'til I die.

It's easy to deny Jesus when the pressure is on and his popularity is down in the polls, but the question today is, "are you one of his disciples or just one of his fans?

Dear God, today I want to show and prove that I am a follower of Christ. No matter how lonely or unpopular it might be I have decided to follow Jesus. Though none go with me still I will follow, no turning back, no turning back.

In Jesus Name,

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