Monday, March 7, 2011

Are You With Him?!

Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guard and warmed himself at the fire. Mark 14:54

It’s amazing how many people stand on the side of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr now that he’s dead. Revisionists have taken bits and pieces from Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech to support just about any and everything. Even Glenn Beck co-opted Dr. King in his march on Washington with the “tea Party” people asking for their country back. Many people say that they would have stood with Dr. King but can you see Glenn Beck marching in Selma, Alabama with Dr. King? Me neither!

What is just as disturbing is how many post-modern people say they love Jesus but they are following him from a distance. We are all well-intentioned especially if we’ve ever experienced the Grace of God through Jesus. Peter loved Jesus! He told Jesus that he would die for him, but Jesus knew otherwise. “Before the cock crows twice you will have denied me three times.”

The night Jesus was to be betrayed by Judas, Jesus along with Peter, James and John went to pray in the garden. He asked his three closest disciples to watch and pray. He came back and found them sleeping in less than an hour. He was deeply distressed and asked them, “Could you not watch and pray with me one hour?” How many times has Jesus come back to catch us sleeping, when we should have been watching and praying. These are crucial hours for believers. There is too much going on for us to be sleeping, we should be watching and praying.

Jesus was arrested and Peter who said, he would be with Jesus no matter what, followed him at a distance. It’s hard for some people to know where we stand because we follow from a distance. If we are with him, why would we follow from a distance?

1. Distance is safe. When we follow from a distance we think that it will keep us from the consequences of going against popular opinion. We try to play it safe but our distance really become detrimental.

2. Distance avoids association. We think that if we hang back nobody will put us with Jesus. It’s not that poplar to be a Christian right now. Dr. King said, “When you serve God the way you are supposed to he will not only get you out of trouble but he will get you into trouble.”

3. Distance avoids implication. Some of us want to follow Jesus but not so close that we could be implicated as a disciple. If some of us were arrested for being followers of Christ there would not be enough evidence to convict us.

4. Distance denies commitment. When we are distant in following Jesus it goes against everything we said on Sunday. Is Jesus some kind of secret lover that you only hang with on Sunday but ignore through the week?

Peter sat with the guards while Jesus was being interrogated. The very people that arrested Jesus and opposed his movement were now sitting with Peter warming by the fire. How can you be with Jesus and sit with his opponents? If we are on the side of Justice we can’t warm ourselves by the fire of convenience with those who diametrically oppose what you believe in. Even when you find yourself sleeping, following from a distance, or sitting with opponents it won’t be long before they recognize who you really are. You can’t hide your voice. They said to Peter, “You are one of his disciples because you talk like him.” After Peter denied Jesus three times the cock crowed twice and he remembered what Jesus said, in spite of his best intentions he denied Jesus. Peter was not with Jesus and sometimes neither are we.

Search your heart today and ask yourself, are you really with Jesus or are you sleeping, following at a distance, or sitting with the opposition?

Dear God,
Help me to be on the side of righteousness. I don’t want to sit on the wrong side of Justice. I have decided to follow Jesus and there is no turning back. Wake us up today so we can hear you clearly and let the world know we are walking with you. The Spirit of the Lord is on me, I can’t hide out with my opponents, he has anointed me preach good news to the oppressed, to set the captives free, give sight to the blind, and to raise the dead. It’s not time to go to sleep, it’s time to wake up the hour is upon us.

In Jesus Name,

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