Will you confess or deny Jesus before men?

August 10, 2018

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV))

Have you ever been in a situation in which you honestly hoped that the subject of Jesus did not come up? I don’t know if that is the same as actually denying Jesus before men, but it is too close for comfort.

This is a tough saying to deal with, for everyone probably has times when they at least thought about it. Only when your faith has matured do you face the question with a more stable attitude. Even so, everyone likes to think that they would not deny Jesus before men, that they would die rather than deny Him. I pray that this is true, yet no one really can say for certain until they are actually in that situation.

Faith is a strong thing if it is firmly rooted in God’s Word. Self preservation is also a strong thing, and unless faith is stronger, self preservation will win. How can you strengthen faith? Faith is very much like a muscle in that if you do not use it, it atrophies. If you practice acts of faith, your faith will increase.

Do not let your faith “muscle” atrophy from lack of use. If it does, the results may be denial. You will deny God and He will deny you.

Will you confess or deny Jesus before men?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook

Advertisements

Are you thankful to be called a Christian?

April 10, 2018

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
(1 Peter 4:16 (NIV))

Have you ever faced anything simply because you are a believer in Jesus?

Perhaps I should ask if you have ever been in a situation where you would have suffered if it was known that you were a Christian? Think about that for a moment as you answer the following. Did you withhold the fact that you were a Christian or did you deny that you were a Christian? There is a difference! Regardless of how you handled yourself in that situation, do you regret not standing up and identifying as a follower of Jesus? Do you feel that you have abandoned Jesus through your actions and words?

Consider Peter.

He denied Jesus three times during the events between Jesus being arrested and being taken to Pilate. All of us can put ourselves into the events and justify the actions that Peter took that night. In all honesty, it is not told in detail how Peter truly felt. We can only imagine what Peter was facing within himself as these events transpired and afterward. What we do know is that after the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter was able to put his shame behind him and accept the grace that Jesus was extending to him.

Think about that!

Peter denied Jesus three times. He had seen Jesus beaten so badly that He was not recognizable. Peter had seen Jesus crucified, dead and buried. The guilt of his denial of Jesus must have been unbearable. Even after Jesus arose, what was Peter thinking? Was he thinking that Jesus would never forgive him for what he had done? Was Peter thinking that he had committed something so bad that he would be condemned to suffer for all eternity?

Grace is amazing!

What Peter did discover is that Jesus forgave him. Three times he was asked if He loved Jesus and three times he responded that he did. I can almost imagine that with each response Peter gave Jesus, the burden of guilt was being lifted until it was completely gone!

That is what Jesus does! He lifts the burden of guilt and replaces that burden with a joy that comes from knowing that all of your sins are forgiven! There is nothing greater to give thanks for.

Are you thankful to be called a Christian?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Just what is denial?

October 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (RSV))

Have you ever been in a situation in which you were with people that did not believe in Jesus? Perhaps you even found yourself in a situation that had you among people who ridiculed and mocked those who profess a faith in Jesus.

What did you do?

Did you give in to peer pressure and go along with the crowd of people you were with or did you stand firm in your faith?

Perhaps I am asking far too many questions, but I think that we have all found ourselves in situations similar to what I describe. It isn’t easy to always do the right thing. Sometimes it makes you feel awkward. Not doing the right thing makes you feel ashamed. Denial makes you feel ashamed.

Just what is denial?

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, one definition of denial is the refusal to admit the truth or reality.

Perhaps the best way to look at this is by realizing that even though we profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are not perfect. We will still sin. We can repent. We can turn away from our moments of denial and ask for forgiveness. We need to strive to avoid these moments of denial, but we can rest assured that if we earnestly repent, then we will not be denied.

Jesus was once asked by someone how many times that they should forgive someone when they are sinned against.

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
(Matthew 18:22 (NIV))

If Jesus instructs us to do this, do you think that He would do any less if we are sincere in our request?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Practice acts of faith!

December 14, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV))

Have you ever been in a situation in which you honestly hoped that the subject of Jesus did not come up? I don’t know if that is the same as actually denying Jesus before men, but it is too close for comfort.

This is a tough saying to deal with, for everyone probably has times when they at least thought about it. Only when your faith has matured do you face the question with a more stable attitude. Even so, everyone likes to think that they would not deny Jesus before men, that they would die rather than deny Him. I pray that this is true, yet no one really can say for certain until they are actually in that situation.

Faith is a strong thing if it is firmly rooted in God’s Word. Self preservation is also a strong thing, and unless faith is stronger, self preservation will win. How can you strengthen faith? Faith is very much like a muscle in that if you do not use it, it atrophies. If you practice acts of faith, your faith will increase.

Do not let your faith “muscle” atrophy from lack of use. If it does, the results may be denial. You will deny God and He will deny you.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


If given the opportunity

March 28, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
(Luke 22:34 (NIV))

Most people think of this as an Easter event. True, the original words depict an event that happened some two thousand years ago, yet, we should face the fact that we deny Jesus on a daily basis.

Can you honestly say that you take every opportunity to present Jesus to everyone that you meet? I know that I have trouble doing or saying what should be done when I am offered an opportunity to show the love of Jesus to someone who needs it. This, too, is a form of denial.

Would we be able to accept these words if they were spoken to us, especially when we know that our actions, or lack of action, could actually be considered denial? We all want to think that we will respond just as Jesus wants us to respond. We like to put ourselves in the shoes of Peter. We like to think that we would be able to do better than the “rock” upon which Jesus built His church. If the “rock” did not have the strength and stability to avoid denial, then how can we do any better?

We must consider that Peter was told these words before the betrayal, crucifixion and the resurrection. After the resurrection, Peter was indeed the “rock” that Jesus called him to be. What made the difference? Peter was given a faith that knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus was who He claimed to be. He had seen it and the events made no sense from a physical perspective. He saw with the eyes of faith. Peter never again denied Jesus.

Perhaps it takes a faith changing event to achieve that in our own lives. Perhaps it takes an inward change. I know that in order to be a “rock,” you must have solid faith and a solid foundation.

If given the opportunity today, would you be guilty of denying Jesus or would you stand firm in your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Deny yourself?

March 16, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
(Mark 8:34 (NIV))

Have you ever given any thought to what it means to deny yourself?

One of the definitions of denial is to withhold. When you deny yourself, you refrain from satisfying your own desires and needs. In other words, you withhold things from yourself.

I know that this concept goes against human nature, so why are we told to deny ourselves?

Think about this statement from Jesus. He foretold of His actions. He would deny Himself. He would allow things to happen. He would not defend Himself to His accusers. He was about to bear a heavy burden. He was about to carry His own cross and go down a path that is difficult to travel. He was about to go where it is difficult to follow.

What would have happened if Jesus had not denied Himself? What would have happened if He had not carried His cross and traveled the road that He had to travel?

Fortunately, we do not look at this passage with that answer in our set of Biblical knowledge, for Jesus did deny Himself to the point of the cross. He saw that others would benefit from His actions.

For those of you who are Trekkies, you may recall the saying that Spock often used, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.”

God looked upon humanity and saw a great need. It was a need so great the it was universal. There was not a single person who had ever lived or would ever live who did not have that need.

Jesus denied Himself for us. He did not satisfy his own desires. He satisfied the desires of God the Father.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:12 (NIV))

We must refrain from satisfying our own needs and desires when all around us is a sea of humanity that has a need to know of Jesus. The cross that we bear may not be the same as Jesus, but we will face trials for our self denial. The world is fond of telling people that it is ok to do whatever you want, to place yourself first. There are even those who take self denial to the extreme and commit painful acts upon themselves to show that they are denying themselves. Godly self denial is not about these acts.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: ” `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’
(Matthew 22:36-39 (NIV))

Denying yourself without loving God and loving your neighbor is worthless. You must complete the three fold instructions – deny yourself, take up your cross, follow Jesus. It is not possible to do only one.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: