Google+ 03/28/13 Of Course I Do, Don't You?!

Mark 14:29-31

 

Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice,

You will deny three times that you even know me.”

“No!” Peter declared emphatically. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!”

And all the others vowed the same. 

 

All of us have referenced or read this passage of Scripture, and probably, numerous times.  It is easy to get caught up in Peter's denial.  For many, it is easy to judge Peter and reply in our hearts, "Others may deny you Lord, but not me!"  Yet today, I want all of us to think about our denial of Jesus.  There may be no rooster involved for us.  It may not be as dramatic as it was for Peter, but I promise it has happened, at least three times to all of us.  Every time we operate out of God's will, we deny Jesus.  Every time we allow ungodly behavior to change what we do for God, we deny Jesus.  Every time the Holy Spirit speaks with us and guides us to Godly pursuits and we step away, rationalizing our behavior, we deny Jesus.  I know that this is painful to hear.  It was for Peter.  He declared that he would die for Christ before he denied Him.  Did that happen?  Absolutely not.  When he was associated with Jesus by people who recognized Peter, he denied even knowing Jesus.  I lobby we do the same.  I routinely have clergy, church members, family, and people I know, declare to me that my life has "too much Jesus!"  Yes, you heard me.  It is 100% true.  When we die to self and live for Christ, as the Scripture calls us to do, God consumes our lives.  Christianity becomes a lifestyle, not a label.  We don't just read our Bible and attend worship on Sundays for 1 hour.  Our lives become so intertwined with God that we cannot determine where we start and where God ends.  That is exactly what God expects, but it is not convenient in any way.  Most of us say, out loud, the same words Peter said.  We tell God, to His face, that we will never deny Him.  Then, at 11 PM on a week night, someone goes to the hospital.  We are called to go.  There are no right words to say.  As a pastor, I discovered that many years ago.  It is our presence that is important.  God has convicted my heart to always go.  Many of us deny God and stay home, because it is "too late" or there is "nothing we can do."  We just became Peter in 5 easy minutes.  What happens if someone needs us on our day off?  Did Jesus have a day off?  The world twists our minds into denying Christ and His people by using words like "day off, vacation, and retirement."  You will not find any of those in the Bible or in my vocabulary.  I recharge and refresh by praying, fellowshipping, or working with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  They lift me up!  Remember when Christ explains that whatever we do for the least of His brothers, we do for Him?  That means every day in every way.  Even Jesus healed on the Sabbath, when it was a question of life and death.  And what happened to Him?  He was ridiculed and chastised by the church leaders!  Let's learn from Peter.  Peter gave us the perfect example of what not to do.  Please don't proclaim one thing and do another, when life gets tough.  Don't walk away from God.  Don't deny Jesus.  When people ask you if you know Jesus, instead of denying Him, say "Of Course I Do, Don't You?!"