How Will They Know You?

Peter was recognized as a follower of Jesus, but he denied it – in fact he denied Jesus 3 times. Imagine the confusion that must have arisen among the people? They knew he was a follower of Christ, but Peter straight out denied ever knowing Him. But before we become too judgmental of Peter, what happens when friends or acquaintances see us Monday through Friday and question whether we are the same person they saw participating in last week’s church service?

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-04-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 26:69-70; 72; 74
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 69 All this time, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard. One servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean.”
70 In front of everybody there, he denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
72 Again he denied it, salting his denial with an oath: “I swear, I never laid eyes on the man.”
74 Then he got really nervous and swore. “I don’t know the man!”

OBSERVATION: Peter was recognized as a follower of Jesus, but he denied it – in fact he denied Jesus 3 times. Imagine the confusion that must have arisen among the people? They knew he was a follower of Christ, but Peter straight out denied ever knowing Him. But before we become too judgmental of Peter, what happens when friends or acquaintances see us Monday through Friday and question whether we are the same person they saw participating in last week’s church service?

APPLICATION: Unfortunately the same thing that happened to Peter will often happen when others recognize us as the son/daughter of our parents, that they know really well. Hopefully others will see certain actions in us that remind them of our parents. Disappointment will come when friends and loved ones see just the opposite of what they came to lovingly know our parents for. But the same is true in our relationships when at one point we say that we are a child of the King, but act like Satan himself. What makes it tough is that as long as we are assigned to live in this world, we will be led by the things of this world – unless we make a commitment to serve God faithfully and allow Him to rule and reign in our lives. When the latter occurs, we will be led by the Holy Spirit into living like Jesus did, showing love like Jesus did, treating people like Jesus did, and committed to following Him on the mountain tops and in the darkest valleys. Where the challenges arise, is when we do this half-heartedly. For it is then that we feel like we are proud to be His child, but we are easily led by every tug of Satan to act like normal children of the world and it’s master. Friends, as a married man, I am proud to be called the husband of my wonderful wife in her presence, in the mix of friends or coworkers where I often find myself, or even in the presence of other beautiful women. In my heart, I belong to my wife, and I will die for her if the need ever presented itself. I am also a child of the most high God, and I am determined to serve Him til Jesus returns to take me home to Glory. Will I be tempted like Peter was? I believe you can go ahead and bet on it, but with all the power that’s within me and with the help of Almighty God, I commit to serving Him unwaveringly for as long as He gives me breath. Could circumstances ever cause me to be challenged to decide between life eternally with Jesus vs eternal damnation with Satan in Hell? I know that they can, but I pray that each and every day that God will give me the strength to always stand firm in my commitment to Him. I will need extra strength to help me when the enemy forces himself on me, but dear friends, let’s always remember and stand firm on the promise that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. May God give us the strength and determination to say as Paul did: ‘For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain’.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for loving Peter so much that You looked beyond his weakness and still loved him. I know that You are still the same awesome God that You were for Peter, so I believe wholeheartedly that You love my readers and I who have committed our lives to You just as much. Each day we will face Satan and all of his attacks. Just like hackers, Satan is out to get us in very cunning ways. So Lord, we need Your power and Your wisdom to fight the enemy off each and every day. Make us wholly thine, and may we look like Your child not only in Your perfect presence, but also in the eyes of unbelievers who need to be convinced of Your presence even through simple human beings. Be glorified through us today Lord. Oh that they may see Jesus in us. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Avoiding Denial

Peter did exactly what he swore he would not do – he denied his Lord. I’m sure that Christians reading this blog today will join with me in swearing up and down that we would never do that, but I hope that as we meditate on the Word today, perhaps we will be challenged to realign some priorities in our life to help avoid following in Peter’s footsteps. Take a few moments to meditate with me on this.

Tuesday, 2019-09-24

Bible Reference: Matthew 26:33-35
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  33 Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 35 “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.

OBSERVATION: Peter did exactly what he swore he would not do – he denied his Lord. I’m sure that Christians reading this blog today will join with me in swearing up and down that we would never do that, but I hope that as we meditate on the Word today, perhaps we will be challenged to realign some priorities in our life to help avoid following in Peter’s footsteps. Take a few moments to meditate with me on this.

APPLICATION:  Imagine for a moment the feeling of walking into a room with your subordinate staff and hearing them put you down to an indescribable degree – imagine how you will feel. Then imagine that there is a dangerous situation at hand, and all of your closest friends come and look on, but choose not to get involved, so they just move on and leave you to suffer through it. That’s how Jesus must have felt when Peter and his peers did exactly as I described, even after talking about the subject in advance. Now take a moment and think about how Peter must have felt. He swore up and down that he would never forsake his Lord, yet he did. By now you are probably anxious to see how this might apply to you and I, right? May I suggest to you that in the heat of our conversion, we all probably swore up and down that our decision and commitment was an eternal one and that we would live the rest of our days standing up and promoting Jesus – yep, right until the day He calls us together in heaven. So let’s look at what might have been important to us right after we made such an awesome commitment: Probably things like Bible study, so we could learn as much about the Lord and His commands for our lives? Perhaps attending every church service possible, so we could learn from, and be encouraged by those who are also striving for the same goals as we are. Praising God together, and being uplifted as we share about the ways that God is alive and working in their lives? Probably to be a model Christian to any and all of our coworkers, friends or family, so they could look at us and see Jesus, or hear from, and be encouraged that we are speaking with the wisdom and faith of one who is walking the talk? So what happened dear friend? Have you been, and are you still faithful to these things? Please don’t try to convince yourself that these things are no longer relevant, for God’s Word will prove you wrong in that. Desertion immediately hurts the one you are deserting, so please don’t hurt my Lord today. Desertion also hurts the one doing the deserting, so please don’t put yourself in that position today. All of the actions I suggested were probably important to you as a new Christian, but they are still just as relevant to you today. Seek God’s help, then concentrate on these things to help cement a solid, ongoing relationship with your Lord. He has promised never to leave or forsake you, please don’t even think about doing just that to Him. He loves you way too much to deserve that kind of treatment. To the unbeliever reading this devotional, may I remind you that your continued disowning and separation from God will lead you through much ‘hell’ here on earth, but to an even worst place when you leave this world. Jesus loved us just as we were when He went to the cross for us. He still loves you enough to forgive you of your sin and direct you through the Christian life that I have described, but He wants you to ask for it. May I encourage you to read the tips I have included in my ‘Footnote’ and make this very important, life-changing decision today? Followers of Christ, don’t forget your First Love. Draw close to Him everyday. Love Him, worship Him, talk with Him and be His best friend. He has prepared a place for His sons and daughters, and I believe He is standing at the door waiting for us! Let us live in anticipation of that every day friends!

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for often falling into the same path of Peter and his peers. We understand that the flesh is weak, even when the intent of our hearts are in the right place. This is evidence that we can’t do this alone. We need You, Heavenly Father, to fill our hearts with Your love and Your priorities, but most of all with obedience and faithfulness to Your powerful Word. Please use this devotional to stir the hearts of the saved, and provoke a renewed desire within the hearts of the unbelievers, so that today might be the day of salvation for them. We never want to be guilty of desertion. So help us to be faithful and true to You and strengthen the bond that must exist between us in order to fight off the evil one and fully serve You for the rest of our lives. Only You can intervene and help us achieve this kind of perfection Father, so I ask this in and through the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!