DEVOTION – DAY 107
Matthew 10:32-33 “Staying True To The Lord”
Matthew 10:32-33 Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in Heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in Heaven.
The word “acknowledge” means to believe that Jesus is the Messiah or Savior sent by God, the Father to die for the sins of man, and that He is the Lord, and that He rose on the third day. When we publicly acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and Savior, Jesus promised that He will acknowledge us His follower before God, the Father. But what if we disown Him before others? V.33 tells us that He will also disown us before God, the Father.
Is it possible that Christians disown Jesus in front of others? In Japan, the early Christians were forced to renounce their faith and had to step on a crucifix and if they did not, they would be crucified and left to die. Many who were weak in their faith stepped on the crucifix and turned their back on Christianity in order to survive. One of the fears I have is that if I am caught in a hostage situation by Islamic fanatics and they threaten to kill those who would not renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. I honestly do not know if caught in such a situation, would I remain firm in the Lord, or would I cowardly deny my Lord and risk death. Yet, this dilemma is faced by Christians in certain parts of the world today like Afghanistan, Iran, Northern Nigeria and other places.
But I am comforted by two things. In Matt.10:19-20, Jesus offers us comfort in that if ever we are caught in a terrifying situation where we feel intimidated because we have to face powerful people perhaps by their position, or they hold weapons against us, we do not have to think of what we might say. At that time, the Holy Spirit will speak through us. The other thing is in Matt.26:69-75. The disciple, Peter denied Jesus three times before others out of fear for his own safety. Yet, Jesus personally sought him out when He was resurrected and Jesus restored Him. This was because Jesus knew that Peter was repentant of his actions and Jesus knew his heart and love for Jesus.
These may be extreme situations that people may have to face the tough choice to deny Jesus. But there are many other subtle ways that we sometimes deny Jesus. For example, when others make fun of Jesus at work, or at school and we choose to keep our mouths shut and keep quiet about our beliefs. Or when we choose to watch a movie that depicts Jesus in a way that is unbiblical and we do not object. When we do that, it is good to ask the Lord to forgive us and He is gracious and merciful. He knows what is in our heart.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, forgive us for the times when we omit to defend you before others, or to speak up when we should. Please cleanse us of such unrighteousness so that we may be restores and acceptable to you. In the precious name of the Lord Jesus we ask. Amen.
- Can you think of situations and incidents where you may have “denied” Jesus before others? What did you do, and did you seek His forgiveness later? Share your answers with others.
- How can you remain firm in your faith in the Lord? Discuss.
- What will you now do if ever you find yourself in a similar situation where you are tempted to deny Jesus before others? Share your answers.