1998-03-13 - Denying Christ
Jesus' Difficult Teachings, Part 9
(Mat 10:33 NRSV) but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.
Strong words, scary words. Do we deny Christ? We probably don't deny we are Christians, not in those exact words anyway. But do we deny him in other words, or in actions? Does our lifestyle deny that we are close to Him? Does our checkbook deny that He is Lord of our life? Do we deny His hold on our lives, by disobeying Him, tuning Him out? Do we deny His gifts to us, by neglecting to use them?
People should see a difference when they observe us. Some ways we deny Him: When someone tells a racist joke, and we laugh at it, or we don't lovingly confront the person one-on-one, we are denying the love of Christ for the people made fun of in the joke. When we cheat on our taxes, we deny His lordship over our lives, for it was Christ who told us to give the money we should give our government as citizens (Mk 12:17). When we buy new clothes or a new car - and there is nothing inherently wrong with these - but if we do not tithe to our church, we are denying Christ's rule over our pocketbook. If we are spending all our spare time pursuing our hobbies - nothing wrong with these either in balance! - but if we are neglecting to use the gifts God gave us for the purpose of service, we are denying Him lordship of our time. Every day, you and I deny Christ. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can bring our lives more in line with His desires for us.
Dear Father, please forgive us for denying Your Son so often. Please help us to be markedly different as Your children and followers. In Jesus' name, amen.