March 11, 2021 — What Do The Bystanders Have To Say?

“I was focusing again this morning on the account of the apostle Peter’s denial of Jesus after Jesus had been arrested and taken before the chief priests, scribes, and elders on His way to the cross.  I was looking at how that applies to my faith walk.”

“Which part of that do you think applies to you?”

“What the bystanders had to say,” Stan replied.

“Bystanders?  What bystanders, and what did they have to say two thousand years ago that could possibly relate to you today?”

“It’s what they had to say about the way Peter talked.  Matthew’s gospel records that those bystanders recognized that Peter was one of ‘them’ by the way he talked.”

“One of them?”  What ‘them’ were they talking about?”

“Disciples of Jesus,” Stan replied.  “And I think it’s to be the same for me today.  People I come in contact with, the bystanders of life, should recognize that I am a disciple of Jesus by the way I talk.”

“And,” he continued, “it goes beyond how I talk to include how I act.  The bystanders should recognize that I’m a disciple of Jesus by what I do and by what I don’t do.”

“So,” I replied, “other people should be able to see a difference in who and what you are because you’re a Christian.  Is that what you’re saying?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied.

“And what if they don’t see that difference?”

“If they don’t see a difference, it’s likely because I’m doing just what Peter did.”

“What’s that?”

“Denying Jesus.”

________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

And a little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you to are one of them; for the way you talk gives you away.”  Matthew 26:73.

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.  John 13:35.

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.  He who does not love abides in death.  1 John 3:14.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you allow me to be a disciple of Jesus and that you have opened me to know what being a disciple means for my life here before I come before you in eternity.  Too often I do not demonstrate to the bystanders of the watching world what it means to be a Christian.  I ask for your help in following every step of your lead so that I do, in fact, manifest the new life in Christ that you have given to me through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.   You know how desperately I need your help in manifesting who I am in Christ.  Please provide all of the help I need.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Christians are to be different because of where they are going when their time here is finished.  Do you agree with that?  Why or why not?  If you have accepted God’s free and gracious gift of salvation and redemption, is your life here sufficiently different so bystanders recognize that you are a Christian?  If not as much as you and God would like, do you know how that difference can happen?  Is that what you want?  Why or why not?

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