“In my morning journaling time,” Stan commented, “I have been in Mark’s gospel looking again at Peter’s denial of Jesus after Jesus had been arrested and was on His way to the cross.”
“Peter denied even knowing Jesus,” I commented. “I sometimes wonder if I would have done the same thing. I like to think I wouldn’t have done that, but a person never knows who or what will be denied when the going gets tough.”
“That’s true,” Stan replied, “and what happened with Peter makes me think about whether he may have missed a warning.”
“What kind of warning?” I asked.
“Well,” Stan replied, “the whole story of Peter’s denial started when Jesus told Peter that Peter would deny Him three times before a chicken crowed twice. And that’s what happened.”
“So?” I asked.
“Makes me wonder if Peter heard the chicken crow the first time,” Stan replied. “And it makes me wonder if I pay enough attention to the warnings I am given about denying Jesus.”
“Yeah,” Stan said. “I have not denied knowing Jesus in the eternal sense. I have accepted by faith God’s free and gracious gift of being able to spend eternity in His presence, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t deny Him in my everyday life.”
“Deny Him in what way?”
“Plural,” Stan replied. “Ways. Too often I deny Jesus by what I think, say, and do. And I know that I ignore the warnings that the Holy Spirit puts before me. I ignore the warnings and choose to go my own way. It’s like the Holy Spirit warns me by crowing the first time, but I wait until He crows a second time after I have denied Jesus by my lifestyle.”
“So,” I said, “what are people to do if they realize they have ignored the warning and have gone on to deny Jesus?”
“How about confession and repentance?” Stan replied. “It seems to me that’s what Peter did when he heard the chicken the second time and remembered what Jesus had warned him about. I says that Peter began to weep.”
“I bet those were bitter tears,” I commented.
“Safe bet,” Stan replied.
Bible verses to consider:
And Jesus said to him (Peter), “Truly I say to you, that you yourself this very night, before a cock crows twice, shall three times deny Me.” Mark 14:30.
But he (Peter) began to curse and swear, “I do not know this fellow you are talking about!” And immediately a cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, “Before a cock crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he began to weep. Mark 14:71-72.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you allow me to know Jesus, not only for eternal purposes for when my time here is completed, but for the time I have here. I confess that too often I deny you and Jesus by what I think, say, and do. I do that denying because I ignore the warnings you place before me and I choose to go my own way. Please forgive me, and please help me in following each of your steps as you lead me to where you want me to be in my relationship with you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.Amen.
Think on this: Do you have the assurance of salvation by having accepted by faith God’s free and gracious provision? If no, why? What is standing in the way? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with not denying Jesus by your lifestyle — by what you think, say, and do? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense changes may be needed, how are those changes going to happen? Listening to warnings is a good start!