TITLE: Honest Adoration
DATE: October 19, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Matthew 26: 31-35 (excerpts from ESV) - 31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, ....33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
At one of my first Pastor's conferences, I heard some retired ministers swapping "war stories."
One of them remembered a time when he had seen a group of boys sitting in a circle with a dog in the middle. Nothing seemed to be wrong, but he thought he'd check things out. He asked them what they were doing with the dog.
One said, "We ain't doin' nuthin' to the dog; we're just tellin' lies. The one of us that tells the biggest lie gets to keep him."
The minister feeling the weight of his clerical collar and knowing he had a responsibility to help reclaim this band of burgeoning sinners, recounted how he did his duty to share with the boys that when he was young, he never would tell a lie.
The young boy who was holding the dog looked around the circle and having assessed everyone’s opinion,, said, "Fella, we lose, give HIM the dog."
I don't know if that story is true, but I do know that when Peter said he wouldn't leave Jesus, the other disciples felt some pressure to compete.
They probably didn’t think they were in a lying contest, but they knew they had to keep up with Peter. They had to keep up not because they wanted to suffer, but because they were in a ridiculous and unbecoming competition.
They found it was easy to say the words. They probably realized it would be harder to live up to them. Now I would not have you think the disciples felt they were telling a lie. Their intentions were, in all probability, very good. But the truth is, they were keeping up with each other rather than striving to serve the Lord.
Little wonder Jesus became frustrated because the disciples weren’t able to understand His work or purpose of His coming Little wonder they never understood how to please Him.
Most of us know that the Satan has it made when God's people stop living Christ, and start bragging about themselves and their accomplishments. Pastors get caught up in attendance figures.... parishioners compete with the church down the road. For that sin, we need the forgiveness which cones from the Savior.
We need forgiveness and the power to live a life of honest thankfulness to our Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: -Lord Jesus, keep me and my church from trying to keep up with others. Help us be content to follow You and the direction Your Spirit leads. In Your Name I pray it. Amen.
he music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html