You know it’s kind of funny when I post messages that cause people to examine their life and make changes that are challenging and uncomfortable. It’s funny because there is so little response. Yet, if I post a picture of my granddaughter, Adalie, I get tons of response. So, I have an idea…while admiring Adalie’s cuteness, join me in some “tough self-analysis” to create a Godly society for Adalie’s generation. Our world is in chaos and Jesus cures chaos. But Jesus has chosen to use people, people who KNOW Him and aren’t afraid to SHOW Him to the world. With that being said, please read all of this message…and I welcome your comments.
In Luke 22:54-62 we find a mob of the chief priests, temple guards, and leaders who had come to arrest Jesus. As they carried Him off, Peter, followed at a distance. On the way someone accused Peter saying, “This man was with Jesus.” Peter denied it by saying, “I don’t know Him, woman.” Two more times Peter denied knowing or associating with Jesus….something he said he would never do. Just then the Lord turned and looked directly at Peter. At that moment Peter remembered the words Jesus spoke to him earlier; “You will say three times that you don’t know me.” And at that moment Peter went outside and cried bitterly.
In today’s society I wonder how many times we have denied our relationship with Jesus. Whether we are afraid to pray over our meal in public, or we fear the ridicule of people we work with, or friends we hangout with, or even family; it’s all a form of denial. We need to put a stop to pretending to be a Christian on Sunday and becoming worldly during the week. Either we ARE or we ARE NOT a true, sold-out, grounded in His word Christian that has a relationship with God. How do I know this? I know it because in Luke 22:54 it says when they arrested Jesus and led him away to the chief priest’s house…..Peter followed at a distance. That’s our problem today, there are too many Christians that follow Jesus “at a distance.” Jesus isn’t into long-distance relationships. He wants up front, close, personal, and intimate relationships.
HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS — The Lord had already told Peter earlier that satan had demanded to have him and the apostles for himself. He (satan) wanted to “separate” Peter from Jesus as a farmer separates wheat from husks. BUT THEN Jesus said, “I have prayed for you, Simon (Peter), that your faith will not fail. So when you have repented and turned to Me again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32) THAT is our answer! We must be honest with ourselves so we can realize and recognize the areas in our lives where we are “denying” Jesus. We need to repent, which means “to change our mindset and change our actions.” Then we make the decision to turn to Jesus again…..no matter what people say or do. And guess what, just like Peter, we have Jesus praying for us….”Therefore He (Jesus) is also able to save to the uttermost those WHO DRAW NEAR to God through Him, seeing that He lives forever to make intercession for them (us).” You are not doing this alone. Jesus has your back!
I’m praying that everyone who reads this will learn from Peter’s experience and choose to make a turnaround and follow Jesus up close and personal; instead of following Him at a distance. And remember, in 15 or 20 years, Adalie will be grateful that YOU made the right choice.
Pastor Kevin Kinchen