A young woman once consulted with her minister. “I can’t stick it out any longer. I am the only Christian in the factory where I work. I get nothing but taunts and sneers. It is more than I can stand. I am going to resign.” “Will you tell me,” asked the minister, “where lights are placed?” “What has that to do with it?” the young Christian asked him rather bluntly. “Never mind,” the minister replied. “Answer my question: ‘Where are lights placed?’ “ “I suppose in dark places,” she replied. “Yes, and that is why you have been put in that factory where there is such spiritual darkness and where there is no other Christian to shine for the Lord.” The young Christian realized for the first time the opportunity that was hers. She felt she could not fail God by allowing her light to go out. She went back to the factory with renewed determination to let her light shine in that dark corner. Before long, she was the means of leading nine other women to the Light. (Sermoncentral.com).
The young woman learned a very valuable lesson, that sometimes you must deny yourself to be able to do what you have been called to do in this life. Though she didn’t realize it, by thinking only of herself she was denying her place in God’s kingdom. By looking for the easy way, she was denying her calling to bring the light of Christ into her part of a darkened world.
Peter was equal in blame the night that Jesus was arrested and taken to the High Priest before His crucifixion. Three times He was given an opportunity to share the truth of who Jesus was and three times he denied Him. In Matthew 10:32-33, Jesus condemns this kind of rejection saying, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
The same man who pledged to die with Christ, thought only of himself when put under pressure. This same man with the kind of faith that Jesus said He would build His church upon, panicked when given the opportunity to testify.
Its interesting that this same person who denied Jesus three times also said in 2 Peter 2:1, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” It appears that Peter later learned his lesson.
In our own ways, we also fall into the category of the deniers. In our thoughts we betray the God who created us. In our words we tarnish His holy name. In our deeds we think only of ourselves when given the opportunity to share the Good News of salvation. None of us are innocent. None of us can look at Peter and ask him why he denied His master three times because we have all been in his shoes.
One way to deny Christ is to be unwilling to carry His name as a testimony of one’s faith. As Christians in a world full of deniers, its easy to get lost in the crowd. We do nothing when the name of God is blasphemed, we stand by as His monuments are destroyed, we remain silent when we hear the truth being twisted and we plead ignorance instead of making a stand. In our own ways we deny Christ almost every day.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Man cannot worship money or fame or beauty or anything that replaces the one true God and still be devoted to God. Each time we choose something else or someone else to be our guide, we deny the only one who can show us the path to heaven.
If change is to happen, it has to begin with us. Instead of denying Christ we must make our stand for Him. Instead of standing by in silence as our Lord is blasphemed and rejected, we’re called to reach out in love with the story of all that God has done to win us to Him. We have a message to share and when we fail to share it, we deny Christ and make all he did to save us from sin and death worth nothing. Let there be no more denying. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, forgive us for denying you in both great ways and small. Help us to stand firm in faith. May we be ever faithful to You as You have been towards us. Amen.