And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75
Have you ever been embarrassed of your association with a certain person or group? Why? Was it because the crowd was against them? Did you not want them to know your association since you knew they would think ill of you because of false rumors or a flawed perspective? I have for all these reasons.
It’s not popular to claim that there’s one body of believers, one church, one gospel, one way to be saved. In a society that’s accepting of most any beliefs (as long as you don’t condemn theirs), to say that there’s false teachings and be a part of a group that is well-known in teaching that can lend someone to want to deny their association. Yet, it’s the truth and to deny association with God’s people who teach such things is also to deny the teachings of Christ Himself.
I am part of that one body. I am part of the Lord’s church — the church of God — the church of Christ — and any other name designated for the same entity in scripture. I assemble with my brethren at the Mauriceville church, and we are a loving group of Christians firm in teaching the truth. Because of our unwavering love for the truth, there are those that will have a flawed perspective or maybe even hear false rumors of what we’re about. I am proud to be a part of this bold group; however, sometimes I find myself wanting to sugar coat the truth — downplaying the soundness of believing in the strait and narrow path — wanting to be more accepting of other doctrines. When pressed for what I truly believe, I don’t enjoy being exposed as someone who doesn’t believe that all “Christian” religions are okay. Yet, Paul says anyone who teaches any other gospel than what he delivered shall be accursed (Gal. 1:6-9).
So today, Peter’s denials of Jesus remind me to stand for the truth no matter the consequences. I am not even close to what Peter was experiencing or feeling as he was seeing his powerful holy teacher being brutally condemned to death and probably feared for his own life, yet Peter can remind me to stand firm in the midst of my own ridicules. He vowed he wouldn’t do it, but he did. When he realized the brevity of what he had just done, he wept bitterly for his failure. May we all be sorrowful in such a way to weep bitterly for our own failures.
Forgiving God, Your word is the source of truth and in it we find the strait and narrow path to eternal life. Let me never be ashamed to stand firm in Your gospel especially in a world that would ridicule me for doing so. Thank you for my brethren who love Your truth and boldly seek to teach others. Thank you that Peter’s failures has reminded me not to turn away from Your Son, but if I ever do, to bitterly weep in heartfelt repentence for denying such a Savior. And what a Savior He is! Today I celebrate His unwavering love and forgiveness through the partaking of His supper. Amen.
Truth in love,