So Hannah and I continue with our reading and discussion of the Gospel of John and we reach the last few chapters. We read how Peter vehemently denied the Lord Jesus, declaring three times that he never knew the man. I tell Hannah that in the Gospel of Luke, when Peter denied the Lord the third time, the cock crowed, and the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter (Luke 22:61).
And I tell her this:
Peter denied the Lord Jesus with his words, but you know what? We also deny the Lord, not three times, but often, whenever we do things that are unChrist-like. Yes, we tell and sing of the goodness of the Lord, but sometimes, our actions deny Him. How do we do that?
The Lord Jesus commanded us to love one another as He has loved us. For by this shall all men know that we are His disciples – if we love one another (John 13:35). But if, by the way we live, by the way we treat other people, we are showing otherwise, we are, in effect, proclaiming vehemently that we know not the Lord, just as Peter did.
I lean closer to my daughter who is listening intently, and I tell her this, stressing on each word:
We need not deny the Lord with our words, but we easily do it through our actions. Do we show the love of the Lord to other people? Or do we hurt them with our words, with our coldness or indifference? Do we see their need or do we only care for and look to our own welfare? Do we share or do we live selfishly? Are we patient or easily provoked?
Every time we deny the Lord by our actions, He sees. He looks upon us as He looked upon Peter. And what do you think does He feel? He feels betrayed, just as He had probably felt with Peter.
Peter denied the Lord, not just once, but thrice, because of fear. He was afraid to be identified with the Lord Jesus Christ for fear of his own life, that just as they had captured the Lord, they might take him also. At that night of fear and confusion, he was too weak to stand up for the Lord.
In our present time, like Peter then, we also struggle with our own fears and weaknesses. It is because of fear and our need for self-preservation that we sometimes act selfishly, forgetting the Lord’s commandment to love one another as He has loved us. But then, we have received the Holy Spirit, just as Peter received Him on the day of Pentecost and he was empowered beyond measure. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).
We are empowered, therefore, to show this love without fear, without misgivings or reservations. We can proclaim the name of the Lord by standing firm in our faith, preaching the Gospel, and showing His love in our lives.
We do not prove our love only by our charitable deeds, but more so through our unwavering support to bring the Gospel of salvation to the poor by giving to the work of the Lord, so that they, too, would receive salvation and the seed of faith that would teach them to trust in God and depend on Him completely.
Give, therefore, so that the Gospel will be spread, the Lord’s name will be proclaimed, and His love and mercy will reach the needy.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. (2 Cor. 9:8-10 NIV)
This post is linked to The Beauty in His Grip, Domestically Divine, Women Living Well, Women in the Word Wednesday, Raising Homemakers, Walk with Him Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Brag on God Friday, Spiritual Sundays