Is your commitment to Jesus strong and powerful? DO you share a sweet, intimate relationship that keeps you close and connected to Christ? Or is your commitment draining so you can’t seem to hear from God anymore? Are you luke warm, sitting on the fence ready to sway with the popular group instead of standing for your commitment, half heartedly going through the motions of serving Jesus and wondering why you can’t have a satisfied mind, a good night’s sleep, a happy heart, peace and promise? Do you run away when you know you should stay and stand your ground? When we aren’t totally committed to Christ, we will follow the same progression as Peter.
We first become distant in our relationship with loved ones, with Jesus … which spells trouble every time. Peter still followed Christ, but at a distance. He was no longer ready to die for him. “Peter followed at a distance.” Luke 22:54 This is the first sign of trouble in a relationship. We begin to lost interest and the commitment wanes. Our passion relaxes as the distance grows. Soon, we wonder what happened to the precious love shared with our Lord or the love between a man and wife, even parents and children. Communication slows down, distance grows, and often … one or the other goes. We run away from what God had planned for us all along. We miss blessings and beautiful tomorrows because we selfishly distanced ourselves from Jesus, from the ones who love us most. Stay close and keep the spirit of love burning brightly in your hearts and homes. Don’t run away because it seems safe and easy. Stay committed and connected through the sunshine and the storms.
If distance creeps in, it’s so easy to become divided. Peter felt guilty anyway and headed straight to fellowship with uncommitted crowds of people. “Peter sat among them.” Luke 22:55 Now, Peter becomes torn between being apathetic and committed. He becomes confused and frustrated with himself. He’s a man without a country. How many understand Peter’s place, feeling his pain and asking how could he let himself go there? The question is, how can we allow ourselves to get to that pitiful place? We should never place ourselves on pedestals or think we are better than those who aren’t as committed to Christ as we might be. Yet, we should guard our friendships and fellowship with people who are likeminded in Christ, those who edify and uplift instead of divide and destroy. You must discern and allow His Holy Spirit to guide you concerning fellowship. You can do as Christ did, go out in the world and be a witness, enjoy life, and uphold your Christian example. But you can’t go out and be of the world, dulled and divided, allowing fellowship with sinners to affect your commitment to Christ. Christian fellowship is crucial.
When we lost commitment, becoming distant and being divided, it’s easy for our faith to be deluded. Peter told the woman he did not know Christ. Those words revealed Peter’s weakness, even among people he didn’t know, who weren’t really a threat. He ran scared and was not grounded, committed, and closely connected to Christ. His weakness caused him to turn coward when he really wanted to stand and shout his love for the Lord. Sometimes, we do stupid things when we delude what’s really important in our lives. We drive loved ones away because of silly pride or foolishness. We treat the people we love the most like total strangers, offend them, even fall prey to domestic violence. We leave Jesus out of our lives and find ourselves weak and weary, searching for peace and promise everywhere except at the foot of the cross. Our faith becomes deluded; we become lost.
Finally, Peter’s fervor became denial. “But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are saying!” He rejected any association with Jesus. Peter slowly but surely rejected Jesus. How could such a passionate, powerful , personal friend to Jesus cut ties of commitment and reject him in his time of need? Maybe we should ask ourselves the same question? Have we failed our Lord when we ran scared and wouldn’t speak up for Him? The sin of omission, not doing what is right when we know it, hurts Jesus as much as dreadful sins politically correct Christians frown upon. While we would never consider murder or adultery, what if we turn away when He calls us to stand up, speak out, volunteer, or become committed when we’d rather play it safe, send a check, not get our hands dirty, let someone else do it … you get the picture. Are we any different than Peter? Have we lost our commitment, become distant with divided fellowship and deluded faith? Has apathy settled in our souls? Do we reject Jesus?
As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, it’s the perfect time to come to the cross, clean out our hearts, come closely connected and committed to Jesus. Search your heart. Settle down with those you love and let His sweet Spirit seep into your home. Set the record straight; let others see Jesus in you. Stay committed. Never run away; take it to the cross. Stand up for Jesus whatever the cost. You will always be committed … never lost! Amen.