Matthew 10:32,33 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.
I have always read such verses and wondered, What Would Scott Do? If, like Peter, I were questioned about Christ under threat of violence, would I deny or claim him? I like to think that I would make a heroic stand for what I believe but deep down, I am afraid, like Peter, I would fail the test. I am afraid that I would choose to save my own skin.
For now though, I am not threatened if I go to church, read my bible or pray to God. There are those sadly, who live under religious persecution, but here I am not likely to face such opposition to my faith. I may then, falsely think that I will never have such an opportunity to make a stand, acknowledging Jesus before men.
As Christians, we take this verse quite seriously though, so we feel that we need to make some acknowledgment of Christ. In the absence of any heroic stand, we may feel the need to confess our faith in church, proclaiming our faith for all to see. We do not want Jesus to deny us before God, so we feel we must make a statement before some crowd to win the approval of Christ. This we feel, will appease Jesus command to acknowledge him.
It is not my heroic stand or my statement of faith in church that will prove my commitment to Christ. My acknowledgment of Christ is in my daily living. Jesus said those who follow him will daily deny self and follow him. I acknowledge Jesus if I do what He says. If I proclaim to follow with my voice but do not follow with my feet, then I am fooling myself. I will not fool Jesus.
I know all too well the hypocrisy of one who sings of faithfulness to God on Sunday, only to follow self the rest of the week. Such a person thinks that a vocal proclamation of faith covers the lack of following Christ. He does not love his neighbor or help those in need. He cannot tell others of what Jesus has done for him as he does not honestly know. He does not follow Christ with his life. I have lived this hypocrisy, speaking the right words but denying him with my behavior.
So now, I daily need to ask myself, What should Scott do? What is it today that I can do to follow Christ? If Jesus is God and if I claim to follow him, it must affect my behavior. I daily need to deny self and follow Jesus. This is how I acknowledge him before men.