“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
We should not lose sight of the context in which Jesus commanded confessing Him before men; it was said while He was “commanding His twelve disciples” (Matt. 11:1). A case can be made that Jesus refers to those who would believe on Him through their words (as He sent them on the so-called “limited commission”, Matt. 10:5-15, esp. vss. 13-15). But, it should not go unnoticed that Jesus expected the twelve to confess Him before men. Like the twelve, disciples of Christ are to confess or openly agree with Jesus Christ. My brother and sister in Christ, your life is to agree with the gospel of Christ. Are you confessing Him by your words and your actions every day? Or, are you denying Him? The Lord knows, and He “will render to each one according to his deeds” (Rom. 2:6).
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18)
Christ calls us out of the world of sin to walk with Him. When Israel worshiped idols they defiled themselves in sin. The decision to be a Christian means coming out of the world and its sinful desires. Our incentive is the blessed fellowship we have with God as His child. Once a child of God, some Christians continue to think they can live for Christ on Sunday and then go back to their “real life” the rest of the week. How truly sad. The life you live with God is 24/7; anything less is of the evil one. Remember, God has called you to holiness. Use today to set your course and keep pressing onward and upward as a faithful child of God.
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11).
Pride is preeminently self-centered. It looks for the best seat in the house – after all, “I deserve it!” (Lk. 14:8-9). It thinks of itself first and others second – if at all (Lk. 14:12-14). Humility, on the other hand, values others above itself. In a world that puts great value on getting ahead and making a name for oneself, the way that God has shown us continues to be far better: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) If you exalt yourself before others you should at least understand that you have already exalted yourself in your own eyes. Reject all such self-importance. Be humble, and God will lift you up in due time (1 Peter 5:6).
And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. (2 Kings 5:10-12)
God’s word is often contrary to the wisdom and emotions of men. The fury of Naaman reflects a heart yet unwilling to yield to the simple instructions of God’s word. Only when the sobering words of his servants prevailed did he dip seven times in the Jordan. When he followed God’s word instead of his own desires, God healed him (read 2 Kings 5:13-14). Do not fight against God’s word in preference of your own feelings. If you do, you only hurt yourself by refusing God’s word and the blessings that come by obeying Him.
And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:22-23)
Jesus Christ is preeminent over all, having been given “all authority…in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). We all live under the authority of Christ; both the lost and the saved. The question to ask yourself is whether or not you are respecting His authority. The answer is not hard to ascertain; it is found in whether or not you are humbly obeying Him. Jesus rebuked those who called Him “Lord, Lord” while disobeying what He said (read Luke 6:46). There is no blessing for acknowledging Jesus as the head of His church while violating His revealed word. Whatever we say and do must be in harmony with His authoritative word (read Colossians 3:17). Honor Christ and His authority today by carefully following His word.
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)
The apostle of Christ presents this truism to emphasize the Christian’s new life in Christ: We are all slaves to what we choose to obey. When you became a Christian you presented yourself to God to serve righteousness; you are no longer to be a slave to sin (Rom. 6:6-7, 13). Being a Christian does not make you immune from sin. If you choose to practice sin you will die, for “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). The Christian walks “in newness of life” and puts away the old person of sin (Rom. 6:4-6). Each day, be a bondservant or slave of Christ by obeying Him and serving righteousness. The result of your holy life will be God’s gift of “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:22-23).
“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die. (John 12:31-33)
The crucifixion of Jesus “cast out” Satan, that is, “through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14). Sin’s sting was defeated at the cross. We take comfort in this great truth! It emboldens us to endure when we are tempted because we know the devil does not wield power beyond our ability to withstand and overcome in Christ. When you are tempted to sin, recall that Christ has “cast out” the ruler of this world. Use the way of escape He provides (1 Cor. 10:13). Refuse the devil’s temptations and walk with Jesus.