Do you deny it?


Remember Peter in Matthew 26? He stood beside Jesus and claimed that he would stand up for him at any cost! Peter was so confident at that moment. Jesus told Peter he would deny him three times before the morning. Don’t judge him too harshly. Do we tell someone about Jesus when we have an opportunity? Do we invite our neighbors to church with us? Do we pray with our children when they ask for help? These daily activities could be ways we deny God. We take for granted that everyone we know has knowledge of Jesus and his life-giving peace. We can easily get wrapped up in the busyness of life to fully focus our attention toward God and what his plan is for our lives. Too often our minds reflect the static of being on the wrong channel; it’s noisy, confusing, and keeps us from listening clearly to the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit.
If Mark 8:34 is true, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me,” our mental station should automatically be tuned in. It is important not only to stay tuned in to the Holy Spirit but in everything we do; the radio, television, movies, books, activities, places we go, people we associate with, our words, thoughts and feelings should be affected by the Holy Spirit. Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Living in this sinful world makes this a difficult task. It doesn’t occur automatically once we’re saved. Daily bible reading and praying grows our spirit to be more like Christ.
We must practice. We have a choice in every situation. This reminds me of toddlers working on “sharing”. They are more likely to grab and push to get their way. After repeated corrections, they finally understand what makes the teacher happy and not upset. We, as Christians, are the same way. We start out trying our new life attitude, then someone messes with us and we instantly react like we used to which is natural but sinful. The fruits of the Spirit are characteristics that develop over time spent with God. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,” according to Galatians 5:22.

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