Definition: Reject the truth.
Synonyms: Reject, Refuse, Disavow
Read Matthew 26: 69—75
When we think denial our thoughts immediately focus on Peter, who denied Jesus not once, not twice, but three times!
After Jesus’ arrest, Peter followed at a distance and lingered in the courtyard of the high priest, hoping to hear something about Jesus’ fate. Three different individuals accused him of being with Jesus, and Peter denied knowing Jesus all three times. Immediately, upon his third denial, a rooster crowed.
“Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.’ And he went away weeping bitterly” (Matthew 26: 75 NLT).
We may have compassion for Peter and, considering the circumstances, understand why he denied Jesus. However, our consciences are clear. After all, we attend church and call ourselves Christians in public. Would our response be different if admitting our faith threatened our lives?
Keep in mind that Peter was certain he wouldn’t deny Christ. “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same (Matthew 26:35).
Fear can cause us to crumble, but it is important to remember that God is in control. If we lose our lives, we gain heaven. So why do we cling to this fallen world? Don’t fear for your life. Fear the Lord.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: “….a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31:30b).
To placate the Jews who resented Roman rule, the governor released a Jewish prisoner at Passover. So Pilate gave the crowd a choice between Jesus and Barabbas.
While some say Barabbas was a Zealot, a group of Jews who were trying to overthrow the Roman government through violence, other commentators conclude that Barabbas was a common criminal, who had been in trouble with the law repeatedly. It doesn’t matter; the Bible tells us Barabbas was guilty of murder, while Jesus was not guilty of any crime. Not only was he innocent of a crime, but he was also sinless!
Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him” (Luke 23: 18, 20, 21)!
Just a few days ago, Jesus was all the rage. The crowd welcomed him to Jerusalem, praising him and putting branches on the ground for his colt to walk on. The people believed Jesus fulfilled Zechariah’s prophesy (9:9), and the Kingdom of David was at hand. They were ecstatic.
“Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven” (Mark 11:10)!
The crowd, who lauded Jesus for fulfilling Zechariah’s prophesy, now denies that he is the One.
What happened during those few days? A threatened Jewish leadership stirred up the people against Jesus. Additionally, the people wanted an earthly king to overthrow the government that oppressed them. They didn’t understand that Jesus’ offer of salvation was not a temporary fix, but for eternity.
The frenzy and emotion led the crowd to deny their Messiah and allow a guilty man to walk free.
Have you ever denied God when you are with friends or coworkers? No?
What about jokes that don’t honor God?
Do you defend a person being ridiculed?
A little gossip with the girls is harmless fun.
If belief in a literal Bible is too fanatical for the group you are with, do you back down?
When political correctness goes so far that it denies what the Bible says, do you stay quiet?
Do you allow the people around you to sway your thinking?
Thought or Action Step for the Day: “…serve God whether people honor us or despise us” (2 Corinthians 6:8a).
“…give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs”
What an odd request, especially from Solomon, the richest man ever! Why did he say this? He tells us in the next verse.
“Lest I be full and deny You, And say, ‘Who is the LORD’ ” (Proverbs 30:9a NKJV)?
Riches provide a false sense of security. A self-reliant attitude produces a haughty spirit. After all, who did all the work? Why share the glory? You deny God when you steal the glory that rightfully belongs to your Creator.
Being rich is not a sin, and there is nothing wrong with being satisfied with a job well done, but always give God the glory. God’s gracious blessings, coupled with His gifts of skill and ability, allowed your success.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: “For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5b NLT).
“Such people claim they know God, but deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good” (Titus 1:16).
Does the way you live deny God?
How do you spend your time? Log every hour of your day to determine your priorities.
Where are you on Sunday morning?
People say that the church is full of hypocrites, or that church attendance does not make you a Christian.
While that may be true, what are they doing on Sunday morning? Honoring God? No, probably they are sleeping in, reading the Sunday paper, golfing, or some other relaxing or fun activity.
How often do you pray?
Do you offer quick prayers of need, or do you spend quality time with God? Do you worship and praise God during the week? How often do you sit before God and listen for Him to speak?
Did you serve those in need recently?
Have you witnessed to others, or helped a person in need? If asked to compile a list of service to others for God during the last week, could you do it?
Are you kind and patient?
To answer that question, recall the last time a driver pulled out in front of you.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: Does your life affirm or deny God?
Review the questions in the daily devotions. Can any of us say we have never denied God?
“The Bible tells us: ‘If we deny him, he will deny us’ ” (2 Timothy 2:12b).
“But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).
The above Scriptures state that denying Jesus is a serious offense, and not to be taken lightly, even when persecuted.
But take heart. Peter, the famous denier, was redeemed. So we can be too!
“So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard’ ” (Acts 4: 18—20).