SHEPHERDS VOICE – December 2023

ALIGNING OUR DEEDS TO OUR WORDS

 

35 – But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”

And all the other disciples said the same

 

74 – Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them,

“I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed.

Matt 26:35 & 74

 

 

Peter had mentioned the verse 35 of Matt 26 from the depths of his heart. Although Peter is known to be impulsive the above statement is based on his close relationship with Jesus. We come across many people who are unable to keep their word and are merely emotional and ingenuine. There are the hypocrites who only preach but have no practicality. Peter does not belong to either of these groups. He said those words in v25 out of his sincerity and love for Jesus. But in v74 we see him experience a huge failure to keep up to his words. If we ask ourselves whether our acts are according to our words we realize that we are not perfect either. Peter had very sincerely wanted to lay down his life for Jesus but the circumstances around him made him afraid for his own life and he is seen to have denied knowing Jesus.

 

What does God expect of us?

He expects us to keep our word; to practice what we preach. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God Himself shows that He made His words in John 3:16 come true in that He did not spare His only begotten Son to lay down His life for our sins. God said that the wages of sin is death and in order to redeem us from sin He sent His son Jesus Christ as penalty for our sins. God is faithful to perform His promises. Accordingly, Paul the Apostle says in 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” God will not go back on His word as mentioned in Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

 

What is peculiar about Jesus Christ?

Luke24:19 “And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,…”

 

The twelve disciples of Jesus were the most eligible to testify for Him because they walked with Jesus, heard every word He spoke and watched Him perform His word. Jesus laid down His life for us and showed that His words did not differ from his act.

 

We could argue the truth that Jesus is God incarnate but Paul the Apostle who was a believer like us also ensured his words and acts go together as confirmed in 2 Cor 10:11 “Such a person must understand that what we are in word through letters when absent, that we also are in action when present.” Apostle Paul boldly tells the church of Corinth that he led his life exactly according to his words.

 

We cannot justify our mistakes

James 3:2 “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”

 

We are likely to make mistakes but God does not expect us to repeat those mistakes and justify ourselves for it. God says that the righteous will receive eternal life (Matt 25:46). A righteous person is one who is pure and right in his heart which will be reflected in his deeds. Therefore it is necessary that we close the gap between our words and our works.

 

We are brought to examine our words at the time of testing as mentioned in Luke 8:13 “Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.” All was well and secure with Peter while he was with Jesus and he could boldly say that he was ready to lay his life for Jesus and would never deny Him. Unfortunately Peter was gripped by fear and he could not keep his word when he saw how Jesus was being treated and abandoned by everyone.

 

We too make promises when everything goes well with us but when situations are adverse we are faced with the question of fulfilling our word. God expects us to fulfill our words and not be like the seed that fell on rocky ground. Paul the Apostle instructed the church of Corinth from afar to examine his words and actions during the time he was with them. He says in 1 Cor 9:27 “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” This is the attitude we need to incorporate into our lives. We ought to discipline ourselves to stand by our word. We have to control ourselves and put off every desire of the flesh. In order to practice the words of our lips we need to destroy the desires of our flesh. Jesus says in Matt16:4, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny (renounce) himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” God did not forsake Peter on the other hand, God reinstated him when he realized his mistake and wept bitterly (Matt 26:75).

 

If we find ourselves in a similar situation, we must go into God’s presence and cry bitterly asking God to forgive our deeds that were against His will. God does not expect His children to live a disappointed life. If we confess our mistakes and surrender our life to God to live according to His will, God will reinstate us and by His grace God will make us a distinction before the people of this world.

 

Pastor Juxy Mathew