Tuesday, December 23, 2014
It’s too easy to give up
John 18:25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.
Peter had been with Jesus for years, but human weakness is great. When Jesus is not present, or when Peter distances himself from him, it’s far too easy to give up. Peter doesn’t even seem to realize what is happening as he is drawn into the events of the night and suddenly he discovers that he is far from Jesus. The cock crows and he becomes aware of what he has done.
To think that Peter stepped away from Jesus in just one night is rather mind-boggling. How could this man who just a few hours earlier had been in the garden with Jesus in prayer now deny him. Is it that easy to give up?
I feel like I’m hearing about far too many who are giving up on Christianity these days. There are those who are disappointed in the behavior of particular Christians. That’s always happened throughout history! There are those who don’t like the way the church does its business and would like to see a more ideal model of worship and ministry to the world. Yes — we would, but when we step out of the church community and head off on our own spiritually we may find ourselves like Peter. The temptation is to give up on Christianity and it happens far too quickly and easily.
Peter was stunned when the cock crowed. Stunned because he discovered that he had denied Jesus! Stunned that he had given up in such a short period of time.
If we are not careful, we will find ourselves giving up far too easily.
This is Christmas. Instead of being drawn to the activities of the world, may we use this season to come back to the real focus of Christmas. Instead of denying Christ through the secular activities of the days, may Christ intentionally be in the center. Use this as an opportunity to draw back to him. He is near.
Lord, please help us to draw near to you this day and may we not give up on you. Amen.