32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”

Matt 10:32-33 (NIV)

Are we faithful to confess – to acknowledge – to agree with the Lord Jesus before men? Do we continually call His Word Truth – steadfastly standing firm in it? Are we walking in His way showing we belong to Him by what we do and say? Are we singularly focused on His mission for our lives and have learned to persevere even when things are anything but rosy or pleasant? Do we run in such a way as to win the prize? These are worthy questions to ask ourselves. Jesus tells us today that those who honor Him, He too will honor. God’s Word recorded in 1 Samuel states likewise:

Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 1 Sam 2:30 (NIV)

These statements do not refer simply to fireworks acts that draw attention - quickly lighting the sky yet just as quickly dissipating but also and perhaps even more importantly they refer to lives which consistently choose faithfulness to the Master – even in the dull and routine. No fanfare - No one asking for autographs - No one snapping pictures or making the headlines of the news – just a life lived with joy and contentment consistently choosing the correct path through the power of the Holy Spirit. Such a life loudly proclaims this Jesus that we serve.

“Habits are to the soul what veins are to the blood. The very course of our life depends on them. Random acts of greatness pale in comparison to habitual acts of faithfulness.” Ann Voskamp

We cannot afford to be spiritually soft even in the routine as it is in the small choices that make the life. We are to do the right thing even when no one is watching – God always is. Sometimes God’s calling dictates the hard path, the one replete with lack of encouragement or affirmation, the one requiring painful endurance, the one whereby we are constantly pouring out rather than soaking in. We are to persevere and not abort His mission when hardships occur and life is anything but times of refreshing. A life lived sacrificially isn’t demanding when we keep the proper mind set of where we once were – dead and lost – what Christ did for us on the cross – blood and grace – and where we will eventually remain eternally – Heavenly Kingdom and glory. We should pray for the constraining love of Jesus to keep us useful and active in His Kingdom work! Believer’s lives are to be lived with purpose – we are set apart for the Gospel of God.

“The work of praying is prerequisite to all other work in the Kingdom of God. It is by prayer that we couple the powers of heaven to our helplessness ... and make the impossible possible.” O. Hallesby

Interestingly, we honor Christ before mere man yet He will honor us before Almighty God – “I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.” Paul’s words in Romans come to mind:

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:8-9 (NIV)

Jesus gives us another warning similar to the one in our verses for today recorded in the Gospel of Mark:

36 “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.” Mark 8:36-38 (NIV)

It is a dangerous thing to disown and deny Christ before man. Jesus walked through a fallen world as we do yet He suffered more. His path led Him through minefields of hardships – ridicule, abandonment, rejection - as He resolutely set His face toward Jerusalem. Trials and tribulations are a given – even for the unsaved. Difficulties are a normal part of walking the earth even if the life is lived perfectly as Jesus. Our Lord is proof of that. Yet we can live deeper than the reach of sufferings tentacles. We can learn contentment and joy in every circumstance God allows. I am reminded of Paul’s words to the Philippians and with them I close:

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phil 4:11-13 (NIV)

What I Glean

  • I am to faithfully acknowledge the Lord Jesus before men through my words and ways.
  • Jesus honors those who honor Him. We can never out-give God.
  • I am to pray for strength and perseverance to finish well.