Luke 22:54-62 (NIV)

54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” 57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. 58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Mark 8:38 (NIV)

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.”

DEVOTION – Elaine M. Brown (Perthshire, Scotland)

Recently I discovered that it is possible to love Jesus deeply and to be his follower and yet to be ashamed of Jesus when faced with an awkward choice.

I routinely received help and advice from a skilled nurse.  On my last appointment, she suggested that I fill in an “activity diary” for a week.  Afterward, she would study and discuss my entries with me.

A problem arose when I came to filling in the Tuesday section.  On that day each week a friend comes for coffee and a time of prayer.  But I just put “For coffee” in the diary, not wanting to reveal more.  A few days later a neighbor told me of an operation she was facing.  “I’ll be thinking of you,”  I assured her as we parted.  What I meant was “I’ll be praying for you,” but I didn’t want to use those religious-sounding words.

Later, I read the words of Mark 8:38 during my devotional time.  Those words stung me.  I was recently guilty on two counts and guilty many other times in the past.  Could I, who love Jesus deeply, be ashamed of him?  I had to face the  stark truth that I could, and then tell Jesus how sorry I was.  Most of all I asked for his words and courage to speak my faith next time.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Christ’s love compels us to share that love with others.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give us courage so that you will never have cause to be ashamed of us.  Amen.