The Difference in What I Say and Do
And he went outside and wept bitterly. – Luke 22:62
So why did Peter go outside and weep bitterly? Well, the easy answer is because he denied Jesus three times, just as He told him he would. The deeper answer involves what he told Jesus just hours before it actually happened.
Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” – Mark 14:29
Let me tell you about two types of love. There is agape love. This love is unconditional. Jesus unquestionably proved His unconditional love for us on the cross at Calvary. He gave His life, so that you and I may live forever . . . if you so choose to receive His mercy, grace, and forgiveness. The other type is called phileo love. This is more of a friendship type love. Peter was declaring agape for Jesus. He quickly found out that there was a big difference in saying what you will do, than what you actually do.
Do you claim to be a Christian? If yes, do you love Jesus? If yes, is it a “lay down your life” type love? Or, is it simply a, “I like being around Him at church and stuff like that” type love?
I heard some kids talk about the number of the beast last week. One boldly declared, “I will never take that mark of the beast!” I asked him, “What makes you think that you will die for Him then, if you won’t live for Him now?”
I sit here thinking about this. I would love to boldly declare that I would die for my Lord. Peter teaches me that I better be careful in my bold declarations. No doubt that he believed what he was saying to Jesus. The truth is, I have denied Him. He has asked me to do many things for Him. I would say that most I have done. But sometimes I just flat out chickened out. I cared more about what others would think of me instead of caring more about what Jesus would think of my disobedience.
It doesn’t matter what you and I say we will do. It matters what we actually do. I don’t know what I’d do or say if faced with the physical persecution that many of our brothers and sisters in Christ will face this very day. Of course, with all my heart I want to tell God, “I will never, ever deny you!” Peter teaches me that I better not do that.
What I can do is make a choice to live for Him today. I can live moment by moment, doing as many little things for Him as I can. If I can’t do small things for Him, how could I ever expect to do big things?
In all of my time teaching, I will always remember one student. He just flat out didn’t care. He refused to work, wouldn’t listen to teachers, and loved to get into fights. He told me one Monday, “Mr. Hopkins, I got saved last night.” I said, “Wow! That’s great! What are you going to do now?” He said, “What do you mean?” We talked about “working as unto the Lord” in Colossians 3:23. He got it. He said “I can do my workouts for Him, I can do my school work for Him, I can even cut the grass in my yard for Him.” He proceeded to move from the back of the room to the front. He became one of the top students in his class. He is now one of the finest Christian men that I know.
What does it look like to live for Him where you work? What does it look like to live for Him where you go to school? Maybe you are a stay at home parent today. What does it look like to raise and influence those babies for Him? Figure it out, and then do it!
“Let your light shine before others, that they might see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” — Matthew 5:16