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|Personal Responsibility||August 7|
"PETER FOLLOWED AFAR OFF"
This is your hour, and the power of darkness. Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off. Luke 22:53, 54.
Peter did not wish to be identified with Jesus at this point. He had lost the sense of loyalty and courage. We are glad that Peter changed. Judas, on the other hand, had made a complete break with Christ. He had betrayed Him deliberately and knowingly. Peter never intended to do that. He simply turned coward. Cowardice and disloyalty are intolerable to Christ. None of us can stand friends who are ashamed of its because we stand for Christ.
A good many people are Christians only halfway. Their faith and courage disappear when sacrifice is demanded. Christianity is no halfway house to anything. It requires unswerving allegiance to Christ regardless of the cost. Salvation is free, but it is not cheap. It is either all or nothing. There is a stability and dependability about the man who keeps close to Christ.
In painting, in poetry, in music, in any form of art, unless there is a beauty and a mastery in the artist's work, it can only provoke disdain and rejection. There is no place for a poor performance in sculpture or in any of the arts if one is to command respect. A mediocre piece of work is intolerable. The greater and more demanding the work, the diviner the art, the more perfection and devotion are required. Nothing less than excellence will do. It is unthinkable that God should take pleasure in us if we are mediocre in our faith, lukewarm in our devotion.
Every Reformer—Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Knox—felt the power of an abundant life through Christ. They discovered that they had not come to the Kingdom simply to be happy and have a good time. They came into the arena of life to fight the good fight of faith.
Can a professed Christian who has committed no more than 10 per cent of his interest and life to Christ ever escape denying his Lord? We meet such people. There is something sad about letting an occasional sentiment pass for Christian faith, putting a stone where the heart belongs. That kind of religion is a dead weight. It is of no benefit to anyone.
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