March 06, 2014

Rightly Estimating Our Commitment

Mark 14:29-31

Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.
—Mark 14:31


We have all made promises: New Year resolutions, attempts to exercise and lose weight, efforts to read the Bible daily. Have we kept our promises?

Jesus’ disciples said they would stick with him, no matter what. Peter declared that not even the threat of death would affect his commitment. But no one stood with Jesus through his trial and crucifixion.

Circumstances often alter our commitments as well. We confess our faith in church one day but keep our mouths closed the next day at work. We determine to spend time in prayer, but then our interest in the latest news or sports event draws us away from our commitment. Distractions, distractions!

The everyday things of life can easily replace our spiritual disciplines. But Jesus places us in situations in which we must verbalize our commitment. Jesus pointed out a weakness in Peter so that he would understand the life-and-death nature of the decisions before him. Peter failed on this occasion, but Jesus later restored him and changed his life (see John 21:15-19).

Every decision has consequences. Some are brief, but others are long-lasting. These verses can help us think about our commitments and confess with humble certainty, “Lord, help me not to deny you with my words, my decisions, my lifestyle, or my time.”

Lord, I confess that my commitment to you ebbs and flows. Fill me with your Spirit so that I keep my promises. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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