The Cock Crow- Confessing Christ Series: Growing Deep to Reach Wide   

Text: Luke 22:54-62

This will probably be one awkward Introduction to begin,

Yesterday I went to have my hair cut in my usual place. I’ll be honest men, I enjoy especially the massage part especially after working so hard, this is a relaxing ‘me time’ and yes, this for some strange reason is always done by some young lady……that’s not where I am heading.

But while trying to catch that relaxing massage nap, I could not help but over hear the conversation among these young ladies. One of them laughingly said that she wants to be serious and become a Christian and that she was through with doing all the bad things. She mocked that especially now during Easter that she felt she needed to be saved. The other one jumped in and mocked at how she needed to go to the confession booth and how the mystery around the confession behind a priest you cannot see is funny….the talk went on and on…..they even mentioned of the various seasons to get saved….Jan and fall in April  then get back and fall in Dec.

And being a pastor, you would think I would jump into this conversation, bring soberness and preach the gospel…but I didn’t. I knew my interruption will not be welcome and somehow this free entertainment will end as soon as I speak. And I slid deeper in my comfortable seat in shame that I could not speak up, because of fear or shame.

Someone asked a sobering question- What Kind of a person are you, if you can sit among people who speak mockery or evil about your mother and you pretend to go along with them?

Unfortunately, Fear and Shame has led believers to a life of secrecy about our faith in Jesus Christ. In a world today that glorifies sin, Our proclamation of the Gospel has been weakened by a ‘supposed shame and fear we associate with being the believers’. In a world of secret lovers, and secret services, there is the temptation of being a secret believer. A temptation to slide down into our comfort seats and let the mock conversations flow?

How often do we make public our confession of Jesus Christ?

The Easter Season is here… Easter is nothing near ‘eggs and bunnies’ but a time for sober insight and reflections about Christ’s Death and Resurrection on the Cross. As we climax our first term this year, we come again to reflect on the Cross of Jesus as the foundation of our faith and how that impacts how wide we reach. We have entitled this series ‘Growing Deep to Reach Wide’- living as witnesses of the Cross.

Suppose a baby makes no sound after one, two, or even 3 years after birth, what would you think? If the child doesn’t talk at this stage, probably they will be mute for the rest for the rest of their lives. Today we have too many people who can be Christians for even 10 or 20 years and yet still be mute, because since they were born again, they have never said anything about their faith to anyone.

This Muteness is the subject of our lesson today? How can we break free to from the silence and passive faith that stifles our confession of Jesus Christ? Turn with me to the story of Peter, who also experienced this muteness …

Luke 22:54-62

That evening, everyone heard the rooster crowing 3 times as was expected, the evening has come, but for Peter this was perhaps the most gripping alarm, because the rooster suddenly reminded him of a broken promise.

Just a few hours earlier, while having the last meal with Jesus, Jesus said to his disciples, one of you will betray me. Peter responded by saying….Lord I am ready to go with you even if it means Imprisonment and death.

And Jesus simply replied….Before the cock crows you will deny me 3 times.

For Peter this was the Cross before the cross. While he tried to keep true to his loyalty to Jesus, He kept a close distance to the happenings that evening. And when Jesus was taken up for interrogations, peter also had mock court, Kangaroo court of his kind. Being a cold night, he drew to a bonfire that was lit in the middle of the courtyard. And while warming at the fire, a simple servant girl …..Interrogated.

Caught in the awkwardness, vehemently, He denies Jesus.

First a simply deny- I don’t Know Him, then he asserted and some passages even say he made an oath that He did not know Jesus.

We may not have the firsthand experience like Peter, but  like him, is it possible to be with Jesus for so long and yet come to a point where we ‘don’t know him’ we become mute?  Has the cock crowed on you?

Even as we recount the Easter story, the crucifixion of Jesus, Has the cock crowed on you? Where do you stand in your confession of Jesus Christ is to you?

But why do we struggle to make this confession? Like Peter I suggest to you that it’s because we have come to warm by the fire. The fires of the world are warm and cozy? The enemy specializes in making these deceptive, comfortable and warm fires for Christians to lose their testimony. These fires are attractive especially when it’s cold, comfortable especially when lonely and sometimes addictive when you are hiding.

Allow me to share some fires that quench our confession of Jesus Christ

The fire of self Comforts

It is no secret that when we become believers we have a choice to make. We quickly identify ourselves as friends of the cross and enemies of the world or friends of the world and enemies of the cross. Of course the enemy will remind us that we are on a dangerous path.  For Peter, He had a reputation to keep, he had a life to live and it was not going to go away on account of Jesus.

When we court the friendship of the world or solicit sympathy and respect of men and keep hold of positions we have…we will seal tight our lips.

The truth is behind these comforts is that we love ourselves so much. If we are to talk about anything, we want to talk about ourselves. And no one wants to talk of an empty self.

The world fires gives us comforts to talk about ourselves. In these fires we hear and share about our victories, our glories and our boastings. The self is alive. There is very little room to talk about an empty self or of Jesus for that matter.

You should hear men Talk?

In this kind of talk, the enemy pushes our testimony as believers to almost sound like a laughing stock among the great achievements of the self.

Yet the Cross, if anything is a reminder, that I have been crucified with Christ. The self was put to death when Christ died. The cross of Christ is a daily reminder to die to ourselves and live to Christ. So there is no more self- talk, but Christ Talk.

When Jesus hanged on that Cross, He bore all our shame and sins. The cross was all about you, He was humiliated and disgraced and no amount of mortification of disgrace you go through can compare with what He did for you? Why then would we be ashamed to speak up and say like the blind man who was healed by Jesus in John 8

Whether this man is a sinner or not, I don’t know, one thing I do know, I was blind but now I see and this Man Jesus made me see.

Embracing our testimonies as the work of God is the key to breaking away from the warmth and deceptions of the world fires. When you speak about yourself, how often do you mention Jesus as the underlying theme of your life?

The cross then reminds us that our testimony really is about Him. That if we must talk about ourselves, we must talk about the crucified self and the resurrected Christ. This must be the compelling and central message of every believer.

How strongly are you convinced of your conviction of who Jesus is? How well do you know your testimony? Do you have a testimony of who Jesus is to you or are you nursing at the fires of the world?

I must mention here that the deception for many Christians today is to speak of good and good programs we have done and not Jesus whom we have believed.

I love the old way of Introduction in fellowships- I am Aluma and I love the Lord as my personal savior.

But today is I am Aluma, I have done Man- enough, I am a Chapelite….

Has the cock crowed on you?

But secondly the Fire of False fellowship

While Peter was among those warming the fire, His accent and experience clearly indicated that He had been with Jesus, even though he denied it so hard. They asked him are you not from Galilee. It was obvious that although he was in the circle, he did not fit in.

In a false fellowship, it is easy to feel you are among them. One of those deceptions is that someone else, the stronger ones will rise in my place. When it comes to witnessing, to praying, to sharing the faith….my wife or my pastor will do it. We live under self – inadequacy,

That there will always be a better Christian who should do the job, my role is the loyal supporter from the back. I don’t have to say or act. Or my testimony is not as ‘powerful’. It is no wonder that many of our testimonies are hidden in the testimonies of others.

We may feel inadequate Christians because we hide in the testimonies of our mothers or brothers. But the cock will crow to the crowd, but only you will know like Peter what it means to you.

The truth is that the strength of our testimony grows with the consistency of our confession. When I first said I believe in Jesus Christ, those early years is very different to how I say it now. My conviction has grown.

The fear that others can do it better or your conduct should change first  is a lie- As I have mentioned first, I was an Aluma the day I was born, But I understand it now that I practiced it. Your confession of Christ begins like that as young believer and when we mature it strengthens us.

Has the cock crowed on you?  The church will be strong if all are confessing their faith, otherwise we will be weak.

 

Read Mat 10:32-33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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