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February 16, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | February 16

Deserter Or Disciple? 

Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33 


Following Jesus Christ inevitably brings God’s man to a crossroads about who he will live to please. Our King did not take great pains to, shall we say, put His guys at ease before sending them out to represent Him. But He was honest about the cost that He expected from them. There would be no 401k, no health benefits, no salary, and no company donkeys. Just repeated attempts at intimidation. 

Not a lot of wiggle room there. Either you are a deserter or a disciple. There’s no room for men who wear their spiritual masks around and then side with other guys when convenient. 


God’s men have to kiss the middle ground good-bye. As they say in AA: “Half measures availed us nothing.” Ask any recovering addict about the middle ground. Jesus obliterated it from the radar. He had to become the middle ground—the cross is a crossroads at which all men must choose. In the crucible of that crossroads Peter denied Him three times. James and John jockeyed for position. Judas did what he did for 20 pieces of silver. But all returned to Him except Judas.


Jesus created all sorts of problems for His men in front of the people. Specifically, the middle ground would engender: vacillation; fluctuating spiritual commitments; hesitation and holding back in speaking the message; intimidation. He bulldozed the confidence of His men. Threw them off; took them out of their comfort zones. Forced them to abandon their reliance upon their old flesh. 


At that crossroads His men entered the fire and it forged them into sharp, hard spiritual weapons for the Gospel. All of the disciples died terrible deaths except John. Would you die for a charlatan? A magician? No. Their deaths are yet more proof that Jesus was who He says He was. Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill your body; they cannot kill your soul. Respect God, who can destroy both your body and your soul. 

Father, thanks for teaching me that love casts out all fear … Your love that You have placed in me.

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