Always be on Guard (Mark 14:30–31) - Radical

Always be on Guard (Mark 14:30–31)

And Jesus said to Peter, ‘Truly, I tell you this very night before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ But Peter said, emphatically, ‘If I must die with you, I will not deny you.’ And they all said the same.”

This is such a sobering passage to read, particularly when you know what happens later. When you know that Peter, despite his heart at this moment, his insistence that he would never deny Jesus, that he would rather die than deny Jesus. That’s quite a statement. I mean, Peter is saying what I trust we would all want to say and maybe might say if we were in Peter’s shoes. No way. No way, Jesus. My life is yours. My hopes in you. There’s no way I would deny you but is it possible for us, in our sinfulness, to do things that would be unthinkable to us at one moment and yet the lure of sin and our pride and self-preservation, self-focus at the moment, we do what we never thought we would have done.

Father, we ask that You guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Help us to take heed lest we fall. Even as I say that this passage so humbling in so many ways, that just drives us to pray. God may it not be so. God, there are so many unthinkable things that we just confess right now, that we, in our sinfulness, as much as we would like to say, we would never do that. We just confess we are weak and we are prone to do, to say, to not say, things that we never thought would happen.

So we pray, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We pray this. Oh God, I pray this over my life and over every single person listening right now on a 1 Corinthians 10 kind of way. Help us to take heed, lest we fall. Help us to read passages like this and realize that none of us is immune to temptation. None of us is immune to sin. In a moment, doing that which is totally dishonoring to you, a denial of you.

God, we think about even this, when it comes to evangelism. When it comes to sharing who you are and how often we would say in our hearts, “Yes, I want to make the gospel known,” and yet we get in a moment and we are silent with the gospel.

Oh God, please may that not be the story of our lives of over and over and over again, when given opportunities to share the gospel, that we were quiet with it. God, please may that not be the story of our lives. May it be said that we spoke about you, that we testified to you, Jesus, that we shared about you with people all around us; family, friends, co-workers, people far from us among the nations. May we not deny you with our mouths. May we not deny you with our lives. May we walk in faithfulness to you. Help us, we pray. Jesus help us.

We pray not, never to do the unthinkable. Help us, we pray. We just confess our weakness before you, our desire to spend our life glorifying you and we pray that you’d help us to do that in every moment and to be on guard at every moment. In your name, we pray total dependence upon your grace and total need for your help. We pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

Less than 1% of all money given to missions goes to unreached people and places.*

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Let's change that!