HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
2. MAKE SURE YOUR HEART IS ALWAYS PREPARED TO TESTIFY OF HIM.
I suspect that if Peter were to speak to us today, he might say something like this:
“Now; dear brothers and sisters; here’s another way I blew it. I wasn’t really prepared inwardly to be identified with Jesus. I was following nearby Him, but I wasn’t prepared in my heart to be recognized as belonging to Him.
“And please understand that, prior to that point, I had followed our Lord in the closest possible way for three-and-a-half years. I had been ‘identified’ with Him day and night. But this little girl caught me off-guard, and I was afraid. I was taken by surprise.
“But don’t you be surprised. Don’t you be caught off guard? Don’t you be afraid? You make sure that you’re always prepared—not just intellectually, but in the deepest condition of your heart—to say, in whatever situation God allows you to enter into, ‘Yes, I am with Jesus! I belong to Him!’”
“Now; you might be asking how to be prepared in your hearts. And I’d like to tell you how. I wrote about it in my first letter—in 1 Peter 3:15; where I urged my friends back then, ‘But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:’ You certainly need to be ‘intellectually ready’ to give an answer for your faith. But much more, you need to be ‘inwardly ready’ to testify of Jesus by the fact that you have already ‘sanctified’ Him—or ‘set Him apart as Lord’—in your hearts. You become inwardly prepared, in whatever situation you are in when you first yield yourselves in a fresh way to the indwelling Holy Spirit that the Lord sent to us—setting Him apart as Lord in your innermost being.
“You may remember that I am a living example of this. Before the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to minister to us on His behalf, I wasn’t much of a witness for Him. It took just one little girl to throw me into fear. But after our Lord arose, He made a promise to me and to the others; ‘But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). And after the Holy Spirit came, do you remember how I preached in Jerusalem? Do you remember how John and I testified in the power of the Holy Spirit to those same men who arrested our Lord?
“The Lord has risen, and He has sent the Holy Spirit. He is your all-powerful, ever-present Helper right now. So, don’t blow it as I did. Don’t be caught by surprise. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts by living obediently to Him and yielding yourself to the Holy Spirit’s enabling power in each new situation. And then, in His power, always be ready to testify of Jesus.”
Now; there’s a third thing that I think Peter’s experience has to teach us, and that is to . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW …