WATCH THE COMPANY YOU KEEP.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1
READ: Mark 14:54, 66-71.
54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:
67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.
68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
Our obedience to 1 Thessalonians 5:22 urging us to abstain from every appearance of evil saves us from calamity. The Bible on many occasions warns us against keeping company of the ungodly, so that we are not entangled with their wickedness. For example, the Bible says in Proverbs 1:10:
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”
The Bible also says:
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Corinthians 15:33.
The Bible reading for today shows the Peter did three deadly things that fostered his denial of Jesus Christ: he was following Jesus from afar (from a distance). It is possible that he would have received courage from the Master if he had followed Jesus closely. Secondly, even though Jesus had asked the soldiers to allow His disciples to leave, Peter ignored this request. He followed Jesus, though fearfully, to the palace of the high priest. This is why Jesus told the Laodicean Church to be either hot or cold (Revelation 3:14-16). Thirdly, on getting to the palace of the high priest, Peter sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire (Mark 14:66-67). One could wonder what Peter was still doing in that place up to the point where he was confronted with the fact that he had been with Jesus. the answer is not far-fetched-he was enjoying the warmth of the fire with the ungodly.
Beloved, let us be wary of the comfort zones of life; they may be physically comfortable but not spiritually ideal. Some Christians cannot distinguish between spiritually conducive environments and locations that are detrimental to Christian living. A Christian sharing an apartment with a member of the opposite sex due to accommodation issues, is simply playing with the fire of lust and it would soon burn him or her. Let us be guided by the Holy Spirit at all times.
Study your environment to see whether it is conducive for your spiritual growth, and take wise steps to avoid temptation.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Psalm 51-53.
HYMN 22: STAND UP, STAND UP FOR JESUS.
1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss:
From vict’ry unto vict’ry, His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.
2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! The trumpet call obey:
Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day;
Ye that are men now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.
3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! Stand in His strength alone,
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own;
Put on the gospel armor, and watching unto prayer,
Where calls the voice of duty, be never wanting there.
4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song;
To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be;
He with the King of glory shall reign eternally.