All people in the world are watching our words and deeds. Jesus teaches, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Jesus is calling for a “walking confession,” a life which is an open book.
The Christian’s life is a manual, revealing what a Christian talks and acts like (Matt. 5:16). It is a cookbook, showing the necessary ingredients which combine for a rich, full life (2 Pet. 1:5-11). It is a code book, the reading of which will safely point others to the place of God’s acceptance (1 Tim. 4:12; Rom. 12:1-2). It is a thriller in that it is bound by all the spiritual blessings that are to be had (Eph. 1:3). It is a medical book in that it reveals the evidences of the Great Physician (Mark 2:17; Jer. 8:22). It is a suspense because the best is yet to be for the Christian as “it does not yet appear what we shall be…” (1 John 3:2). The Christian is read very carefully by “all men” (2 Cor. 3:2). As our lives are read, what notes do the readers place in the margin? If they were to label the book of our lives, what would they say? “Couldn’t put it down!” (Titus 2:8)? “This book contains error” (1 John 4:6)? “Easy to follow” (1 Tim. 2:2)? “Discard” (Rev. 3:14-19)? “Pages missing” (2 Pet. 1:9)?
Peter found it very easy to confess the Lord before the other disciples. He vowed, “Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death” (Luke 22:33). Before the next morning’s light hit his face, Peter had denied his Lord three times before men (Luke 22:54ff). The camaraderie of other believers put Peter to no test, but out there in the world Peter failed the test. Perhaps arrogance contributed to his denial. Obviously, fear was involved. The prospect of ostracism and rejection led to his cowardice.
If an apostle would stumble at confessing Christ before men, what about you and I? Separated from the pull and pressures of the world when in the assemblies, we have no difficulty preaching (or hearing), singing, and praying our devout faith in Jesus. But, when the support group disbands to address life’s daily affairs and the group becomes individuals scattered into different jobs, neighborhoods, schools, and homes, do our lives confess Him? Do we tell others by our actions that Christ is our Lord? Do we show them that He is first (Matt. 6:33)? Out there (in the world) is where Jesus’ conditional statement in Matthew 10:32-33 applies. If we “stick up” for Christ in the daily tests, then He will reward our triumph over temptation. Out there is where Christ needs others to see our confession and read our lives.