We Livestream at, through the FFC App, and YouTube.

The Path to Denial

Words of Faith Final

The Path to Denial
Words of Faith 4-9-24
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2024
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><

Mark 14
[53] They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders, and teachers of the law came together. [54] Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.

The trial was now in process. Before it was over, Jesus would appear six times before Annas, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod, and Pilate again! Only Jesus knew what was at stake and how the world would never be the same after these events.
Peter would soon be denying Jesus. Even though Jesus had predicted his denial, Peter did not believe it. He was not watching his walk. We watch as Peter makes a series of critical and disastrous decisions. First, Peter followed at a distance. He would have done better to stay close to Jesus. Second, Peter was alone. He would have done better to have prayed with some of the other disciples to pray against temptation. Third, Peter sat with the guards and warmed himself at their fire. He would have done better to do almost anything else.
There were probably logical reasons for all these errors. "After all, it is dangerous to stick close to Jesus, and who will carry on the truth if everyone dies? The others have scattered; I will do better alone. I can get information by listening to the talk by the fire." But all are rationalizations. All lack courage. All lead to disaster.
The truth is we can fall into the same pitfalls. We begin to follow Jesus from a distance. We choose to remain on the fringe of the church. We watch and receive rather than do and serve. We become quietly anonymous. We learn the art of not being recognized. We slip back and choose the safe places to stand.
It is easy and comfortable to keep our distance from other disciples. Very innocently, we do not allow others to get very close to the real stuff of our lives. We put up a façade. Appearances become increasingly important until we cease to be honest even with ourselves. No one can come close to us in this frightening place of increasing isolation.
Then, we begin to warm ourselves by the fires of the world, thinking that this will somehow help. The guards seem friendly enough. After all, they are not the Enemy; they are just pawns doing their job. Who can fault them? We find ourselves joining in the conversation and laughter of the world. Slowly, we sell out to the world and its attack upon our Lord. We find a false warmth and security by the fires fanned by the Enemy. Denial is not far away from this place.
Where are you today? Are you following Jesus from a distance? Have you been keeping your distance from other disciples? Have you been warming yourself by the fires of the world? It is not too late to avoid the pain of denying Him.

O Jesus, forgive me for slipping back into the crowd, following at a distance, and finding warmth in the world. I choose to walk with You today. No matter what. No matter the cost. I will stand up for You and Your name. Amen.

<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< ><> <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2024
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
SUBSCRIPTIONS - To receive the Words of Faith devotion five days a week, send an e-mail message addressed to To stop receiving Words of Faith, send an e-mail message addressed to The daily devotion and archive are posted at
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2024 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.