Concerning my familiarity with these verses, it seems that acknowledgement and emphasis are so often pit only on the latter. Reading these verses today, I realized that in my past, the first verse has been all but ignored.
I’ve known not to “deny” Jesus, but hadn’t really grasped the concept of “acknowledging” Him. I had looked at it with the simplistic understanding that, basically, if asked about Jesus, I was not to deny knowing Him. But verse 32 tells s that there is more to it than that. We much acknowledge Him. Sometimes, that means without being prompted.
When you fall in love with somebody, you take every opportunity to tell anybody we can about that person and that relationship. This is so much bigger and yet most of us certainly don’t treat this situation the same. I know I don’t.
In fact, I am far from happy as I admit that while I haven’t exactly “denied” Jesus, according to my understanding of the word, I often find myself in situations where I tend to down-play my relationship with God because people around me “don’t get it”. Essentially, I’ve been making the opinions of others a priority over what God wants from me. It’s painfully convicting to put that into words and share with people.
When I decided to take the few seconds that it requires to look it up, I found that one of the definitions of the word “deny” is this,
“to withhold possession, use, or enjoyment of”
Guess what? I was denying Him and didn’t even realize it. As I said before, it was very convicting.
So where do we go from here?
“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
– James 4:17
We must ask for Gods forgiveness, and continue on, this time living in what we know to be true; God.