– Secret Place Insights –
Dear One, Peter denied being with Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. (When Peter was asked if he was one of Jesus’ disciples, John 18: 15-18, 25-27, He denied it, saying, “I am not.”) How many times will I this day nearly do the same? My shortfall will not likely be an outright denial, but it will be, for a moment or much longer, a time when I do not uphold Jesus as first in my life. How much does that actually differ from Peter’s denial? For after all, Peter’s situation was far more threatening than any I have known.
You and I fall short in our Christian walk every single day. If we have served God long, and sincerely, our short falls probably occur less often, or perhaps are not as self-indulgent as they once were, but still they occur. With time, effort, devotion, through prayer, we do acquire a greater awareness of the breadth of our sinfulness. And at some point, we come to realize that even our thought life must fall under submission to Jesus, to God.
Although Christians are often accused of behaving as though they are ‘holier than thou,’ I wonder how can that be? For as we grow closer to Christ, we become more aware of His holiness and sorrowfully aware of our lack of it. Eventually, overtime, as we come to love Jesus more, and ourselves less that which breaks Christ’s heart breaks ours.
We can be grateful that Peter, the first to be called by Jesus to be a disciple, the first to become an apostle, the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, after denying Jesus, repented, and was forgiven. For he provided a powerful example that our Lord does not cast aside repentant souls as too unworthy to serve. Peter…forgiven… regained his stride and rightfully earned the name given to him by Jesus…Peter the ‘Rock‘.
May we become more and more sensitive to the things which break Jesus’ heart. May we come to the place where we repent over a single thought which does not align with His teachings…making more room for those which do.
Denying Jesus to some degree is a regular occurrence in the lives of the very best of Christian men and women. We are not ‘called’ because of our righteousness for apart from Jesus we have none. We are called solely because of the love of God the Father and Jesus the Son. There is no higher calling.
“In him (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
(love and mercy) that he lavished on us with all wisdom and
understanding.” Ephesians 1:7
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