I spoke on Jesus’ denial of Peter from Mark’s gospel this morning, but I also referenced the other gospel accounts and pointed out how when Jesus warned Peter about what he would be soon be doing, Jesus nevertheless told Peter that He was praying for him and that after his falling away, He would strengthen the faith of others.
Jon Bloom has a devotional post based on this true story here. An excerpt:
Shame over past failures and sins can haunt and inhibit us in many ways. And Satan seeks to steal and destroy our faith by shoving our failures in our face. But Jesus intends to redeem us completely.
When Jesus chose you to be his disciple, he foresaw your future failures as sure as he foresaw Peter’s. We may not want to believe that we could deny Jesus by engaging in a sin that contradicts everything we believe. But Jesus knows what is in us. So he exhorts us along with Peter to “watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
And when we do fail, we must remember what Jesus said to Peter before his failure: “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Peter was going to sin — miserably. But Jesus had prayed for him. Jesus’ prayer was stronger than Peter’s sin, and it’s stronger than our sin too. “He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
Read more here including much more Scripture.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged temptation on February 19, 2012 |
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I spoke this morning on Jesus’ prediction of Peter’s denial. He warned Peter this was coming just a few hours away. Yet Peter told Jesus He was wrong. Peter didn’t heed the warning and so often we miss the gracious warnings and commands of Scripture as well.
Don’t be naive! Be sober and vigilant for these ways Satan may tempt you this week. Click here.
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Pastor Terry Enns share a few verses on self-denial and following Christ and then has some excellent searching questions by which we may examine ourselves:
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:23-25)
Paul (under the inspiration of God):
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Gal. 2:20)
- Am I intentional — each day — in cultivating a desire to follow Christ?
- What am I attempting to keep, at the expense of having Christ?
- What am I joyfully losing so I might gain and keep Christ?
- What portion of the world am I seeking at the cost of my soul?
- In what ways am I ashamed of Christ? Since shame means “a painful feeling or a sense of loss of status…,” what do I believe I have lost because of Him? Are there things I am not willing to endure for His sake? (And am I ready to confess these as sin?)
- There is a cost to following Christ; do I grieve over what I have lost in following Him instead of rejoicing in what I have in Him? Or, having counted the cost of following Christ, do I also count the cost of not following Him?
God affirms through the testimony of both His eternal Son, Jesus, and His adopted son, Paul, that there is a cost to following Christ, but that cost is also mitigated by what is received by being a loved son of God. It is better to lose a few treasures on earth and gain Christ than to keep those trinkets and lose Christ.
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