Wednesday, April 1, 2015
I want to expand on the meditational thought I wrote for our church bulletin this pastSunday. It was about one of the saddest verses in the Bible in my opinion, Matthew 26:75, which reads: “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow , thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.” If any of you who is reading today’s blog has betrayed the trust of someone you love deeply or have failed him or her miserably, perhaps you can relate to the agony Peter felt immediately when he betrayed Christ, the one which caused him to weep bitterly. As most of you know, Peter would later be forgiven and restored. Still, I bet the memory of the day of his betrayal haunted him for the rest of his earthly life.
Another thing that can reasonably be assumed by everyone who knows the complete story is that his denial of Christ caught Peter by surprise. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t have, for Jesus, being God, had told him beforehand that it would happen. Without a doubt, Christians can be surprised and suddenly fall into sin. However, and as also was the case with Peter, he unknowingly and carelessly took many steps that led him to his eventual fall. The process is like the one we see in people who become alcoholics, drug addicts, and the like. They didn’t get to their present condition all at once, but gradually. A closer look into the gospel accounts will show that Peter was too confident in himself, often spoke out of turn, reproached Jesus for submitting himself to his impending crucifixion, fell asleep after Jesus asked him and the other Disciples to watch and pray on the night of his arrest, and walked far from Him on the night of His trial.
Today, one does not always need the gift of spiritual discernment to see steps like Peter’s that friends and loved ones have begun to take in their daily walk. It can clearly be seen that they have lost their faith and joy, are too confident in themselves believing they can do just fine on their own, are not walking as close to Jesus as they once did, have begun to slack in their ministry or church involvement, are spiritually asleep, and have gone back to doing the things that would have destroyed them had not Jesus come to their rescue. If, by chance, you should see any of these signs in your life, do something about it immediately. Do like the man in this corny story: A little boy was in the hallway of a big apartment complex trying to reach a doorbell so he could ring it. The man, who was walking by, told him, “Here, I’ll ring it for you.” When he did, the little imp said, “Okay now, run!”
Memory verse for the week: (Isaiah 59:1 KJV) “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”