Welcome To Daily In Christ Devotionals

Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Turn Again, And Strengthen Your Brothers

In Luke there is a story of Satan requesting to "sift Peter like wheat" in the 22nd Chapter. Jesus tells Peter that he will give into the temptation and deny him three times and Peter told Jesus that he would never do such a thing. Well, just like in our life, he denied Jesus and gave into the pressure of the crowds and denied even knowing Jesus. It then tells us that he went away and wept bitterly.

This story reminds me of times in my own life where I fall short in my walk with Him. I look at the cost of identifying with Jesus and instead of boldly proclaiming my faith to those around me I keep it quiet and blend into the crowd like a chameleon on a leaf. Jesus says in Matthew chapter 10 (Mat 10:32-33) So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (esv)

There is great gain in acknowledging our Savior before those we encounter. And there is great consequences in denying Him as well. God understands our heart. Jesus knew that Peter would deny him and he also knew that Peter would again return. (Luke 22:32)

Peter went through a time in his life where identifying with Jesus seemed too costly. He denied Jesus three times and then went out and wept bitterly. He repented from this unfortunate incident and was know throughout history as the rock. Peter went on to preach the good news until the day he was martyred. One commentary tells of him like this:

A wonderful change was wrought in him by his restoration after his fall, through the grace of his risen Lord. His zeal and ardor became sanctified, being chastened by a spirit of unaffected humility. His love to the Lord was, if possible, increased, while his mode of manifesting it now was in doing and suffering for His name, rather than in loud protestations. Thus, when imprisoned and tried before the Sanhedrim for preaching Christ, he boldly avowed his determination to continue to do so. He is well called “the mouth of the apostles.” His faithfulness led to his apprehension by Herod Agrippa, with a view to his execution, from which, however, he was delivered by the angel of the Lord.
After the ascension he took the lead in the Church; and on the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he exercised the designed power of “the keys” of Christ’s kingdom, by opening the door of the Church, in preaching, for the admission of thousands of Israelites; and still more so in opening (in obedience to a special revelation) an entrance to the “devout” (that is, Jewish proselyte from heathendom) Gentile, Cornelius: the forerunner of the harvest gathered in from idolatrous Gentiles at Antioch. This explains in what sense Christ used as to him the words, “Upon this rock I will build my Church” (Mat_16:18), namely, on the preaching of Christ, the true “Rock,” by connection with whom only he was given the designation: a title shared in common on the same grounds by the rest of the apostles, as the first founders of the Church on Christ, “the chief corner-stone” (Eph_2:20). A name is often given in Hebrew, not that the person is actually the thing itself, but has some special relation to it; as Elijah means Mighty Jehovah, so Simon is called Peter “the rock,” not that he is so, save by connection with Jesus, the only true Rock (Isa_28:16; 1Co_3:11). As subsequently he identified himself with “Satan,” and is therefore called so (Mat_16:23), in the same way, by his clear confession of Christ, the Rock, he became identified with Him, and is accordingly so called (Mat_16:18).

Peter sinned when he denied the Lord Jesus. Just like you and me when we fall short and do things our own way and give into the temptations of this world. But the hope is in the fact that even when we turn away, Jesus will always be there to strengthen us and help us to become a faithful heralder of the Gospel.

Are you struggling with your walk today? Turn back to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and He will strengthen you.