“Jesus knew Peter a whole lot better than Peter knew himself,” Stan began one morning.
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“I was readling again this morning in Matthew’s gospel,” Stan replied. “To me, the story of Peter’s denial of knowing Jesus three times is a most chilling account for my walk with God.”
“Chilling to you?” I responded. “In what way?”
“Jesus told Peter that he would deny Jesus. Peter, in essence, said, ‘No way!’ But Peter went on to do it, not once or twice, but three times.”
“Then,” Stan continued, “when Peter realized that Jesus had been right about what he was capable of doing and, in fact, what he had done, he wept. And I think those tears were some of the most profound tears of repentance that are possible. Not only for Peter, but for me as well.”
“Why?” I asked. “Have you ever wept like that?”
“Over denying Jesus?” Stan replied. “Yes, without a doubt. Every time I realize I have denied Jesus by what I do, by what I say, or by anything that manifests self, the world, the flesh, or the devil, rather than Jesus, I weep.”
“But,” he continued, “there is one instance that stands out in my memory more than any other. It was some time ago and I was talking to a person at work about Christ, Christianity, and what it meant to me. I had worked with her for some time. She seemed like a nice person and I thought she would benefit from hearing about Christ.”
He then said, “Her response to what I said floored me and caused me later to weep more than I can even describe. Those tears took me to the depth of repentance and my life as a Christian has not been the same since then.”
“What in the world did she say that caused that?” I asked.
“Her response to what I had said to her was something like, ‘Is this something new in your life?’ When I told her that I had been a Christian for several years, she, in essence, said ‘I didn’t know you are a Christian’.”
“Continuing, Stan said, “I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that God was speaking to me through that woman. God used her to point out to me how, for too long, I had denied Jesus by not being intentional about Him and my relationship with Him. I listened, wept, and repented.”
Then he (Peter) began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:74, 75.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you know me better than I know myself, and that you warn me about what I am capable of doing and being apart from you. I confess that too many times I have denied even knowing you by my words and actions. Please forgive me. I thank you for showing me how I deny you and what it means for my walk with you. Please lead me and help me to follow you in every aspect of my being so that there is never a question that I am yours, never any proof that I am denying you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.