“Stan,” I said, “I’ve been thinking about some the things we have discussed, and I have a question.”
“Not sure I will have an answer,” Stan replied, “but fire away.”
“We talked about the apostle Peter and his confession of Jesus as the Christ [See Posting Number 350, “Knowing the Right Answer”], and we have talked about Peter’s denial of Jesus [See Posting Number 382, “Are You Known as a Christian”], and I just don’t understand how Peter could deny even knowing Christ after saying what he did earlier about Jesus being the Christ.”
“There are certain questions,” Stan responded, “that I think will remain unanswered until I step into eternity to be with God forever, and this may be one of them. However, I think I can see one answer by simply looking at myself.”
“Yourself?” I asked.
“Yes,” Stan replied. “There is no doubt in my mind that I am a Christian. I have accepted the free gift of salvation through the finished work of Christ by His life, death, and resurrection. Like Peter, I got the answer right to Jesus’ question of ‘Who do you say I am?’”
“And,” Stan continued, “there is no doubt in my mind that I, like Peter, deny knowing Jesus by thoughts, words, and actions that are clearly contrary to what God expects of someone, like me, who has professed Christ as Lord and Savior.”
“So,” I replied, “you see yourself to be like Peter.”
“I do,” Stan said. “Just like Peter, I am a human fully capable of failing to deny myself, failing to take up my cross, and failing to follow Jesus wherever He wants to lead, at whatever cost there may be. I am fully capable of doing that in spite of what I have said, and regardless of the commitments I have made to be fully God’s.”
Concluding, Stan said, “And it is real important for me not to be too quick to chastise Peter. I was not there. Peter did what he did. Jesus forgave Him. Who am I to judge?”
And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16.
Then he (Peter) began to curse and swear, “I do not know this man!” Matthew 26:74.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all you show me about being yours. Thank you for showing me how easily I can move a long distance apart from you, regardless of the commitments I make to the contrary. Thank you, too, for your forgiveness when I come to you and confess of my failings. I also thank you for your help in my repentance so that my walk with you is in accord with your desire for my discipleship. Please help me to follow your lead in denying myself, doing what you have for me to do, and in following you wherever you want without regard to cost. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.