Failure: “. . . and Peter”

Failure: " . . . and Peter"

Told you so.

Words Peter never heard.

Jesus had warned him. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31 NIV)

Talk about failure. Peter had blown it. Big time.

Fell asleep while Jesus was praying. Three times.

Sliced off some guy’s ear. Really?

Then, denied Jesus. Three times.

Yet, Peter receives a personal resurrection appearance (1 Cor. 15:5), one of the first that Easter Sunday. Not only is he fully restored, but he is later commissioned.

Let’s train with Peter this week:

  1. Remember Who is praying for you and what He is praying for. “I have prayed that your faith may not fail.” Pride. Self-sufficiency. Independence. Let them fail. Hold on to your faith—in Him.
  2. Pray for yourself. “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Did you notice Peter failed to pray three times before he denied Jesus three times?
  3. Don’t quit. “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Repentance was in order, but so was ministry.

God knows you will blow it. He may even give you a heads-up.

But even if you blow past the guardrails, He is there.

Waiting.

And He calls you by name.

Nail your spiritual workouts this week and change your corner of the gym.

Workout of the Week: How to Follow Failure

Memory Verse: “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Mark 16: 6-7 NIV

Meditation Passage: Luke 22: 31-34; 46; 54-62; John 21: 15-23; 1 Cor 15:5

Just Do It: Get up and pray.

Tweetables:

Told you so. Words Peter never heard. Click to tweet.

Worthy is the Lamb

Worthy Is The Lamb

 

 

 

“ ‘What do you think?’ ‘He is worthy of death,’ they answered.” Matthew 26:66 NIV

Worthy.

We define it as good. Deserving of respect, praise, or attention. Having value. Estimable. Meritorious.

Somehow, I don’t think that’s what the Sanhedrin meant, like Inigo Montoya to Vizzini in The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Perhaps Father God was messing with the opposition as He crafted the ultimate play on words that eventually became Scripture.

Because if anyone was worthy to pay the penalty for our sin, it was Jesus.

Mankind fell through Adam.

Yet, sinful man could not pay his debt.

A perfect sacrifice, one without blemish was required.

Enter Jesus, the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world.

Perfect.

One with the Father.

God with skin.

The Sanhedrin saw an adversary, one deserving punishment for blasphemy.

We see a Redeemer, the God-man who willingly took our punishment.

Worthy? Absolutely.

Of death? Thankfully, yes, because His death brought us life.

“Surely he took up our pain

    and bore our suffering,

yet we considered him punished by God,

    stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,

    he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on him,

    and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53: 4-5

Training Tips: As you train this week, consider:

  1. What makes Him worthy? (Who He is? What He said? What He did?)
  2. Of what is He worthy? (Death? Allegiance? Worship?)
  3. What is He worth to you? (Time? Money? Relationship?)

Nail your spiritual workouts and change your corner of the gym.

Workout for the Week: Worthy is the Lamb

Memory Verse: “ ‘What do you think?’ ‘He is worthy of death,’ they answered.” Matthew 26:66 NIV

Meditation Passage: Matthew 26:63-68

Just Do It: Give Him what He’s worth.

Worthy. Like Vizzini in The Princess Bride, it’s not what the Sanhedrin meant. Click to tweet.

Strong Willed: The Garden of Gethsemane

Strong Willed: The Garden of Gethsemane

It’s my fault. When we had children, I prayed for strong wills. My thinking was, once they were properly trained, our kids would not waver in their allegiance to God.

But, oh, the training.

Isaiah 14 hosts the “I will” passage, the one where Satan declares the desires of his heart:

  • “I will ascend to heaven.”
  • “I will raise my throne above the stars of God.”
  • “I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.”
  • “I will ascend above the tops of the clouds.”
  • “I will make myself like the Most High.”

Not surprising that the first one to sin throws similar bait to Eve, “and you will be like God . . .” (Gen. 3:5 NIV)

Adam and Eve bit, and our wills have circled ourselves ever since.

Until.

Until Jesus came and gave us a better way.

The best way.

His way.

So, let’s train in Gethsemane this week: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

If you’re a believer, thank God that Jesus’ will now lives in you. A strong will is not the issue. You have one. His. The battle comes in making flesh submit to it. Because flesh carries a toddler mindset and loves to throw a fit when it doesn’t get its way.

Training Tips

  • Remember who God is.
  • Remember who you are.
  • Choose an area in which you battle.
  • Brace for the tantrum. Let His voice drown it out.
  • Bring the flesh into submission. Allow His will to triumph.

Prepare your heart for Easter. Spend some time in the garden.

Nail your spiritual workouts and change your corner of the gym.

Workout of the Week: Strong Willed: The Garden of Gethsemane

Memory Verse:  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42 NIV

Meditation Passage: Isaiah 14:12-14; Genesis 3: 4-5

Just Do It: Jesus’ Prayer “Not my will, but yours.”

Tweetables:

A strong will is not the issue. You have one. His. Click to tweet.

True Grit: An Easter Sketch

True Grit: An Easter Sketch

“Joseph, he of Arimathea, noble and honorable in rank and a respected member of the council (Sanhedrin), who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, daring the consequences, took courage and ventured to go to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.” (Mark 15:43 AMPC)

Joseph of Arimathea.

Unlikely character for the Easter story.

Respected member of the Sanhedrin.

High-ranking.

Man of honor.

And covert follower of the Nazarene Jesus.

Did he sit silently at the mock trial?

Was he a voice of reason amidst the hatred?

Or did something simply snap in Joseph between the wee morning hours and those of late afternoon that Good Friday?

Because this “secret” follower of Jesus gathers his courage, heads to the Roman Praetorium, and asks for the body of a crucified “criminal.”

Did he lock eyes with Pilate? Did Pilate offer an unspoken apology as he released the body to Joseph?

As the covert disciple goes public, Joseph knows there is no turning back. He’s set himself in opposition to the most powerful Jews in Jerusalem—Annas and Caiaphas.

John’s gospel tells us Joe had a partner. Nicodemus, whose own encounter with the Savior came under cover of darkness, brings about 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes and helps Joseph prepare the body for burial. It’s a quick job as the sun sinks, and the Sabbath begins. Joseph’s own tomb is nearby, brand spanking new. They place the body inside, roll the stone against the opening, and leave, fully prepared to face whatever consequences might come.

Loss of job. Loss of status.

Rejection. From old friends. From family.

And note, this decision was made before the resurrection, not after.

Did Joseph and Nicodemus join the group of mourners that weekend? Were they present Easter morning when news came of the resurrection?

What happened to these two? Scripture doesn’t tell us.

But one thing is for sure, when Joseph offered his tomb on Good Friday, it was for keeps.

Who knew that by Easter Sunday it would turn out to be only a loan?

Questions:

When are you tempted to go dark? To be a covert disciple?

What would cause you to take a public stand?

Have you ever taken a risk for God?

Was the result what you expected?

Tweetables:

As the covert disciple goes public, Joseph knows there is no turning back. Click to tweet.

Note, Joseph’s decision was made before the resurrection, not after. Click to tweet.

When Joseph offered his tomb, it was for keeps. Click to tweet.

Who knew it was only a loan? Click to tweet.