“Again Peter Denied It”

27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed. – John 18:27 NLT

Peter’s Denial

Have you ever promised God that you would not commit a certain sin and then you find that the next time the temptation comes up, you fail again? Every time we sin, we grieve God the Holy Spirit. Do you remember how you felt the last time you failed your parents, in particular, your Mother? I think if we can get that picture in our minds, we can start to understand how it hurts the Holy Spirit when we grieve Him by sinning. God the Holy Spirit is a person just as God the Father and God the Son are personages. We may not believe it or think it about much, but let’s look at what Paul writes:

And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes.—Eph. 4:30 (NCV)

Did you realize that you could make God sad?

I believe the very moment that Peter denied Jesus the third time, he realizes that he could hurt and wound God, our Savior. John doesn’t elaborate on this event, but if we read what is written in Matthew, we see how this affected Peter.

74 Then Peter began to place a curse on himself and swear, “I don’t know the man.” At once, a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered what Jesus had told him: “Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter went outside and cried painfully.—Matt. 26:74, 75 (NCV)

When we realize that we have hurt God the Holy Spirit, we need to weep and confess our sins quickly. We need to keep a good relationship with the Holy Spirit because through Him is the way we communicate with God.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“They Will Receive the Crown of Life”

12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. ​  – James 1:12 NLT

James 1:9-12 NLT

God lifts up those that are humble and lowly, so they should be thankful. God brings down the rich, so that they realize they can’t help themselves. They need God just as much as those that are poor. When we go to the grave, we can take nothing with us. Rich or poor, when we meet Jesus face to face, the thing that matters is that we have accepted Him as our Savior. All the material things that we have on earth are meaningless when we reach heaven. We shall all be tested and made to endure temptations. If we endure those temptations and stand before God approved, we will be given the Crown of Life. Do not confuse the Crown of Life with salvation. Salvation is a free gift from God, the Crown of Life is something we earn while we are on earth and it is given to us in heaven. That is why we are admonished to lay up our rewards in heaven and not material things here on earth. Earthly rewards fade away, but heavenly rewards are eternal. The Crown of Life is one of 5 crowns that we can earn. These crowns are not for us to wear and strut around heaven showing them to everyone. The purpose of the crowns is for us to cast them at the feet of Jesus to give Him glory and Honor. 

Rev. 4:9-11 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-16-2019

Real Not Ritual

8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. — Matthew 6:8 NASB

Matthew 6:5-14 NLT

Jesus starts this discussion by telling us how we should not pray.  We are not to pray just to be seen and heard by others.  If that is our motivation then the only reward we will get is the praise of those who see and hear us. Whether our prayers are realistic or ritualistic is not determined by where we pray or the words that we say.  It isn’t the length of the prayer but the strength of the faith behind the prayer.   One of the most real and shortest prayers is the cry of Peter when he was sinking in the sea of Galilee.  His cry was “Save me, Lord”.  Jesus immediately reached out His hand and brought Peter to safety. After He tells us how not to pray, He tells how we should pray.  It is a short, powerful, beautiful prayer that covers everything from God’s holiness to our dependence on God for our daily bread.  It covers forgiveness and God’s desire that His will would be done on earth even as it is in heaven.  It shows us that we need the leadership of the Holy Spirit so that we will not be led into temptation but that we will be delivered from evil.  We could pray this prayer continually and whether it becomes ritualistic instead of real would be determined by our attitude.  God has given many examples of prayer in the Psalms where David cries out with all of his heart and might.  He has also given us prayers of thanksgiving for His many blessings and benefits. When we reach the point that we have no words to express our desires, He has given us the Holy Spirit to pray through us, with us and for us.  

Romans 8:26, 27 NLT

It isn’t our words or our bodily position that determines whether our prayers are real or rituals, it is the attitude of the heart toward God and toward our fellow man that makes the difference.  It is our faith that God can and will do these things for us and that we are willing to do these things for those around us.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-13-2019

More of Jesus, Less of Me

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. — John 3:30 NLT


John 3:27-36 NLT


John’s disciples came to tell him about Jesus baptizing people and how everyone was going to Jesus and not coming to John.  John explains to his disciples that this is how things should be.  Using the wedding analogy, John explains to them how he is the friend of the bridegroom and Jesus is really the bridegroom. John also tells them that he is filled with joy at the success that Jesus is having in baptizing the people.  John knows that Jesus must become greater and greater and that he, John, must become of lesser importance.  All of us should pray that we see and understand God’s plan for us as clearly as John saw and understood God’s purpose for his life.  John knew the importance of being where and doing exactly what God had planned for him. John had no desire to be anything less or anything more than what God had planned for him.  How many ministries, large and small, have failed because their leaders decided they had become so important they no longer needed to be obedient to God’s plan?  How many of us have failed because we reached the point that we thought we had a better plan than God or we thought we were no longer required to do things God’s way?  How many of us have fallen because we thought we were above giving into temptations?  Let us pray that God will keep us humble and that we do not succumb to the temptation to be God in our little corner of the world.  Those of us who are thinking “that could never happen to me” are in the most danger.  Pride is the main ingredient in the recipe for failure

.1 Thess. 5:20-25 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-04-2018

Christlike Lifestyle

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14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. — Hebrews 12:14 NLT

Our salvation is by grace through faith, not by works and it is a free gift. But living a holy, peaceful life requires diligence. We must stay in God’s Word and depend on the leadership of God’s Spirit. To accomplish this, we must be sure that we forgive others so that no root of bitterness springs up in our hearts and pushes out the love that we should have. We must look after each other and teach others to lead a Godly, moral life. This should be done humbly and modestly, not trying to bring glory to ourselves but focusing on Jesus. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, but we must encourage others to do it now and not wait until it is too late. God’s Spirit will not always strive with men. So, pray that others will accept the free gift before it is too late, at the same time, being sure that we don’t fall to temptation.

41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak! – Matt. 26:41 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-15-2017

 

WHY?

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12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. — James 1:12 NLT
Why do Christians have to endure trials and persecutions? I suppose people have been asking this question since the first century. The disciples never quite understood why Jesus had to suffer and die until after the Resurrection. God does not allow us to go through suffering so that He will know where we are on our journey, He allows it so that we will know. He allows it so that our “I can” will turn into “No, I can’t but God can”. “No pain, no gain” applies to spiritual growth as well as physical. Would understanding the “why” really make the pain any less real or painful?  I am sure that since Jesus was in on the plan of redemption, He understood the why, but that didn’t keep Him from asking His Father if there might not be another way. As he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.
 

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”–Matt. 26:42 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-10-2017

Witness With Love and Boldness

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So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.
— 2 Timothy 1:8a

We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. As we study God’s Word and pray each day, our faith should continually grow stronger. God has given each of us a spiritual gift to glorify Him and edify our Christian brothers and sisters. As we use those gifts in His service, it should cause our faith to grow stronger. God does not want us to walk around afraid to speak about all the marvelous things He has done for us. He tells us over and over “Do not fear”, “do not be afraid”, “be courageous”. We can speak out because we have His power and love abiding in us in the form of His Holy Spirit. He gives us strength to endure any situation, He has told us that He would never allow us to be tempted above our ability to resist and that with the temptation, He would always provide a way out.

1 Cor. 10:12-14 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-04-2017

See the Light! Be the Light!

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But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. – 1 John 1:7 NLT
To live in the light means to be obedient to God by allowing His Spirit to lead us into all truth. Does this mean that we never sin? No, if it were possible for us to live sinless lives, then Jesus died in vain. It means that we do not choose a lifestyle that constantly repeats the same sins. All humans fall to temptation, but we should not allow the devil to use those failures to beat us up and keep us depressed. Do our failures send us to hell? No, but they do break our relationship with Jesus Christ. So what do we do? John tells us in verse 9, when we fail and we will, then we must confess our sins and allow God to cleanse us from our sins. Then our relationship is restored and we can rejoice in His goodness and mercy

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“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 02-07-2017

Jesus Paid It All

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14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. — Hebrews 4:14 NIV


There are many times in our journey that we fall short of the mark. There will always be those times as long as we remain in these human bodies. When it comes to being tempted, we are very weak. Because Jesus went through the same temptations when He walked on this earth, He understands our failures. The devil will take those failures and beat us up over and over, telling us how we are no longer a child of God because we failed. But don’t let those failures stop you from repenting. Just remember that guilt and condemnation come from the devil, who is a thief and a liar. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit and calls us to the throne room of God where we can ask for and receive His forgiveness. We can be very sure that we will receive mercy and grace from our Father. We will receive this not because we have done anything to earn it, but simply because of what Jesus did for us at the Cross. Even right now, Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. The Father will not refuse anything that the Son ask from Him. So, hold on and press on because Jesus has paid the price.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 1-3-2017

Response or Reaction?

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1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. — Gal. 6:1 NLT
When we see others doing things that appear to be sinful in our eyes, what is our response? Are we quick to think the wrong thoughts or do we remember that we have made mistakes as well? Do we criticize or do we correct? Criticism is most often a knee-jerk reaction and usually destroys. If it destroys, then it mus have come from the destroyer (satan) himself. Our reaction should be to pray and then humbly help that person back to the narrow path. To do that requires us to be a channel of God’s love to those around us. This helps us to understand that when we feel condemnation, it comes from satan, but when we feel conviction, it comes from God’s Holy Spirit. God doesn’t condemn Christians for their failures, but He doesn’t wink at sin, either.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-17-2016