Bible Reference: Matthew 26:33-35
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)
Bible Text: 33 Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 35 “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.
OBSERVATION: Peter did exactly what he swore he would not do – he denied his Lord. I’m sure that Christians reading this blog today will join with me in swearing up and down that we would never do that, but I hope that as we meditate on the Word today, perhaps we will be challenged to realign some priorities in our life to help avoid following in Peter’s footsteps. Take a few moments to meditate with me on this.
APPLICATION: Imagine for a moment the feeling of walking into a room with your subordinate staff and hearing them put you down to an indescribable degree – imagine how you will feel. Then imagine that there is a dangerous situation at hand, and all of your closest friends come and look on, but choose not to get involved, so they just move on and leave you to suffer through it. That’s how Jesus must have felt when Peter and his peers did exactly as I described, even after talking about the subject in advance. Now take a moment and think about how Peter must have felt. He swore up and down that he would never forsake his Lord, yet he did. By now you are probably anxious to see how this might apply to you and I, right? May I suggest to you that in the heat of our conversion, we all probably swore up and down that our decision and commitment was an eternal one and that we would live the rest of our days standing up and promoting Jesus – yep, right until the day He calls us together in heaven. So let’s look at what might have been important to us right after we made such an awesome commitment: Probably things like Bible study, so we could learn as much about the Lord and His commands for our lives? Perhaps attending every church service possible, so we could learn from, and be encouraged by those who are also striving for the same goals as we are. Praising God together, and being uplifted as we share about the ways that God is alive and working in their lives? Probably to be a model Christian to any and all of our coworkers, friends or family, so they could look at us and see Jesus, or hear from, and be encouraged that we are speaking with the wisdom and faith of one who is walking the talk? So what happened dear friend? Have you been, and are you still faithful to these things? Please don’t try to convince yourself that these things are no longer relevant, for God’s Word will prove you wrong in that. Desertion immediately hurts the one you are deserting, so please don’t hurt my Lord today. Desertion also hurts the one doing the deserting, so please don’t put yourself in that position today. All of the actions I suggested were probably important to you as a new Christian, but they are still just as relevant to you today. Seek God’s help, then concentrate on these things to help cement a solid, ongoing relationship with your Lord. He has promised never to leave or forsake you, please don’t even think about doing just that to Him. He loves you way too much to deserve that kind of treatment. To the unbeliever reading this devotional, may I remind you that your continued disowning and separation from God will lead you through much ‘hell’ here on earth, but to an even worst place when you leave this world. Jesus loved us just as we were when He went to the cross for us. He still loves you enough to forgive you of your sin and direct you through the Christian life that I have described, but He wants you to ask for it. May I encourage you to read the tips I have included in my ‘Footnote’ and make this very important, life-changing decision today? Followers of Christ, don’t forget your First Love. Draw close to Him everyday. Love Him, worship Him, talk with Him and be His best friend. He has prepared a place for His sons and daughters, and I believe He is standing at the door waiting for us! Let us live in anticipation of that every day friends!
PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for often falling into the same path of Peter and his peers. We understand that the flesh is weak, even when the intent of our hearts are in the right place. This is evidence that we can’t do this alone. We need You, Heavenly Father, to fill our hearts with Your love and Your priorities, but most of all with obedience and faithfulness to Your powerful Word. Please use this devotional to stir the hearts of the saved, and provoke a renewed desire within the hearts of the unbelievers, so that today might be the day of salvation for them. We never want to be guilty of desertion. So help us to be faithful and true to You and strengthen the bond that must exist between us in order to fight off the evil one and fully serve You for the rest of our lives. Only You can intervene and help us achieve this kind of perfection Father, so I ask this in and through the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!