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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, April 1, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Peter’s experiences in the next few hours would change his life. He would change from a halfhearted follower to a repentant disciple, and finally to the kind of person Christ could use to build his church.
Peter wept bitterly, not only because he realized that he had denied his Lord, the Messiah, but also because he had turned away from a very dear friend, a person who had loved and taught him for three years. Peter had said that he would never deny Christ, despite Jesus’ prediction. But when frightened, he went against all he had boldly promised. Unable to stand up for his Lord for even 12 hours, he had failed as a disciple and as a friend. We need to be aware of our own breaking points and not become over=confident or self-sufficient. If we fail him, we must remember that Christ can use those who recognize their failure. From this humiliating experience Peter learned much that would help him later when he assumed leadership of the young church. (NLT)
Luke 22:54-62 – So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s residence, and Peter was following far behind. The guards lit a fire in the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”
Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know the man!”
After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!” “No, man, I’m not!” Peter replied.
About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of Jesus’ disciples because he is a Galilean, too.”
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And as soon as he said these words, the rooster crowed. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered that the Lord had said, “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny me three times.” And Peter left the courtyard, crying bitterly.
In [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. – Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)
Dan Busha (Florida) titled his story “THE ROCK REDEEMED;” here is a portion of Dan’s story:
“One of the most emotional passages in the Gospels is the passage above that details Peter’s denial of Christ. . . . But rather than being appalled by Peter’s actions, I find that my heart goes out to him. It’s easy for me to imagine the fear he must have felt and to identify with his shame.
“We’ve all been faced with the dilemma of knowing we should stand up for what’s right but being too afraid to do so. Regret always follows. . . .
“Peter’s story is one of fear, shame, and, ultimately, redemption. That’s not the outcome we might have expected. But it’s a perfect illustration of the truth that with God’s grace, all things are possible.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Everyone who seeks God can be redeemed.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for helping us to overcome our fears, set aside shame, and embrace the salvation made available to us by the grace of your son. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE LIVING WITH FEAR AND SHAME
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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