"I'd be the last one who'd run away," he promised. "I'd never say anything bad about you. Never leave you in the lurch."
I knew he was telling the biggest lies of his lifetime. He would be the one who would deny that he had anything to do with me. He would swear to be a stranger. He'd insist - THREE times! - that he didn't even know me.
I warned him in advance but he couldn't see what was coming. Though I tried to put him on guard, he didn't catch on. He walked right into the trap. And when he realized what he'd done, he broke down and cried.
Instead, things went horribly wrong. Jesus was arrested, betrayed by one of their group. He was taken away, beaten, spit on, and a mob screamed for his crucifixion. This was trouble. And Peter didn't want to risk the same thing happening to him.
So he did the unthinkable. He lied. Three times. And Jesus, bruised and bleeding, had known he would do it. Jesus looked Peter in the eye. Forgave Peter as he was led away.
We excuse our un-truths as self-defense, as getting ahead, and as "What-I-Had-To-Do-To-Save-Myself." Except that we feel broken and crushed by our betrayal. Maybe we're not the one who pointed out the person who gets axed. Maybe we stayed quiet or denied our part in an affair to protect ourselves, letting someone else take the punishment. Maybe we joined the wrong crowd to guard our interests.
Just like Peter, we look into the eyes of Jesus to find only love and forgiveness. Why not accept what God knows about you and me? We fail. Our worst fears about ourselves are true. We're not who we hoped we'd be when the pressure hit. Thankfully, God - through His son Jesus - suffered our penalty so we can live free and forgiven.
What is God asking of you today?
Will you accept that God chose you to do this, knowing exactly who you are (and who you were)?
*I am the Lord who heals you. Exodus 15:26 NLT
the LORD sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: "There were
two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man
owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one
little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up
with his children. It ate from the man's own plate and drank from his
cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest
arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal
from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man's lamb and killed it
and prepared it for his guest."
David was furious. "As surely as the LORD lives,' he vowed, 'any
man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs
to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity."
Then Nathan said to David, "You are that man!"…
Then David confessed to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD."
2 Samuel 12:1–7, 13 NLT
*Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:4 NLT
woman declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched
Jesus, and how she had been immediately healed. He said to her,
“Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 8:47-48 NLT
*Our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 NLT
Moravian Prayer: Holy
One, what a gift life is! How precious is our time here on earth! May
we move through this day with gentleness and unrestrained gratitude.
Today, especially, we give thanks for life in Christ Jesus.
God, thank you for the healing waters of your grace. Grant us the
courage and faith to reach out in love to those most in need of healing
and hope – especially those who are “the least of these”. Amen.