Daily Devotional 5/21/20

Hi First Methodist family, I’m Wade Cobb, Director of Celebrate Recovery. Today’s devotional is titled “Never, Ever Give up on Yourself”

Romans 8:31… If God is for us, who can be against us?… 34 …Christ Jesus …is at the right hand of God … interceding for us.
There are days when I feel as though the “Un-holy Trinity” – The World, The Flesh, and The Devil are all, at one time, ganging up on me. And I’m losing ground, or I have just lost the ground!
I could tell you many stories of how Jesus came and continues to come to my rescue. I would be the first to admit, if it were not for the grace of God in my life there’s no telling how far off the reservation I would be. Instead of one my stories, I want to share a story from Peter’s life of how Jesus’ intercessory prayer saved Peter from becoming a bitter old man, filled with regret, guilt, shame, and an unfulfilled life. It would be the Last time that the Lord would share the Passover Meal with His disciples, as Luke records it in Chapter 22. Then Jesus says: 31″Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go 2 with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” Jesus informs Peter that he will deny him, not once but three times! Peter says, not me Lord, I’m a strong Christian. I have seen you heal the blind and the deaf. I’ve seen you raise the dead to life again. You even healed my Mother-in-Law! I’m talking about some BIG MIRACLES, Lord. Later into the same night we continue the story. 54 Then seizing him [Jesus], they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” 57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. 58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had 3 spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly. Jesus is arrested and His journey to crucifixion begins. Peter begins his three denials of Jesus. Peter’s heart is crushed because of his failure as a “Strong Christain” to stand up for his savior. Now, fast forward to Acts 4 where Peter and John have just been thrown into jail by the most powerful religious and political leaders of the day for healing a crippled beggar. 13 When they [These powerful religious and political leaders] saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished, and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Peter along with John are forced to stand up against their enemies who are trying to shut them up. Some fifty and a few days prior a little servant girl was enough to cause Peter to deny that he even knew Jesus. Now, the most 4 powerful people in Jerusalem with their threats of imprisonment can’t shut Peter up! What happen? What happen was that Jesus had interceded for Peter. Remember the conversation Jesus and the disciples had around the last Passover Meal together in Luke 22? 31″Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. There’s another part of this story, found in John 21, that you must see. It helps me to see with my spiritual eyes how Jesus intercedes for you and me in our failures and shortcomings as God’s children. By seeing the grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love by which Jesus dealt with Peter’s failure as a follower of Christ and this without even a hint of condemnation for Peter’s sin, it makes me so thankful that I am a Child of God! John 21 1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. After Peter’s failure, he goes back to fishing. We are left clueless about Peter’s spiritual and emotional state of 5 being at this point of the story. However, his actions of going back to being a “Fisherman”, what he did prior to accepting Jesus’s invitation to be a “Fisher of men” (Mark 1:17) is a strong indication that his failure has defeated him. It is note-worthy to make mention of the last part of verse 3…” but that night they caught nothing.” If we choose to stay in our guilt, shame, regret, and condemnation over our hurts, hang-ups, and habits we, like Peter, will not catch God’s grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, and His love. We will not overcome our failures and we will never become all that God intends for us to become. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Jesus wants to come and be with Peter in his failure, in his pain, in his hopelessness. But Jesus does not want to stay with Peter in his failure. So, it is with our many failures and short comings in life, Jesus comes to us each time, not to condemn us but to restore us to a vibrant relationship with Him. (Romans 8:1) The following two verses are a beautiful picture of Jesus’ relentless prayer of intercession for you and me. This is how I see Jesus praying for me. (See also Hebrews 7:25). 15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, 6 Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Jesus would not stop pursuing Peter’s heart until he had won it back again! It was the third time of Jesus asking Peter, “Do you love me” that Peter finally agreed with the Lord. Peter said with his mouth what the Lord already knew to be true in his heart. “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Child of God remember the next time you experience a failure in your walk with the Lord. He is at the right hand of God interceding for your heart and life. He will not stop pursuing you until you can say with your mouth, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you! Acts 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished, and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Jesus is waiting to have breakfast with you this morning. Will you come to the table?

Leave a Reply