As before, John is typing at my dictation. We are still trying to get a morning Personal Care Attendant so that I can gradually work up to being in my chair all day, but so far our efforts aren’t yielding results. We would ask for your prayers as we continue looking. We also thank those of you who have sent gifts through Paypal — I had worried that you had given much more than we needed, but I have used some of your donations to pay for advertising. Please continue praying that the right person will answer our ads so that I can get up and start typing blog posts on a more regular basis.
Praise God that our DVD player accommodates Youtube! As I lie in bed I can watch sermons and teachings by such people as John MacArthur, Sinclair Ferguson, and the late R.C. Sproul. I appreciate the opportunity to listen to solid Bible teaching from great men. In addition, we can live stream Sunday services and Wednesday night Bible Study from our own church, keeping us connected with the fellowship there.
During these months, I’ve listened to teaching on a wide variety of topics ranging from eschatology to personal holiness to the assurance of salvation. Each teaching has been encouraging and convicting, increasing my understanding of the Bible and God’s calling on my life. But in all these teachings, one incident from the earthly life of Jesus pops up repeatedly: Peter’s great confession that Jesus is the Christ and Peter’s immediate attempt to dissuade Him from predicting His crucifixion.
Like most people, I’m tempted to laugh at Peter’s quickness to fall from sublime revelation to such man centered thinking. “Isn’t that just like Peter?” I say to myself with a chuckle. And when he later denies the Lord three times before the cock crows twice, I again chuckle at the way his pride was leveled. How often Peter boasted of his strength only to be humbled by own weakness!
Lately I’ve wondered why these two incidents in Peter’s life keep popping up in sermons I hear. Doesn’t God know how often I read these accounts? Doesn’t He remember all the drama productions I wrote and directed for the church in California that included these scenes? Surely He knows that I understand the lesson of pride going before a fall.
Actually, He most assuredly knows that I am all too much like Peter. He knows that I flatter myself about my faithfulness to Him, only to see myself fall into sinful patterns of anger, pride and selfishness. Could it be that He is bringing this story of Peter before me so frequently because I frequently act so much like Peter?
As Christians, we can easily tell ourselves that we are mature in Christ. We know the Bible, and we know how to apply its lessons to our lives…we think. But just as we think that we’re strong, the Lord allows us to give in to temptation so that we have to face our weakness. He never allows us to boast in our spiritual strength for very long. Just as He allowed Peter to speak the sentiments of Satan, He allows us to rebel against Him in ways we never expect.
But that is not all there is to stories of Peter. Each time Peter fell, the Lord graciously brought him to repentance and used him to spread His Gospel. Early in the book of Acts, Peter is the one who proclaims the Gospel and establishes the Church. Pretty good for someone whom the Lord once called Satan!
If we can’t get away from the stories of Peter’s failures, neither can we get away from that account of his restoration to the Lord. May those stories of restoration encourage us when we fall. We will fall. But the Lord will always restore those of us who truly His.Follow my blog with Bloglovin