a very warm PastorGrace welcome to You!

On the night that the Lord Jesus Christ was handed over to his enemies to be tortured and then killed on a cross, He warned His disciples that they would face a new kind of temptation.

Backsliding: perhaps the most subtle temptation of them all!

9 - Why Lord?

Matthew 26:
69 Peter was sitting in the courtyard. A female servant came to him and said, "You, too, were with Jesus the Galilean."
70 But Peter denied it in front of them all by saying, "I don't know what you're talking about."
71 As he went to the entrance, another female servant saw him. She told those who were there, "This man was with Jesus from Nazareth."
72 Again Peter denied it and swore with an oath, "I don't know the man!"
73 After a little while the men standing there approached Peter and said, "It's obvious you're also one of them. Your accent gives you away!"
74 Then Peter began to curse and swear with an oath, "I don't know the man!"
Just then a rooster crowed.
75 Peter remembered what Jesus had said: "Before a rooster crows, you will say three times that you don't know me."
Then Peter went outside and cried bitterly.
(God's Word)

One of the questions we ask God in situations like this is, "Why, Lord?"
That is really two questions in one.

The first is, Why am I such a failure, Lord? I know I'm a better person than this failure shows me to be!
The second question is, Lord, why did YOU allow this to happen to me. Are You just trying to make a fool out of me?

Let us deal with the question to myself first.
We have all found ourselves in situations where we have failed to live up to our idea of the courage we know we possess. We have disappointed ourselves by our cowardly actions or inactions. We expected more of ourselves.

Sometimes, this happens because of what the Apostle Paul talks about here:
Romans 12:
3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
(New Living Translation)

Many times we so tend to think we are better than we really are: we have too high an opinion of ourselves.
Then we want to know why would our loving heavenly Father allow a situation in which we are made so painfully aware of our shortcomings.

He does this because He needs us to be sober in our thinking, especially about ourselves.
When we know that we aren't as wonderful as we believe ourselves to be, we begin to understand what a wonderful privilege it is for our Father in heaven to be identified with us, since we are so full of failure and He is completely unfailing in everything He is and does.

In order to be of real use to the Lord in this world, we have to have an attitude of genuine humility. Peter himself said this later on:
1 Peter 5:
6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
(New Living Translation)

It is evident that Peter was not destroyed by this failure. He did not lose his faith because of his failure.
Peter talked it over with Jesus, after Jesus rose from the dead, and Peter went on to be one of the most able and faithful ministers of the Gospel in the early church.

Father, today I ask You to forgive me for handling my failures by running away from You.
I want to humble myself before You and ask that we talk over this failure together.
(Tell the Lord about the incident/ incidents.)
I want my life to be of use to You, Father. I want to fulfil Your purpose for me in the earth. I want to be sober in my thinking about myself, and I understand that it is Your work in me that brings out the best in me.
Thank You for not putting me aside because I have failed.
I am humbling myself under Your mighty power, Lord. Lift me up whenever You see the time is right.
I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus,
whose blood cleanses me of all sin,

Hope we can get together again tomorrow, God willing.
Meanwhile, have a great day walking with the Lord!

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