Saturday, April 18, 2020

Integrity in Everything including This

But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you. Mark 16:7 

Does God give second chances to those who have failed Him? He certainly did so for Peter. Peter had proudly announced that he was Jesus’ most reliable disciple (Matt. 26:33). Yet Peter not only fled with the other disciples in the moment of crisis, but also blatantly denied he even knew Jesus (Matt. 26:69–75). Peter failed so miserably that he went out into the night and wept bitterly (Luke 22:62). How compassionate the risen Christ was to Peter! The angel gave the women at the tomb special instructions to let Peter know that He was risen. Jesus took Peter aside to allow him the opportunity to reaffirm his love and commitment (John 21:15–17). The risen Lord also chose Peter as His primary spokesman on the day of Pentecost, when three thousand people were added to the church. God's desire is to take you from where you are and bring you to where He wants you to be. When He found His defeated followers hiding together in an upper room, Jesus’ first word was “peace” (John 20:19). Jesus’ first words to you after you fail may also be “peace.” Jesus will find you in despair and bring you peace. Then, He will reorient you to Himself so that you can believe Him and follow Him. Don’t give up if you have failed your Lord. Remember what happened to Peter. God has not yet finished developing you as a disciple. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

What does integrity have to do with Peter's confession and subsequent failure and restoration?  More than you think. 

Integrity is that part of you that shows you doing the right thing even when nobody's watching.   

Look at ambitious Peter.  All excited to go! Yet fell on his face so quickly in rejecting Christ, just as he was told he would.  

Consider it deeper. 

Put yourself in his position.  In being told ahead of time what was going to happen, in his own strength and understanding he was mounting what he thought was an adrenaline fueled defense against that very thing.  Scripture says Jesus said He prayed for Peter.  Doesn't say that Peter prayed for Peter.  

In his integrity he was thinking through how he would do this. How he would defend himself if it should come to pass. 

It wasn't until after the cock crowed that he realized how clearly his failed attempt really was.  That house of cards crashed. 

We can do the same thing.  I know in my life that there's plenty of evidence where I did a Peter.  Took years to sort through the aftermath.  Scripture says His ways are not our ways. Nor are our thoughts. 

Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."

Jesus knew that Peter's mind and heart took a hit like none other.  He was hit by a direct assault by Satan.  Just as Satan blew it in crucifying Christ, with the haste in restoring Peter, Jesus healed Peter from the attack.  

We are the kings of justification.  We justify everything from behavior towards others to why we ate the last of something in the refrigerator. 

Peter justified his actions all the way until the light dawned on it all.

Are we really thinking that God would be any different with us? 

There's times when I have made a decision and even followed the recommendations of others on a path to do something or say something and the next day there is a gentle prodding.  A simple question asked in my mind if that was really the right thing to do or say.  It won't be shouted in my ears.  The Spirit is that still voice that is like E.F. Hutton was in the past.  If the Spirit says something, listen. 

Peace is often offered up on a silver platter when something looks good.  

People can switch around so quickly but you know who doesn't? Jesus. 

Who promises and doesn't waver? Jesus. 

Who guides us if we but listen? Jesus. 

Be sure to compare what goes through your mind with Scripture and with prayer. 
Peter had it all thought out in his mind, but hadn't prayed. 

We can have really interesting thoughts about people and things if we are left to ourselves to understand it.  The question really is: what does God say?  Who cares what the media or governments say, what does God say?  If the government's aren't ordering you to violate Scripture, why do Christians want a revolutionary war on the Government?  Thoughts without prayer and Scripture. 

Why do people get in over their heads in situations?  Thoughts without prayer and Scripture. 

Why do I end up doing as Peter?  Because I didn't pray or look at Scripture.  Can't memorize it? My friend just keep reading it. You will be amazed how the Spirit of God will bring it to mind even if you don't know exactly where it is.

God does give second and third and fourth chances.  Be honest with yourself, human beings are very gullible people.  Including the smartest there is. We are indeed kings of being able to act without thinking. 

Pray today before you go anywhere or do anything.  You need it as much as Peter did. 

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