February 10, 2015
When Jesus was arrested, Peter tried to blend in as one of the crowd, following Jesus from a distance. This, after following so close must’ve been unbearable. Following Jesus at church is one thing, but following Him in the public square is another. Do you try to blend in with the crowd? Are you trying to follow Jesus from a distance? When will you go public with your devotion?
February 9, 2015
Trials and temptations often come in pairs. We can’t avoid the former, but we can watch and pray, so that we avoid falling into the latter. Be alert to that which tempts. Pray in advance for strength so you won’t be led into its trap. Pray as Jesus taught us, “Lead us not into temptation…”
February 7, 2015
First, learn to do the little things. Then, perhaps God will promote you to greater responsibility. If you’re unfaithful with a little, you’d be unfaithful with a lot. The Lord is not looking for successful stewards, He is looking for faithful ones. Stop saying, “If only I had more, then I would serve Him with it.” Be faithful with whatever you have. The Lord will soon return, asking for an account.
February 5, 2015
This was a part of Jesus’ answer to the disciples questions concerning end times. The Greek word translated “nations” is ethnos (ἔθνος). It might also be translated every race/culture/tongue. According to Wycliffe Bible Translators, there are still 350 million people in the world who do not have a Scripture translation in their heart language. And according to the www.joshuaproject.net 43% of the world’s people groups are still unreached. Most of these are in the 10/40 window. There are still “ethnos” who have not heard the gospel. God is still asking, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” (Isa.6:8).
February 3, 2015
Jesus not only taught, but modeled the art of servant leadership. He showed that true greatness was not about exalting oneself, but being humble enough to wash another’s feet. This is the Kingdom leadership model that turns the world upside down. The servant leader descends to greatness. By choosing to serve, the Lord lifts him up.
February 1, 2015
Using the “rejected stone” imagery from Psalm 118, Jesus applied it to the Jewish religious leaders and their rejection of Him. Since they had rejected John the Baptist as the forerunner and had also rejected Jesus as the Messiah, they would be rejected by God and His kingdom would be “taken” from them. The chief priests and Pharisees did not bear the “fruits” of the kingdom. They had not repented of sin and accepted the Christ as their Lord and Savior, therefore their rejection of the Son would result in them being rejected by the Father. Even when they heard these words of warning from Jesus, they did not repent, but only became more determined to kill Him. And to what “nation” was the kingdom of God to be given? It was given to a holy nation, a nation without borders or end, to a house made up of those who accepted Christ as the Chief Cornerstone, and became themselves “living stones” in His temple (Read 1 Peter 2:4-10). Those who accept the Son, have life in the kingdom. Those who reject Him, do not (1 John 5:12).
January 28, 2015
Peter asked Jesus whether we should put a limit on forgiveness. Jesus answered with a parable concerning a king and his subject who owed him “ten thousand talents” (A “talent” was a unit of gold weighing around 75 pounds. One talent was equal to about 16 years’ wages). The king forgave his subject completely, erasing his debt. But the subject’s heart was unchanged. He immediately went out and put in prison one who owed him only “one hundred denarii” (A “denarii” was a Roman coin made of about 4 grams of silver. It was considered a day’s wages). The point of the parable seems to be that God has forgiven us a debt much greater than any could ever repay, therefore we should always forgive because we have been forgiven so much. Our capacity for the forgiveness of others is drawn from God’s limitless supply of forgiveness for us. We are to love and forgive unconditionally, as God through Christ has loved and forgiven us.
January 25, 2015
Jesus had many hard sayings, but the teaching concerning His suffering, death and resurrection was the hardest for the disciples to receive. Bold Peter even attempted to rebuke Jesus for saying such things. But Jesus put him in his place with, “Get behind Me, Satan!” Poor Peter went from Peter the confessor, to Peter the transgressor in a matter of moments. One minute, he was listening to God’s voice, recognizing Jesus as the “Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And the next minute, he was under Satan’s influence, trying to dissuade Jesus from His ultimate purpose. Jesus tried to prepare the disciples for the cross and the empty tomb, but only the sight of His resurrected body and the sound of His voice was able to convince them of its truth. They finally understood that Jesus “must go” to the cross, the tomb and be raised again on the third day in order to redeem us and reconcile us to God.
January 22, 2015
Perhaps you’ve heard someone say, “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat.” This mantra is offered to encourage us to have a risk-taking kind of faith like Peter’s. Yet, it overlooks Peter’s first step. His first step wasn’t to get his feet wet. His first step was to ask permission from Jesus to join Him on the sea. Peter asked to walk on the water to Jesus. And Jesus said, “Come.” So, during the 4th watch of the night (3-6AM), Peter got to practice his gait on the Galilee. What unexpected joy awaits those who will follow Jesus wherever He leads!