21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 18
Day 18 – It’s Not Over
This is one of the most depressing chapters in the Bible. I mean, think about it; are they seriously treating Jesus this way, and what in the world is Peter thinking? Come on! If I were talking to Peter, I think I would have to ask, “After all Christ did for you, you’re just going throw it all away like that? Why would he do that?” Then again, who’s to say that I wouldn’t have done the same thing. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that every time I choose to live the way that I want to live instead of the way that Jesus has both demonstrated and asked me to live, there’s a part of me denying Him every time too.
In Matthew and Luke’s account of Jesus’ life, Peter made some bold declarations. Jesus, knowing the future, told the disciples, “All of you are going to desert me.” Peter’s response was immediate, and somewhat self-righteous. “Even if everyone else deserts you (meaning the other disciples), I never will. I’ll even die for you.” Then we see here that when Jesus is arrested and Peter questioned on knowing Him, he just flat out denies it. He literally says, “I’ve never met Him!”
That’s just it, a change still needed to be made in Peter’s heart. He was committed to Jesus, just not all the way; not 100%. He was committed as long as it all worked out well for himself. It’s what we talked about on Day 16 of our 21 Day Challenge – it’s an issue with alignment. Peter said he would die for Jesus because he thought Jesus was going to overthrow the Roman government, become the King of Israel and Peter would be His right-hand man. When Peter realized that power, popularity, and comfort were not in his future…he bolted. He was sold out as long as the situation suited HIS interest and that was it.
However, the focus here shouldn’t be on Peter’s failure. Instead, it should be on the fact that it wasn’t over. Did Peter screw up? YES! But he eventually became an unstoppable force for Jesus because He got his alignment right. We see in Acts that Peter was “filled with the Holy Spirit” and THEN something changed. He was no longer a coward, self-centered, or weak. He was bold! He was power-filled! He was courageous! This was the same man, but he had a different heart. He was FULL of the Holy Spirit – all in; 100%!
In Acts 3, the Jewish leaders told Peter to stop talking about Jesus. When faced with death the second time, Peter said, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than Him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” It’s not over! Jesus is alive and He’s alive IN YOU, even if (definitely more like WHEN in most cases) you’ve messed up. Maybe you feel like you’ve blown it. I’ve got fantastic news for you…
IT’S NOT OVER!
As you read John 18, ask yourself these questions…
1. What area(s) do I still need to commit 100% to Jesus? 2. What failure am I focusing on instead of my future? 3. Is there anything that is keeping me from committing to Christ? 4. What questions do I have?
Lord, help me to realize that even when I mess up, it’s not over! Help me to keep going no matter what comes my way or what failure I experience. Thank you for loving me through my failures. Amen.
You can e-mail Pastor Andrew with any questions about this study: firstname.lastname@example.org