January 09, 2012

When The Rooster Crows

“And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, "Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.” Matthew 26:75 (NASB)

My mind was wondering. I was somewhere in the past, many years before I came into a relationship with the Lord. I had some questionable habits but didn’t pay too much attention to them; after all, I wasn’t hurting anyone. I kept my activities to myself and didn’t flaunt them. Overall, I was still a nice girl, and one with a few manners.

I worked in an office where the visitors were often uncouth and unpleasant. After such visits, my standard remark was, “Well, you think they would have said or done such and such, AFTER ALL IT’S ONLY COMMON COURTSEY!” Apparently, I said that a lot.

One day, it seems I forgot to do or say such and such on an issue of some importance. The knife entered my back quickly, when boss complained about my lack of propriety and exclaimed for all to hear, “After all, it’s only common courtesy!” If there had been a rooster in the area, surely it would have crowed.

Have you ever had a moment like that? You know – a moment where your words come back to haunt you. Quite humiliating isn’t it? It makes you wish you could quickly sink into the ground, disappearing from sight. I imagine Peter felt that way when his rooster crowed.

My Bible Study lesson for January 8 prompted me to contemplate those “cock-a-doodle do” moments of life, as it relates to my stand for Christ. The lesson stirred my thinking when it asked, “What does it mean to deny?” Good question.

Does it mean I skirt the issue when His name is brought up? Do I avoid the issue altogether because it’s too personal or controversial? Do I refuse to bring up Jesus when that proverbial spiritual door opens in a conversation, as if I know nothing about my Savior? Ummm. . . What is that noise I hear in the background, is a . . . rooster?

After serious thought on Matthew 10:32-33 which states, “if you deny me before men, I’ll deny you before the Father,” I have concluded (with help from additional Scripture), this refers to a lifestyle pattern of denial. Christ will deny those who continually deny Him. (“I knew you not!”) However, for the Christian, the true believer – even with all our flaws and imperfections – we will never need to worry about His denial. However, our denial is another story.

Ask Peter. He believed Christ. He loved Christ. He followed Christ. He walked and talked with Christ. Nevertheless, he also denied Christ not once but three times! He gets a bad rap for that, but wait and think about it – how many times have you denied Christ in your lifetime? How many have I? Peter only had three and when you look at it that way. . . I digress! Yet – whether once, twice, thrice - there is always the hope and the grace of Christ and His forgiveness.

Like I said last week, New Year, new habit. Can we walk in His forgiveness or will we be content to beat ourselves up because we were “spiritually caught in the act” when the rooster crowed? Will we move forward or stay stuck in the quicksand of the past? Peter grieved when he was caught. However, he allowed a Risen Savior to raise him up and set his feet back on solid ground. Read Acts and look at what would not have happened if Peter remained sulking in his sorrow.

Take some time today to think about the stand you take or don’t take for Christ each day. What things can you do or say to those you meet that will show you are undeniable in love with your Savior? Take honest stock of yourself, if you find yourself lacking, let your heart grieve then get up and move on with renewed passion. Remember the progress Peter made! The rooster may crow, but the Eagle soars!
Love, Barbara

January 04, 2012

A New Year A New Habit

Once again, it’s New Year resolution time. So far – I am not doing so good on anything I hoped to improved upon in 2012 and it’s only day 4! So I thought I’d share my morning devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young for January 4. You read this as if Jesus was calling only you:

I want you to learn a new habit. Try saying, “I trust You, Jesus,” in response to whatever happens to you. If there is time, think about who I AM in all My Power and Glory; ponder also the depth and breadth of My Love for you.

This simple practice will help you see Me in every situation, acknowledging My sovereign control over the universe. When you view events from this perspective—through the Light of My universal Presence—fear loses its grip on you. Adverse circumstances become growth opportunities when you affirm your trust in Me no matter what. You receive blessings gratefully, realizing they flow directly from My hand of grace. Your continual assertion of trusting Me will strengthen our relationship and keep you close to Me.

 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.

 —Psalm 63:2

See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

 —Isaiah 40:10–11

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

-  Psalm 139:7-10 

Happy New Year  - my love to all!