Churchgoing hypocrites intentionally exploit God for their own benefit. In Jesus’ day the Pharisees mistreated widows, in the name of God, for their own gain. They converted people to their religion, which they claimed was based on God’s law. In doing so they convinced people to follow after their methods, not God’s. Hypocrites.
Peter was a devoted follower of Christ. Yet in a moment of weakness he denied the Lord. He made a mistake. He was overwhelmed with shame, weeping when he realized what he had done. He had went against what he had known to be true: he was a follower of Christ.
The Pharisees continuously rejected God. Peter said that Jesus was Christ and he would serve no one else. The Pharisees wanted to rid themselves of Jesus. Peter ran to him, even after his denial. Jesus said to the Pharisees “woe unto you, hypocrites” but to Peter he said “feed my sheep”.
They both had denied Jesus. What was the difference? The difference was that Peter acknowledge his wrongdoing and turned from that sin. The Pharisees were content to live in their deception.
Most likely you’ve sinned after making a public commitment to Christ. My guess is that you’re being beat down with “You’re a hypocrite if you try serving the Lord again.” Let me say: No!! That’s deception from Satan. Call sin sin, repent and move on: live the gospel! Only you and God know your intentions. Don’t allow a lie to dictate if you choose to walk in the forgiveness God has offered you.
“I would die for you before I would deny you!”
On its own this bold statement that Peter made to Jesus seems commendable. It seems self-sacrificing.
Until you realize that it is a direct response to a Word from Christ. He had just said: “you will leave me.”
Peter just as well should have responded “You don’t know what you’re talking about Jesus. You don’t know me. And apparently you don’t know the future.”
Have you ever given that type of a response to Jesus? One in which you refuse to acknowledge Him as all knowing?
If you’re denying His will for your life you are communicating to Him that you don’t trust His plan, His provision.
Peter failed miserably when he went against our Lord. Learn from his mistake. Trust Jesus’ Word as infallible truth.
Sometimes I feel like I just don’t get what The Lord is trying to teach me.
It’s discouraging and I feel like if I don’t figure it out quick enough then The Lord will just throw up His hands in frustration and move on.
So I was very encouraged while studying my bible this morning. Because even though I knew God doesn’t just dismiss His children in frustration He gave me an example.
Three times Jesus asked Peter “Peter do you love me?”.
Three times Jesus had to say to Peter “feed my sheep.”
Jesus also gave Peter a vision concerning what once was unclean meat.
Three times God had to tell Peter that it was now okay to eat what was once unclean.
The Lord kept speaking to Peter until he got it.
Peter just stayed engaged. He kept communicating with The Lord until it finally dawned on him what was being said.
Our God. The creator of each and every human that has ever walked His beautiful earth cares enough about us to patiently teach us. He doesn’t give up on us.
Don’t give up on Him. Be still and know that He is God.
II Peter 3:14
Go about your day abstaining from sin. Follow the Spirit’s lead. Glorify The Lord in everything you do.
The world might falsely accuse you but stay focused on staying pure in The Lord. He sees and knows all and will give a just judgment.
Jesus had been working on earth long enough to develop an entourage of disciples….and long enough for many of them to quit walking with him.
Jesus turned to the disciples that were still following him and asked if they were going to leave him too.
Peter replied “where would we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life?”
The road you are walking with Christ may not be as you imagined it should be. You might be discouraged. Maybe you’re being tempted to start walking another direction.
Keep walking with Jesus. No other option can even compare to His love, to His eternal reward, and to being His child.
1 Peter 5:8
In Judges chapters 19 and 20 an old man hosted a couple as they traveled home.
The enemy came knocking on the old man’s door. They were looking for the traveling man.
The old man made a compromise and gave them the two women in the house instead.
One of the women turned up dead.
Tribe fought against tribe. Thousands upon thousands were killed because of the murder of one.
All because the old man figured it’d be okay to try and suffice the enemy.
Don’t be deceived.
It’s never okay to try to appease the devil. He will take what you give him and destroy everything he can.
Continue to give Jesus complete ownership of all areas in your life.
There isn’t any room for compromise.
I Peter 4:2
Mercurius! Jupiter! Mercurius! Jupiter!
Paul and Barnabas heard the chant as the crowd drew closer to them. They looked at the gates of the city and saw oxen being brought in to be sacrificed.
Mercurius! Jupiter! Mercurius! Jupiter!
The crowd was heading in their direction.
The disciples put it together. They were the ones being called Mercurius and Jupiter. The oxen was going to be a sacrifice to them. The people were seeing them as gods.
“No!!” Paul and Barnabas tore their clothes. They ran to the people. “No!!! Stop! We are men, like you. We preach the one true God, creator of heaven and earth….”
Some people live their lives trying to reach a status where they are viewed as gods. Maybe they don’t actually think of it that way but the evidence says otherwise:
They accept all praise as if they were solely responsible.
They expect people to do exactly as they say.
They’re out to receive glory for themselves.
What are your intentions? Are you living a life like Paul and Barnabas? A life where you want nothing more than to glorify God and be found in His will and favor? Or are you going about pretending to be bought in to Christ’s plan but only living for yourself?
Do a self check.
To God be the glory.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. (Acts 3:6)
Peter was proclaiming Christ. He had intentionally made public the connection he had with Jesus. As a result he was known as a man of God. The things he did were seen as Godly and of The Lord.
As followers of Christ we set ourselves apart.
The things we say, do and associate ourselves with reflect Jesus.
Give all areas of your life and all decisions over to Him. Because your choices don’t just affect you. They have an impact on the perception of Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:18
Five thousand men were saved! Thank The Lord! Peter had been faithful to preach the Gospel. Thank the lord! People were praising God. Thank The Lord! A healing had taken place! Thank The Lord! A man was crippled from birth. Thank The Lord!?!
The crippled man had been in that condition since birth. Everyone knew him as the man that sat at the Temple and begged for money. Peter, through Jesus’ name healed him. The man stood up, ran, jumped around and praised God. People noticed. They remembered the terrible condition this man had once been in. They were curious as to how he was moving around with no problem and why he was praising God. Peter gave them answers. He preached Jesus. Five thousand men were saved.
The man had to be crippled or there wouldn’t have been a need for a healing, which then led to the praising of God, preaching of Jesus and ultimately the redemption of five thousand mens’ souls. Thank The Lord for the crippled man!
It’s unnatural for us to praise God for situations or circumstances that we don’t understand. But we should be found worshipping The Lord in spirit and truth, not in our flesh. We need to trust that He has our best interest in mind and that it will all work for His glory.
We may not be able to comprehend what’s going on but we can know that Jesus is in control. For that we can be thankful.