Thought this morning during “coffee with the Lord” about all my good intentions, passionate declarations, and impulsive commitments over the years… followed by failure! Wanted to just weep and hang my head in shame!
What prompted those thoughts? Reading the story of Peter’s impulsive declaration, when Jesus told his apostolic band right after the institution of the first Lord’s Supper in Matthew 26, “You will all fall away because of me this night! For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’”
That prediction really bothered Peter! Impulsively he declared, “Though they all fall away because of You, I will never fall away!”
Jesus knew better… He knew human frailty… He knew Peter! He told Peter, “Truly, I tell you this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times!”
Now Peter was really bothered – he became even more determined (and impulsive) … He thought he knew himself better than His Lord. He strengthened his declaration… “Ever if I must die with you I will not deny you!” And then group pressure took over, “And all the disciples said the same thing.” (From Matthew 26:26-35 ESV)
Read the end of the chapter… Peter’s sad and bitter failure… as predicted, three different times! Enough to make a grown man cry… in fact Scripture says, “And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26:69-75)
Then I thought of my strong declarations and impulsive commitments when and where I miserably dropped the ball and failed the Lord… And I jotted this in the margin of my Bible, “Without God’s forgiveness, mercy and grace we’re all sunk!”
However, praise the Lord for 1 John 1:8-9! “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us! But if we confess [acknowledge] our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness!” And to that I sigh deeply, offer thanksgiving, and worship – Praise the Lord! I’m depending on it, aren’t you? It worked for Peter!