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God Is Pursuing You

Sermons of the Day:

Piper: Adam, Where Are You?  (Recommended)

MacDonald: Breakthrough Prayer in Crisis


1 John 4:19

We love Him because He first loved us.

Good Morning Men. Blessed is every man who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.

Amen(Psalm 128:1).

The above verse may have given the answer already, but did you find God or did God find you?

Many times I have heard people describe their experience of conversions or belief in Christ as they were up to no good and then they found God. To no ones fault, that does seem accurate, until we can fully understand who God really is.

I have a powerful truth to tell you that I hope you will never, ever forget.

God is always pursuing You.

Yup, its so true men. As we speak the God of the universe is on a personal vendetta to capture your soul, to fill your heart with  love and amazement for His glory. No matter how hard you try, no matter how far you run or stray. God will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). That is an absolute promise from God .

There are so many seasons in life of good, bad and sometimes ugly. I know with all my heart that this truth has to be an anchor in our hearts. The truth that God really is pursuing each of us.

There are to many examples to cover all through scripture of how this is true, so lets try to look at just a few.

First of all, for those of you that are born again believers of Jesus Christ. What made you believe in Him? What made you give your heart to God? Or in other words why do you love Him?

The verse above gives us one of those answers. Very straight forward, but how did we know He first loved us when we first gave our heart to Him? Of course this is a question that difficult to be completely answered here. However this truth came into the spotlight some 2000 years ago, when the Son of God, Jesus gave up His life for the world. Jesus lay down His life for the entire world in the most brutal, violent and painful ways humanly possible so that His love would be on display for all to see.

Fortunately for us we have tons of prophetic scripture that dates back thousand of years before that. Speaking of this exact moment and day so that we have confirmation upon confirmation of Gods reckless and relentless love for each and every one of us. A love that runs so deep, a love that started before the foundations of the earth were laid (Ephesians 1:4). That’s right men, before the foundations of the earth were laid God chose you. That is how special you are, that is how much He loves each and every one of you.

In fact God loves you so much that he formed every single part of you both physically, mentally and emotionally and everything else while you were still in your mothers womb. In fact He created you are so fearfully and wonderfully made that He has more thoughts about you than the sands on the seashore. How do I know this? Read all of Psalm 139.

Psalm 139: 17-18

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

Men, for God to love you this much, to create you and know you so intimately. What would He not give up so that you could know Him intimately and personally?

I will answer that for you. God will stop at absolutely nothing to save your soul and draw you into His arms. Nothing can separate us from the love God has for each of you. Absolutely nothing.

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Men, we will never completely understand God’s love for us in this life. We are incapable of fully understanding the depth of that kind of love. We are to finite to fully grasp it. However if you are going to get anything from this, please know that no matter where you are in your walk with Jesus Christ. God is in hot pursuit of you, to draw you closer than every before into His love, grace and mercy. God wants to reveal things to you that you cannot even imagine…and He will.

God is pursuing you.

 

Should I Pray First?

Sermons of the Day:

Piper: Present Your Bodies As a Living Sacrifice to God

MacDonald: How to Renew Your Mind, Part 1-A


Good Morning men. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

2 Samuel 10:1-7 NLT

Some time after this, King Nahash of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun became king. David said, “I am going to show loyalty to Hanun just as his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.” So David sent ambassadors to express sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death.

But when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!” So Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame.

When David heard what had happened, he sent messengers to tell the men, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out, and then come back.” For they felt deep shame because of their appearance.

When the people of Ammon realized how seriously they had angered David, they sent and hired 20,000 Aramean foot soldiers from the lands of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 from the land of Tob. When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them.

pray-first

In this passage we see King David trying to do a nice gesture. As we can clearly see this nice gesture was not received and treated with the same respect. This obviously made King David extremely upset and he wanted to defend the rights and dignity of his people. So he calls his army to war. So far so good right?

The difference with this battle and almost all the other battles King David went into, is that he would “inquire of the Lord”. Or in other words he would pray about it before making a decision.

This time was different for one main reason, anger. The King allowed his anger to overcome him. The end result was good, Israel was victorious, King David made it very clear to all surrounding countries that they are not to be messed with.

However, if we look on the spiritual side this type of reaction in our own lives can be devastating in the long run. We start to put more confidence in our own flesh and decision making. Not sure about you, but my decisions are not always the greatest. I constantly need the Holy Spirit to direct my thoughts and mind toward the ways of God.

My encouragement to you today is to learn to trust God more than you trust yourself. I hate the saying of the world today; believe in yourself or be proud of yourself. Although there is a tiny fraction of truth, it is not biblical in the context of self. Self talk, gratitude and a positive mental attitude and great however when we do this increasingly more without the Word of God and prayer we can get into a very gray area.

As a christian God is our source. We believe in God, and we boast only in the things of God.

Practice turning to God in all things. Start asking yourself, should I pray first? Big decisions and small decisions. Make it a constant habit to be leaning on the Lord seeking His way.

Look at what Proverbs teaches us:

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

This verse says it all, the complete recipe for having a life guided by the Holy Spirit of God. There is no promise of a problem free life. However there is a promise that God will make your paths straight.

With all the bumps and detours I have taken so far in my life, and the many more to come; that promise sure sounds great to me!

May the Lord richly bless you all this week. Cling to Him and seek Him like never before! God is waiting for you.

 

Change Through Thinking

Sermons of the Day:

Piper: Build Your Life on the Mercies of God

MacDonald: Repentance Breaks Strongholds A


Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Good Morning Men. This is the day the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24).

In today’s email I wanted to dig into the topic of our thought process. This has been a reoccurring theme for me recently and something that I am learning that I need lots of help with. The need to correct and align my thoughts with God’s word.

I have been learning a lot about the power of not only our thoughts, but our self talk and how we talk to others. Unfortunately if the thought process we have is not good, the talk we have to ourselves and others will not be good.

I believe that the verse above is not talking about renewing our mind one time. I believe that scripture points to a constant renewing of our mind, which in turn leads to a constant state of repentance. In fact in a sermon I listened to last week from Pastor James MacDonald he said something along the lines that repentance is not a place we go to, but a place we live.

Men this kind of repentance doesn’t happen unless we start to change the way we think.

In fact a question I have really been asking myself over the last few weeks is: could it be possible that some of my thinking is wrong? Could it be possible that some of my strongly held opinions, feeling or beliefs are wrong and need change?

If I could be completely honest I think I can honestly say that my answer too both of those questions is; Yes, absolutely.

God’s Word is the measuring stick, or the standard. However we have so many thoughts, feelings and emotions that constantly run through our minds that we cannot always run to the Word of God for correction, reproof or alignment. How do we fix this?

Pastor James said in his sermon that nothing changes until we start to think differently.

Do you feel your life is kind of in a rut? Have you been struggling with the same sin or feelings for a while now without any real progress or change? Are you easily offended? Are you easily irritated? Do you feel that you are always correct and everyone else is wrong (in certain topics)?

I can honestly say yes to every single one of those questions, some of them are more prevalent today than others. Although all of them have been present in my life, and I know that if I do not guard my thinking with the Word of God my thoughts could go downhill fast.

How do we change our thinking?

This is a difficult answer because number one it needs to be constant. We need to commit to a lifetime of change, transformation and renewing of our mind. We have to learn how to have empathy, perspective, grace and of course humility. We also need to know that although the journey of change is difficult, it is well worth it.

For some scriptural directions lets look at a few verses on thinking and change:

Proverbs 23:7 a

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

This verse couldn’t be more true. We think junk, we say junk and act junk. We think pure, we say and act pure. Start to change the thinking, we start to change the heart. We start to change the heart, we start to change the man. Many times the Bible refers to the heart being synonymous with the mind, they are interconnected. If we can learn to guard our thoughts we can learn to guard our heart.

Psalm 119:9

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.

This passage actually continues through verse 16. I love this passage, it is so powerful and such a strong desire of mine to learn how to be this type of man for Christ. In this passage I see 9 answers to the question about cleansing our way. Check it out.

2 Corinthians 10:5

…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…

There is so much going on in this passage, I dare not try to take this out of context. However through prayer, through the weapons we have in Christ Jesus we must learn to take every thought captive. Not captive to our opinions, feelings and selfish desires, but to the obedience of Jesus Christ.

Men this is a tremendous task to take on. To go against decades of how you think. My encouragement for you today is to start by asking yourself three simple questions.

  1. Does my thought process need to change?
  2. Is it possible that some of my thinking is wrong?
  3. Am I willing to change?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then we are off to a great start. Men to change the way we think will take years. It will take tons of growth, tons of time with God in His Word. Developing an attitude of gratitude. Endless amounts of reflection, honesty and repentance. This is a massive topic that could never solve all your problems today. My hope is that we were able to accomplish the goal of at least bringing some enlightenment and perspective to what I like to call “stinkin thinkin”.

Men I hope and pray you have a desire to start putting in good things to what you look at, listen to, and sing about. So that what comes out will start to get brighter, holier and more Christ-like. From the joy in your expressions and face, to the words you speak to your wife and children all the way to work on its most stressful and hectic day.

May the Lord richly bless you all and shine His face upon you.

 

 

 

Praying for Wisdom

Sermon of the Day:

(Deeper Listening) Piper: The Supremacy of God in Prayer

(Lighter Listening) Macdonald: Promise #4 God is Always Watching – A


 

2 Chronicles 1:10-12 NIV

10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king,12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

Good Morning men. God’s mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

This week I wanted to share a passage of scripture that has always been dear to my heart.

Solomon is the son of David and has become the new king over Israel and over God’s people. There is so much we could draw out of this transitional time of kingship, however I would really like to focus on the request made by Solomon.

This request has always blown me away. I have always been so intrigued by the heart and character of Solomon when he became king. It really takes a pure and humble heart to be made king over a powerful nation and then ask God for help.

As we see in the verse above, God was also pleased with this request and answered in abundance. Although this was an amazing request that most people would not have sought after, I do believe there is still more we could learn from this.

Unfortunately for Solomon his heart and mind did not remain steadfast to the Lord. In fact Solomon was a very big contributor to the spiritual and physical divide of the great nation of Israel. God truly did bless him with wisdom, honor, fame and wealth which led Solomon to break several of the laws God set in place for kings of Israel.

So how does this happen?

Solomon requested wisdom, however he greatly lacked spiritual discernment. This led to great success in the world, but a decline in his relationship with God. Also as king, responsible for the nation, it led to the start of a dramatic decline of the people’s relationship with God.

On the surface all of us are pretty aware that the more comfort, wealth and success someone has the easier it is to become distracted. Unfortunately in today’s society you can still be broke and struggling with many distractions. Either way, distraction will lead to less time spent with God. This will lead to us worshiping other things. Spiritual decline is sure to follow. The worst part is, this never happens overnight. It’s not like you wake up and say: “Wow, yesterday I sure didn’t think or spend anytime with God. I better get on track.” Spiritual decline is so subtle, it is a slow fade. Usually we do not notice until everything falls apart. The follower of Christ is given many examples all through scripture on how to guard against this.

So what can we learn from Solomon?

For Solomon to have this intimate encounter with God is so amazing, because God didn’t do this in that day. God spoke through the prophets in Solomon’s day, and God speaks through His Word today. However I really wanted to know how I would have answered that question from God, the question was in verse 7: “Ask! What shall I give you?”

I spent some time thinking about this, and I really tried to be honest with myself. Learning from Solomon’s life I have compiled a request into the form of a prayer using several verses from God’s Word. I would like to share it with you in hopes you will make it a part of your life. My prayer and hope is that you would also desire this type of life, this type of fruit and know that if you believe this and pray this faithfully  I believe with all my heart that God will absolutely answer every single word.

Father help me to trust You with all my heart, to lean not on my own understanding. Father help me to acknowledge You in all my ways and please, direct my paths. Help me not to be wise in my own eyes, but help me to fear You and depart from evil. Teach me how to honor You with my possessions and the first fruits of all my increase. Father equip me with the full armor of God, and teach me to stand against evil. Father teach me to not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. Help me to delight in Your law and meditate on it day and night. Father that I may be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water with fruit in it’s season, and leaves that do not wither, and whatever I do I will prosper. Father help me to seek You first, to seek righteousness so that all things will be given to me. Father lastly teach me to be a follower of Your Son Jesus, teach me to deny myself and to take up my cross daily and follow You. In Jesus name, Amen.

May the Lord give all of us this heart as it aligns with His Word to be prosperous in every area of our lives for His names sake.

 

The Pathway to Humility

Sermons of the Week:

Piper Sermon: The Demonstration of God’s Righteousness Part 1

Rogers Sermon: How to Be the Father of a Wise Child

Good Morning Men. I have decided to attach two sermons. I know that Pastor John Piper can be very meaty and deep, so I wanted to make sure there was something more palatable for everyone from the new believer to the non-believer to enjoy. From now on I will be attaching two sermons, one from Pastor John. The other from Pastor Adrian Rogers.

Also, this weeks devotion was something my wife shared with me from her women’s ministry. I thought it was really powerful and decided to share it with you all this week.

Praying for this ministry, praying for all of your relationships with Christ and for the marriages in this group. Men, I really just long and desire for all of you to know God intimately. To fall so deeply in love with Him and learn about Him more and more each day.

Just know that my heart is filled with so much love and hope for each and every one of you.


The Pathway to Humility

May 18, 2017

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” Deuteronomy 8:3 (NIV)

Devotion Graphic

A friend of mine who is a young leader at a growing organization recently confessed to me some discouragement he’d been wrestling through. Basically, he’d been working so hard, seen great success, but was given no recognition or encouragement by his leaders. And hardest of all, due to some transitions in the company, he’d been demoted to a lower position.

I asked him a seemingly strange question on the heels of him pouring out his heart to me: “Do you know what the opposite of pride is?”

He tilted his head and asked his own question, “Do you think I’m struggling with pride?”

I wasn’t trying to imply my young friend was prideful. I was setting the stage to help him see his circumstances through a different lens.

So I simply stated, “I believe the opposite of pride is trust in God. Pride begs us to believe it all depends on us. Trusting God requires us to place our dependence on Him. And the pathway that leads us away from pride and into a place of truly trusting God is paved with humility. Humility is never bought at a cheap price. It will always cost us something but will be worth the price we pay.

“Might God be using these humbling circumstances to get you to a place of deep and unshakable trust in Him? If God sees big things ahead for you, and I believe He does, then He must remove all hints of pride. Even if pride is but a tiny thorn in your heart now, when you are given a bigger position with more recognition, that pride will grow from a thorn to a dagger with the potential to kill your calling.”

In the Old Testament, we see God revealing this same kind of pride-stripping process by feeding the children of Israel manna in the desert for the purpose of humbling them. It was crucial that God prepare them to trust Him as they stepped from the desert into their destined Promised Land.

Deuteronomy 8:2 says, “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”

And then our key verse Deuteronomy 8:3 goes on to reveal, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”

So why exactly was having to eat manna so humbling? And what can we glean from Deuteronomy 8:3 for our own lives today?

Here are three things I think we can take away from today’s key verse:

  1. God is our provider.

The children of Israel were used to looking down at the ground in Egypt and working the land to provide for themselves. They trusted their own hard work for their provision. Now, they would need to look up and trust God for His provision.

  1. God’s provision is what we need but not always what we want.

This manna God provided was not like the normal food the Israelites were used to providing for themselves. But God knew it was the perfect nourishment for those in the desert. He knows our needs better than we do. God is more concerned about our ultimate good than our temporary pleasure.

  1. God’s provision protects our heart. Our desires have the potential of corrupting our heart.

Man-made bread is not what gives the fullness of life God desires for us. Man-made success, riches and popularity are the same way. They will not fulfill us like we think they will. Only the Word of God can seep into the hungry places of our souls and make the dead and discouraged places within come fully alive and deeply satisfied. We must want Him most of all. And then He will see our hearts are prepared and trustworthy to handle other things.

At the end of our discussion, my young friend thanked me for helping him see that in each hard step of his journey as a leader, he’s either walking the pathway of pride, by trusting himself, OR the pathway of humility, which is trusting God. And the same is true for each of us.

May we all choose to trust Him and let that be the lens through which we process our circumstances. May we see how God isn’t trying to break our hearts but rather make us ready for what He sees just ahead.

Lord, thank You for always having my best in mind. Search my heart for any shred of pride. And help me live a life of humble and complete surrender to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
James 4:6, “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” (NIV)

– See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/the-pathway-to-humility/#sthash.za9cVd8X.dpuf

Who Is Your Counsel?

Sermon of the Day: Boasting Only in the Cross


 

Psalm 16:1-8

Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Good Morning Men.

For those of you that listened to the sermon last week ‘The Path to Full and Lasting Pleasure’, you may recognize some of this.

This sermon blew me away. I would like to attempt to pull out some of the amazing points Pastor John made in that sermon. My hope and prayer is that you will be richly blessed and blown away also.

This Psalm starts as a plea, or a prayer to God. The highlight for me was when Pastor John broke down verse 7, however they are all connected. There are four main points that David, the Psalmist illustrates here.

God is his refuge, his treasure, his sovereign God and counselor.

Men I am not sure about you guys but I desperately need counsel. I have been searching for good counsel since I gave my life to Christ. I know how shallow, empty and selfish my decisions and actions can be without it.

Praise God He is our mighty counselor, and we have direct access to Him if we so choose.

But my question has always been how do I draw more depth from my counsel? How do I seek it more, learn to appreciate it more? Hear it more clearly?

I’m very grateful I got some clarity from through this text.

“Trusting God as your counselor affects how you experience God as your refuge and as your treasure and as your sovereign.” Piper

Refuge – How does God become our refuge?

God becomes our refuge in how He counsels us. His Word is our counsel and light. This refuge is not automatic, we cannot ignore God, His Word, His commands and then in times of trouble expect great clear counsel. This counsel is interactive. The more time we spend seeking His counsel, spending time in His Word and in prayer the more He speaks to us. The more clearly we understand who He really is.

The other day a co-worker who goes to a church was expressing some of his difficulties to me and explaining some of his recent decisions. This individual told me that he made the decision because he hasn’t been treated fairly and he deserves to be treated better because of what he offers. He continued by saying that he is at peace with his decision because God wants us to be happy.

Unfortunately for this individual he was not seeing the complete picture. There is no counsel from God’s Word that says that, or would support his reasoning and logic behind that decision. His decision was based completely off of pride and emotions. Of course there is a lot more backdrop and context here, but the point is that his decisions did not counsel based off of God’s Word. His decisions were rooted in personal comfort and an unwillingness to look in the mirror. This man needed to be absolutely honest with his behavior and actions, line it up with scripture, and then seek God to help him change.

Treasure – Is God really our treasure?

Verse 2 and verse 4 illustrate the single-mindedness of David. God is His absolute treasure. Nothing is greater, nothing is more important than what He has in God. This treasure gets established when we treasure God for more than His character. This treasure becomes so abundant when God is treasured because of His teachings in His Word, His promises and His love. God’s counsel becomes so abundantly satisfying and beautiful.

Sovereign – Is God really sovereign over my life? Even over this junk that doesn’t seem to be getting better?

My answer is yes and yes! Pastor John taught that God is sovereign in two ways in our lives. At times God completely rescues us and alters our course to save us from destruction. Then at times God is Sovereign through His Word, or His teachings. We learn to make decisions based on the principles and commands of His inspired Word.

The other day God put something on my heart as I was reflecting on this piece.

Do you know why we don’t read the Bible? Whether you are a non-believer or a lip worshiping believer, or a lukewarm believer. It doesn’t matter, either way there are two reasons why we don’t read the Bible.

Number 1 is because we feel we do not need any counsel. This mindset holds to the idea that, “I can figure this out.”

This absolutely blew me away. It is so true. If this is you think about it. If you do not turn to the Bible for counsel, where do you turn?

Number 2 is because darkness avoids light.

When sin is present in our lives and for whatever reasons we don’t want to change, we are choosing to stay in darkness. God’s Word will cut and expose, it divides between soul and spirit, joints and marrow and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

So my question for each of us is, who is our counsel?

Men there may have been some tough words for all of us in this message. My hope and prayer is that you will take this offense to God. Do not run from it. God longs so desperately for all of us to be saved and walking in His light.

Learn to trust Him. Learn to seek Him.

Jeremiah 29:13

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Lessons From Peter

Sermon of the Day: The Path to Full and Lasting Pleasure


Luke 22:60-62

60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!”

Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

“It is dangerous to follow the Lord from a distance”.

That was what Dr. McGee said in his commentary following the above passage.

This comment really spoke to me and it really got me thinking. How true that statement is.

Why did this happen to Peter? What was so important about this denial, and the pain and shame Peter went through following this denial?

For more context you I would encourage you to read Luke 22:31-34, 54-62. In a nutshell Jesus is preparing the disciples for His death. Peter boldly says that he would never deny Jesus, even to death. Did Peter mean this? I believe he did. But I also know that scripture had to be fulfilled. Jesus said in Mark 14:27, reciting Zechariah 13:7;

“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’

What did Peter need to learn? What Peter needed to learn was that the flesh is weak. Peter all through scripture was bold and boisterous. Peter was always the first to speak up, the first to attack, the first to rebuke, the first to the empty tomb. Peter was a mans man. Full of passion and emotion. Full of opinion and was not afraid to speak his mind.

God needed to teach Peter a tremendous lesson. A lesson that brought him to his knees every time he thought about it for the rest of his life. The denial of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me just give two examples of the personality of Peter.

Matthew 16:22

 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

Jesus is describing his death and resurrection and Peter has the bold and good intentions of rebuking Jesus. There were other disciples there, but only Peter speaks out.

Matthew 14:28-29

28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Peter wanted to be a part of this action. Everyone else is in the boat terrified. Not Peter. A mans man, confident of his abilities and seeking adventure. Peter’s courage gave him an experience that no man has ever done. This courage was great, however God needed to show Peter that this courage is limited and only by God’s Spirit are we actually strong through Him and in Him.

Men, God wants to use every single one of us for His glory. We are here to be a light in this world, to proclaim and herald the gospel. The greatest news of the history of mankind needs to be shared with every soul by our lives and actions and in some instances our words.

The problem with us men is that we have a certain skill set or traits and we tend to forget who that skill set or traits are actually  from. We desperately need to be humbled by the Lord. A true humility that knows that without God I am nothing. I have no control of my health, my life, my finances or anything else. God sustains me with every breath I take.

Peter had a tremendous calling, so great that even the devil was personally asking for Peter (Luke 22:31). God knew that without a tremendous breakdown of this mans spirit, Peter would some day get so swollen on pride that he would cause tremendous damage for the kingdom and potentially his own soul.

Men are you in a trial? Have you been through one? If you have how have you handled it? Did your own own strength and cleverness get you out of it. If you have beware, just know that when you fall God has a lesson for you. God may not use us like Peter, but we do have a calling to fulfill. We are not ready for it and that is what trials do. They refine us by fire, they strengthen us in Christ. We learn how frail the flesh is. How unreliable the flesh, our gifts, our talents, our minds, our strength really is. If you have not learned this and God has called you, believe me, you will learn this.

Turn to God men. Turn to Him and pursue Him with all that you have. Remove sin, flee from temptations and cry out to God for help. For healing. For forgiveness. We have a heavenly father that longs to care for us.

May the Lord  draw all of you that are reading this into His eternal grace and mercy. May the Lord light a fire in your soul that will never be quenched.

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