Scripture Reading:  John 13:36-38

“Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are you going?’  Jesus answered him, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you will follow afterwards.’  Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You now?  I will lay down my life for You.’” (John 13:36-37)

We all know that Peter had good intentions.  I don’t question the sincerity of the commitment he made to Jesus:  “I will lay down my life for You.”  There is no question that Peter was deeply devoted to Jesus; he loved Him greatly.  He had the best intentions.  But Jesus knew how weak Peter was.  Thus He said to Peter, “Will you lay down your life for Me?  Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied Me three times” (v. 38).

As I reflect back over my life as a Christian, I too have had many good intentions.  I have wanted to be the best servant of Jesus I could be; but I have failed over and over, for I really rather be served than to serve.  I have wanted to be a faithful witness for Jesus; but I’m afraid I’ve failed more times than I’ve been faithful.  I wanted to live a life of gospel humility; but I am a proud person who has failed miserably at it.  I wanted to be a generous person; but my desires for personal satisfaction kept me from it.  I could go on and on with my good intentions that never materialized.

Jesus knew Peter and He knows us.  He knows our love for Him, and He knows our weak sinful hearts.  Do you remember the words Jesus said to Peter in Gethsemane?  “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41b).  Can’t we relate to Peter?  Our spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak indeed.

Peter failed, not once but three times (John 18:15ff).  Jesus, however, did not give up on him.  He restored him to faithful ministry (John 21:15-19).  He does the same for us!

Lord Jesus, I have had so many good intentions to serve and honor You.  Yet, I confess that I have failed to do so over and over.  My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak.  Forgive me and know that I do love You in spite of all my failures.


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