Scripture Reading: John 18:15-18, 25-27
“Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, ‘You also are not one of His disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with Him?’ Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.” (John 18:25-27)
I wonder how Peter felt when he heard the crow of that rooster? Surely he remembered Jesus’ words to him when he had boldly said that he would give his life for his Lord: “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” (John 13:38). I am sure Peter was devastated, disappointed in himself, and filled with despair. He had denied his Lord, not once, but three times.
Everyone of us has, at one time or another, denied our Lord. We deny Him by remaining silent when His name is being blasphemed and His character is being attacked. We deny Him when we fail to speak of Him, when we fail to be bold in our witness for Him. We deny Him by our actions, when we fail to obey Him and to honor Him. I have denied Him more times than I want to admit.
After the resurrection, Jesus dealt with Peter and restored him (John 21:15-19). Jesus’ love for Peter never diminished, even when Peter denied Him three times. He does the same with us; His love never fails. There is nothing we can do to cause Jesus to cease from loving us. When we fail Him, He comes to us and restores us. His love has no limits and His grace is beyond measure.
When we fail Jesus and deny Him, He wants us to confess our failures and to run to His loving arms. He forgives and restores us to faithful service, just as He did to Peter.
Lord Jesus, I have denied you more times that I can remember. I have failed to speak up for You. I have failed to tell others about You. I have failed to obey You. I confess my failures and flee to You for forgiveness and restoration. Give me bold courage to honor You with my words and my deeds.
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