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Archive for March, 2013

33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”

Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”

37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! – John 13 (NIV)

 

Have you ever heard a rooster crow in the morning? Did it wake you up? Did you want to go out and choke it and serve it for dinner that night?

The fact is, not many of us live on a farm these days or have chickens & a rooster in our back yard. Remember, these were Bible times though, and for those that walked the earth at that time it was a daily occurrence! Chickens, roosters, livestock, and other animals roamed the streets along with them.

 

As you probably know… Jesus’ prediction was accurate. Peter denied the Lord three times…

 

Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Mark 14:72 (NIV)

 

Now back to what we talked about earlier with the rooster… How do you think Peter felt every time he heard a rooster crow after that day? Did he think only of his failure? Did the pain of regret stab him in the gut every time he heard the sound? I’m sure wherever he went there was always a rooster around to wake him up in the morning and he had to live with that constant reminder.

 

Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever done something that you wish you could change, and there are things that you hear or see that remind you of it? I know I have, many times. It hurts, doesn’t it?

 

Yet Jesus knew this about Peter and loved him and chose him anyway. Here’s a section from my journal many years ago… (I’m about to get real personal…)

 

But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles… — Galatians 1:15-16a (NLT)

Paul, in the preceding verses, was talking about his conversion. This included his improper past, in which he channeled all of his religious superiority into persecuting Christians.

After reading this, when I read verse 15 it was like a soothing ointment of healing to an old, forgotten wound. You mean God chose me and called me, “even before I was born.”?!?! That means He knew the twists and turns my life would take, the unfaithfulness of my heart after knowing Him as a child, the dark road of sin I would take, and the enlightened path of my footsteps when I would run back to him. He knew my deepest, darkest secrets even before they happened.

He knew my struggles, doubts, fears, and problems as His child. ALL OF THIS He knew, and I wasn’t even born! Yet He still chose me and called me. I don’t need to live in a place of guilt and shame… I no longer should dwell on all of the old hurts of my life and need to move forward in forgiveness and maturity… I can’t let anger or unhappiness rule my heart because I don’t like my life or who I am or where I come from.

I should REJOICE, like Paul, that He “picked me” even before I was born! It was like God said, “This one is mine and one day she will actually realize it. I know her life will be imperfect, but that’s ok because that’s what will make her and shape her into the person she becomes. Once I capture her heart, she will truly be mine forever.”

God doesn’t look at our past and see us as broken and unusable. With loving hands, He forms us in our mother’s womb and sees OUR FUTURE and what we will become. How awesome is that?!

 

Even though I wrote that many years ago, I still need to remind myself of it when facing new mistakes, new struggles, and things in my life I’m not happy or proud of.

 

Peter had to move on from his past and realize that God had made him into a person who would accomplish many amazing things. We also need to get past our past and see ourselves through God’s eyes instead of through our own eyes which may only see our failures. Remember, God already knew who you were before you were born and loves you anyway.

 

A good friend recently told me to get alone with God and ask Him how he sees me… not how I see myself or how others see me… how HE sees me. It took a few days of prayer every morning and night, but the answer finally came – and it was THE OPPOSITE of anything I would have ever thought or imagined! Now I have to keep reminding myself of those words. Ask God this week to show you how HE sees you.

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