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Jump-Start Your Day

Tuesday, April 23rd, '19

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

COLDEST DAY IN PETER'S LIFE

"Peter stood with them and warmed himself" (John 18:18)

 

When the going gets tough the tough take off running. At least that's what Peter did after Jesus was arrested and taken away. A few hours earlier, Peter boasted that he would never deny the Lord. Too bad, he hadn't considered the warning that those who think they stand need to take heed lest they fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). Peter denied the Lord. In fact, he vowed with a curse that he didn't know Jesus. How becoming, a cussing preacher! It was the coldest day in his life. Interesting, the same night Jesus was sweating blood, Peter was shivering at the enemy's fire. Christ was hot enough to sweat; Peter was so cold and backslidden that he shivered like a pet left out in the rain. The text says, "...the servants and officers...made a fire of coals, for it was cold...and Peter stood with them and warmed himself".

 

Notice he stood "with them". He hoped to "fit in" rather than stand out. It is the square peg's attempt to fit in a round hole. Next notice, he "warmed himself". Believers are supposed to find their warmth in fellowship, prayer, worship, evangelism and so on but the carnal Christian forsakes worship and tries to warm his soul with earthly coals, cars, cash, casinos and cocktails, etc. Obviously the mixture doesn't jive.

 

Peter had been warned, "Deny yourself or you will deny me" (paraphrase Luke 9:23), but it didn't soak in. He slept when he should have wept. While Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, Peter took a nap. Then when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter grabbed a sword and lopped off the high priest's servant's ear. No man can win a spiritual battle by using fleshly weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3,4). The next downward step was that "Peter followed afar off" (Luke 22:54). The distance is widening. Then came the denials; then came the coldness, "Peter stood with them and warmed himself".

 

But though a chill filled the air, the love of Christ remained as hot as ever. Peter may have denied Jesus, but Jesus would not deny Peter. First, he anointed a messenger with a prophetic word. Oh, not your typical preacher. He used a rooster. "While he was still speaking, the rooster crowed...So Peter went out and wept bitterly" (Luke 22:60,62). Jesus told the over-confident Peter that before the cock crows he will have denied Christ three times. Now I'm not an expert on rooster language but I think "cocka-doodle-do" can be translated as, "Chicken!" Yes, Peter chickened out but his heart broke in repentance. While Judas' bowels gushed out in suicide (Acts 1:18), Peter's heart gushed out in sorrow. And after the resurrection Jesus made it a point to instruct Mary, "Go tell the disciples and Peter" that He is risen from the dead (Mark 16:7). He called the backslider by name. That was to let him know that Jesus had not given up on him. He still believes in you and calls you by your "new name", the surname of your new identity, "Peter", which means, "a rock". Peter acted like a reed but Jesus called him a rock. Salvation is as much faith on Jesus' part as our own. Restoration was clinched in a post-resurrection rendezvous, we don't know where and we don't know what all was said, but the Bible records, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon [Peter]!" (Luke 24:34) Jesus prayed for Peter and stayed by Peter and a few short weeks later Peter became the blazing mouthpiece of Pentecost. He changed from fear-filled to fire-filled. Peter who was sifted and lifted then was gifted. Have you grown cold? He will do the same for you too...but you have to "warm up" to God and turn a cold shoulder to the world.


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