This Week & Beyond...
Okay, this is yet another reminder to block out dates on planning centre that you don't want to serve this summer. You can also email me dates or any other pertinent information that would help me in making the schedule for July & August. I WILL be making the schedule on Tuesday, June 13th. Please compete this most pain staking task before then. :)
If you're name is listed here, I've heard from you:
Lisa, Tony, Corinne, Sheldon, Greg D(aka. schteve), Cassie, Kelsey, Elleah
Year end wrap-up!!
Please don't forget to mark your calendars for June 25th @ 6pm. We will be getting together for a time of appreciation! Fellowship, food, etc...
Peter's Miserable Night
by Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, Missouri
But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:60-62)
He went out and wept bitterly. What a contrast this is to the Peter we see so often throughout the gospel accounts. Generally, Peter is recognized as cocky, boisterous, self-confident, and even arrogant at times. It was only hours before this scene that Peter confidently declared, "Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away... Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!" (Matthew 26:33, 35).
Suddenly, though, Peter found himself broken, defeated, and deflated. Did his earlier boastful words ring loudly through his mind at this point? He definitely remembered what Jesus had told him when Peter made his brash declaration: "Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times" (Matthew 26:34). And, recalling those words, He broke down and cried. No, actually, the translators captured the full essence of the Greek in this verse: Peter "wept bitterly." He wasn't just sad. His sorrow was exceedingly overwhelming. Peter was a broken man. He knew that not only had he completely failed Jesus, but Peter also recognized that Jesus knew he had failed. So he wept bitterly.
It must have been a miserable night for Peter.
Fast forward though. The Peter we see in the gospels is a very different man than the Peter we see in his writings. Have you ever read his New Testament letters? Oh, he's still confident, but now his confidence is in Christ only. He's definitely no longer arrogant or even brash. Peter changed dramatically.
I would suggest that if it hadn't been for that dreadful night -- if Peter hadn't come to the end of himself and lost his deep-seated self-assuredness -- that his later ministry would have been far less effective. God doesn't really need our amazing abilities. He wants our hearts. And He doesn't truly get that until we reach the end of ourselves.
It's only when we recognize our complete and total dependence on the Lord that God can fully work through us. When our confidence is in us, we're sunk. "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12).
I know that you might be a really good vocalist or instrumentalist or whatever your role might be in the worship ministry. It's possible that you are the very best in your church at whatever it is that you do. But you know what? Although people may be quite impressed with your musical prowess, God isn't impressed.
Don't misunderstand. Whatever gifts we have were given to us by the Lord Himself. He loves us and created us just the way we are. But just like Peter, until we come to the end of ourselves, we will never reach our full potential with those gifts and abilities.
1. Have you ever -- like Peter -- experienced a "hitting the bottom"? Would you be willing to share that experience?
2. If it's not too personal, what is God saying to you through this devotion?
3. Read 1 Peter 4:10-11. What should be the motive for using our gifts?