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Month: March 2016

WALK with PETER – Part 2

WALK with PETER – Part 2

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After supper and when they had sung a hymn… He led them out to the Mount of Olives.

–Mark 14:26

Our bellies are full from supper–the last supper. After singing a few songs, Jesus intentionally leads us on a stroll out of Jerusalem up to the Mount of Olives. Ironically, this is the same area where the next day Jesus meets His demise–The Cross.

Stopping along the way, Jesus turns and looks at me. As our eyes meet, Jesus says, “Peter, Satan has asked permission to sift you as wheat.” With a tenderness of love and compassion, He finishes, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Stunned. Shocked. I quickly defend my honor, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Tears well up in Jesus. “Peter, I tell you the truth on this very day you will deny knowing me. The third time you hear the rooster crow is your reminder of this conversation.”

Adjusting my belt and checking my sword, I wonder why Jesus would say such things. These past three years, I’ve followed Him everywhere. In fact, I left my family and boat to follow Him. I’m not abandoning Him now!

Standing a bit taller, I shake these thoughts from my mind. Jesus called me to follow; I will follow Him anywhere and everywhere. 

REFLECTION TIME

Read Mark 14:26-41 and Luke 22:31-34

How powerful, yet tender. Jesus prayed for Peter by name.

Was Peter listening? Did he hear what Jesus was saying?

Did he understand Jesus was standing in the gap for him? Possibly Peter was too busy fantasizing about how he would defend and conquer the opposing forces. Possibly, he imagined a battle scene with himself as the hero.

Jesus, knowing Peter’s thoughts, prays again for His friend… His disciples… His chosen ones.

A promise of hope lingers in Jesus’ statement, “Peter, and when you have returned to Me strengthen your brothers.” A foreshadowing promise of forgiveness, grace, and restoration–All in God’s perfect timing.

Was Peter listening? Did he hear what Jesus was saying?

PRAYER WALK CHALLENGE

How familiar is this scenario in your own life? Do you hear the voice of God? Is He warning and preparing you for what lies ahead? Don’t resist the voice of God. Contemplate His Word. Trust His promises.

Listen, respond, and trust.

WALK with PETER – PART 1

WALK with PETER – PART 2


 

From My Heart to Yours,

Carla McDougal

Executive Producer for the movie – STRONGER

WALK with PETER – Part 1

WALK with PETER – Part 1

 

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The Apostle Peter…

Bold. Strong. Leader. Energetic. Enthusiastic. Tenacious. Confident. Passionate. Rugged.

Yet…

Impulsive. Self-focused. Fearful. Impetuous. Self-reliant. Remorseful. Guilt-ridden. Regretful.

Jesus called Peter to follow Him. Peter obeyed. He walked beside Jesus for three years experiencing His miracles and healings. Peter heard firsthand Jesus’ teaching lessons and watched miracles unfold – from walking on the water to walking through the countryside of Samaria. Jesus continually displayed God’s truths and messages to those around Him.

But…

From a human perspective, how did Peter respond in the midst of his journey with Jesus? What thoughts popped in and out? Was he constantly comparing himself to the other disciples? Did he view this time with Jesus more like a competition?

Scripture doesn’t answer all the “Behind the Scenes” questions. In fact, this is the beauty of God’s Word–perfect, complete, and unaltered. Asking the Holy Spirit to help us learn and grow from scripture is vital. The result… a deeper walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

With all that said Walk with Peter is written from Peter’s viewpoint. Although the insights are not absolute, they present possible thoughts and actions of Peter throughout scripture. Enjoy the journey. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart.

WALK with PETER – Part 1

WALK with PETER – Part 2

 

JESUS’ TRIUMPHAL ENTRY

JESUS’ TRIUMPHAL ENTRY

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Word spreads quickly of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. With each step, the crowd multiplies gaining momentum and strength. In unison, they shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Tears form as He looks deep into the eyes of the onlookers. A spark of sadness ignites in Jesus’ heart.

Tears form as He looks deep into the eyes of the onlookers. A spark of sadness ignites in Jesus’ heart. Oh, Father, I need Your strength, might, and courage. They seek an earthly king, one to save them from empires and nations. Help them realize they need a King to save them from a life of eternal damnation; a King to bring them everlasting life with You. 

Beads of sweat gather on Jesus’ forehead. He continues His conversation with His heavenly Father, This journey seems too much for me to bear. Please, strengthen Me. All of a sudden, the words from the prophet Zechariah 9:9 pop into His head – Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey. A colt, the foal of a donkey. Glancing down, He smiles. Below Him, the symbol of peace displayed for all to see. A sigh of relief comes over Him.

Jesus silently scans the crowd. With love and grace, His eyes meet Mary’s. Immediately, He flashes back to the time Mary anointed His feet with the costly oil. Warmth consumes His heart. A quick reminder of His Father’s love and purpose for sending Him to this earth. By Mary’s side is her brother, Lazarus, like yesterday Jesus recalls breathing life back into him as he raises Lazarus from the dead. Again, another remembrance of His Father’s purpose for sending Him to redeem this world of sin. Peace fills His soul. Strength restores His soul. Jesus quietly praises His Heavenly Father for answered prayer.

The journey closes in as Jesus enters the gate into Jerusalem. The anthem of the crowd rings throughout the streets – “Hosanna the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus hears the praises and cheers, yet knows the truth. A lump forms in his throat as He whispers – Today they shout FOR Me, but in a few days they will shout AGAINST saying Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” 

Within seconds, compassion overwhelms Jesus. An abundance of love flows. Such confirmation of why His journey to the cross is not out of duty, but out of a heart of love, grace, and mercy.

Zechariah 9:11, He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.


From My Heart to Yours,

Carla McDougal

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