HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
And now, here’s one more thing that I believe Peter would say; that . . .
4. IF YOU BLOW IT, KNOW THAT YOUR WITNESS FOR HIM ISN’T FOREVER RUINED.
Matthew tells us that, as soon as Peter denied his Lord for the third time, “Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So he went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:74-75).
And if he were here, I wonder if Peter might say to us something like this:
“My dear brothers and sisters; for the rest of my life, I couldn’t hear a rooster crow but that I would break down and cry again. I can’t tell you enough how ashamed I was. And I was sure that I would never be of any use to the Lord again. Even after He arose, I thought He would never want to have anything to do with me.
“Now; perhaps you have denied the Lord too. And perhaps you feel that He could never use you again. It may not be that you denied Him with your words. Perhaps it was through your neglect. Or perhaps it was through your loss of focus. It may even be that some sinful habit has taken hold of you, and made a ruin of you and that you now feel as if you’ve brought such disrepute upon the Lord that He’d never want you around Him again.
“But look at me. I denied Him. I cursed and swore in Caiaphas’ courtyard, and denied that I knew Him even as they were beating Him! But back before He went to the garden, He once said to me:
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.’ (Luke 22:31-32).
Do you see it? He not only knew that I would blow it, but He had a plan of service in place for me as soon as I would return to Him!
“After He arose, He came and appeared to me personally! And then I—Peter, the notorious denier of the Lord—was permitted to preach the first gospel message ever preached to my Jewish brethren in the city of Jerusalem! And then, I was permitted to be the first evangelist ever to deliver the gospel to Gentiles! And the Holy Spirit even saw fit to use me to write two letters that are now in the Bible—and that has been the edification and strengthening of my suffering and persecuted brethren ever since! All of this was after I blew it!
“Oh no, dear brothers and sisters. Even if you’ve blown it as I once had—even if you have denied your precious Lord terribly—your story is not over. He is a very forgiving Saviour. You can just take it for a fact that your witness for Him is never permanently lost. He went on to use me. And if you confess your failure and turn back to Him, He can also use you.”
Praise God for my dear elder-brother, Peter! Praise God that we have his story—even the story of his denial of the Lord—recorded forever in God’s word for our instruction. And may we learn, from his experiences, how we can stand strong for the Lord in our own times of testing.
I pray that Almighty God had been blessing you over the last few days as we look into the denial of Peter. I also, pray that our hearts will be forever blessed and our lives will not be the same after today. AMEN