31 “Simon, Simon, look out. Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33 “Lord,” he told him, “I’m ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 “I tell you, Peter,” he said, “the rooster will not crow today until you deny three times that you know me.”
At 6:00 a.m. the alarm sounds. You say to yourself, “I know I need to get up and start my day.” You hit the snooze button.
Nine minutes later the alarm goes off again “The kids need to eat. I need to get in my run and start my day.” SMACK! The snooze goes on again.
Beep. Beep. Beep. So tired, you roll out of bed, turn off the alarm and start your day feeling behind because you hit the snooze twice already, yet knowing you had the BEST of intentions to wake up and face the new day. But your flesh was so weak this morning you just had to sleep a little more.
We’ve all been there at some point, right? Some more often than others, but we’ve all had the BEST of intentions or made promises to do something, but our flesh was just too weak, too tired, too distracted, too overcommitted, too limited, too lazy, too ______(fill in the blank).
It’s common as humans (especially as believers) to have a strong spirit of YES, but at times our flesh says NO. We have the heart and best of intentions to serve, shepherd, mentor, give or sacrifice for someone or something, yet when the time comes, we simply can’t follow through.
When Peter said in Luke 22:3, “I’m ready to go with you both to prison and to death,” he was saying, “My spirit is willing and ready to follow you, Jesus, even if that means my death.” Peter had all the right intentions, yet when push came to shove, his flesh still came up weak. Jesus even predicted Peter would fail, regardless of what his heart intentions were.
Applying this to our own life, here are a few points to ponder:
- Regardless of our heart’s intentions, we are human and fall short; therefore, we need a Savior to redeem us.
- Jesus truly SEES us and chooses to accept us exactly as we are, who we are, and where we are at. In this scripture, Jesus KNEW Peter was making a promise he couldn’t keep. But Jesus still loved Peter anyway, exactly as he was, who he was, and where he was at—even if it meant Jesus would be betrayed by the friend who knew Him best.
- The best of intentions don’t atone us; Jesus atones us on the cross. Because we are limited humans, we are in need of a limitless Savior. We need Him to atone for our shortcoming, our empty promises and our sin. Jesus knew His purpose, and He died just as much for those who knew Him and had good intentions as for those who didn’t know Him at all.
So yes, we need to try our best to follow through on the promises we make. But even more, we desperately need to receive the gift of grace and mercy He offers us.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What do your promises and follow-through look like in your life?
- Where is it that Jesus offers you grace and mercy?
- Where do you need to let Him in so you can receive His grace and mercy?
Pray for the church planting efforts of Jason and Jennifer, global workers from our church family in Europe. They have seen many people become newly interested in knowing God in the wake of the pandemic.