Tag Archives: Peter

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord.” Luke 22:61.

His Lord’s solemn prediction of his sin he seemed quite to have forgotten. But when that look met his eye, it summoned back to memory the faded recollections of the faithful and tender admonitions that had forewarned him of his fall. There is a tendency, in our fallen minds to forget our sinful departures from God. David’s threefold backsliding seemed to have been lost in deep oblivion, until the Lord sent His prophet to recall it to his memory. Christ will bring our forgotten departures to view, not to upbraid or to condemn, but to humble us, and to bring us afresh to the blood of sprinkling. The heart searching look from Christ turns over each leaf in the book of memory; and sins and follies, inconsistencies and departures, there inscribed, but long forgotten, are read and re-read, to the deep sin-loathing and self-abasement of our souls. Ah! let a look of forgiving love penetrate your soul, illuminating memory’s dark cell, and how many things, and circumstances, and steps in your past life will you recollect to your deepest humiliation before God. And oh! how much do we need thus to be reminded of our admonitions, our warnings, and our falls, that we may in all our future spirit and conduct “walk humbly with God.”

A Thought on Peter

I don’t know about any of you, but I have a habit of looking at my past, and when I do, I admit that I often see my failures far more often than I see my successes.  Ask me how I’ve failed, about my short comings, my temptations, my lack of confidence, and I can tell you all of them.  Seeing myself and all the bad things about me has never been my problem, but seeing the good things about myself has been, and quite truthfully still is.

I don’t like admitting this, but it is what it is.  Tonight I was reading about the apostle Peter.  There are times when I see a lot of myself in Peter.  I can look at his life with Christ, and I can see many of his failures in myself.  Peter denied Christ three times.  He told Christ Jesus he would never deny Him.  He did.  I have too.

I don’t like admitting this either, but it’s true.  Like Peter, I didn’t and don’t intend to, but it’s happened, and happens.  Do I go around telling people I don’t believe in Jesus.  No.  Maybe not with my voice, but in so many ways.  There are as many ways to deny love as to accept it, and there are as many ways to express hate, prejudice, bigotry, selfishness, and disdain and intolerance as there are ways to express the opposite.

Peter knew these things, felt these things, showed them in his life-even as He walked with Jesus.  Peter knew his failures.  Jesus knew them, too, and forgave them.  Peter was transformed by the love of Jesus.  Peter in the beginning was as we all are…an enemy…and yet through the love of Jesus became a pillar of the early church, and was so steady and brave in his devotion and love of Christ that he helped to change the world he lived in for Christ.  He lived and died loving Christ Jesus because He had experienced grace in His presence.

In the beginning Peter knew failure…In the end He knew success…in the middle grace had its affect, and it’s effect, and it still does…

 

 

From “Music For The Soul” by Alexander Maclaren

A NEW NAME AND A NEW NATURE

If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold they are become new. – 2Co_5:17

Jesus Christ gave the Apostle, whom He called to Himself in the early days, a new name, in order to prophesy the change which, by the discipline of sorrow and the communication of the grace of God, should pass over Simon Barjona, making him into a Peter, the Man of Rock. With characteristic independence, Saul chooses for himself a new name, which shall express the change that he feels has passed over his inmost being. True, he does not assume it at his conversion, but that is no reason why we should not believe that he assumes it because he is beginning to understand what it is that has happened to him at his conversion.

The central heart of Christianity is the possession of a new life, communicated to us through faith in that Son of God who is the Lord of the Spirit. Wheresoever there is a true faith, there is a new nature.

Opinions may play upon the surface of a man’s soul, like the moonbeams on the silver sea, without raising its temperature one degree or sending a single beam into its dark caverns. And that is the sort of Christianity that satisfies a great many of you – a Christianity of opinion, a Christianity of surface creed, a Christianity which at the best slightly modifies some of your outward actions, but leaves the whole inner man unchanged.

Paul’s Christianity meant a radical change in his whole nature. He went out of Jerusalem a persecutor; he came into Damascus a Christian. He rode out of Jerusalem hating, loathing, despising Jesus Christ; he groped his way into Damascus broken, bruised, clinging contrite to His feet, and clasping His Cross as his only hope. He went out proud, self-reliant, pluming himself upon his many prerogatives, his blue blood, his pure descent, his Rabbinical knowledge, his Pharisaical training, his externally religious earnestness, his pure morality; he rode into Damascus blind in the eyes, but seeing in the soul, and discerning that all these things were, as he says in his strong vehement way, ” but dung ” in comparison with his winning Christ. And his theory of conversion, which he preaches in all his epistles, is but the generalization of his own personal experience, which suddenly, and in a moment, smote his old self to shivers, and raised up a new life, with new tastes, views, tendencies, aspirations, with new allegiance to a new King. Such changes, so sudden, so revolutionary, cannot be expected often to take place amongst people who, like us, have been listening to Christian teaching all our lives. But unless there be this infusion of a new life into men’s spirits which shall make them love and long and aspire after new things that once they did not care for, I know not why we should speak of them as being Christians at all. The transition is described by Paul as “passing from death unto life.” That cannot be a surface thing. A change which needs a new name must be a profound change. Has our Christianity revolutionized our nature in any such fashion? It is easy to be a Christian after the superficial fashion which passes muster with so many of us. A verbal acknowledgment of belief in truths which we never think about, a purely external performance of acts of worship, a subscription or two winged by no sympathy, and a fairly respectable life between the cloak of which all evil may burrow undetected – make the Christianity of thousands. Paul’s Christianity transformed him; does yours transform you? If it does not, are you quite sure that it is Christianity at all?