Preparing with Hope March 26, 2023

disciple: someone who follows Jesus and leads others to do the same.

This week's blog will help as you prepare for our final week of the I AM series.  Many of us have at least heard some of the truths that Jesus has spoken over us but it seems like we still struggle to believe everything.  One struggle cascades into a multitude of failures.  My hope for this week is that as we look at the life of Peter that we can learn from him and hopefully not make the same mistakes as we hear what God says about us.  


Try and turn off the noise of the world and listen.  Take time to sit in silence and listen for the voice of God.  Jesus says in John 10:27 that we know his voice.  We need to spend time listening to what He says.  Take time to pause before you begin sharing your concerns.  God wants us to bring our requests to Him, but he also wants us to spend time with Him.  
I've found this to be more challenging at different stages of life.  It was so hard when our kids were young.  It seemed like every time I thought I had a couple of minutes to silence the noise of the world something urgent would happen.  If not one of the kids, one of our pets.  There was always something and it made me want to give up trying.  I felt like my prayer life was a failure.  I felt it was better to not try then to try and not succeed.  Please, let me encourage you to not give up!  Keep trying to spend time every day in silence and listen for the voice of God because God promises us that if we seek Him we will find Him.  And when we find Him we will never be disappointed.   


Read through the sections of the Bible that we'll be reading this week.  Read through them all once.  Don't try and figure things out.  Just read the verses.  Maybe read a few verses before and a few after to better understand what's really going on.  But just read the verses.  


Don't be in a hurry.  Pause.  Let the Words that you just read soak in.  Let them begin to germinate in your soul.  Now, begin to wonder.  What is God trying to say to you through these words?  What area of your life is God bringing to your attention?  Is there something you think He is trying to say to you?  It may seem like it has nothing to do with the vests you just read but that doesn't matter.  Write down what you think God is saying.  And. Pause.
Now read through the verses again.  Maybe use a different translation.  See if God clarifies what He is saying to you.   Learn from Peter.  Your circumstances will be different, but God is wanting to use these Words to change us all.  To make us more like Him through these Words.  What is God doing in your life?  Invite others into this journey.  Ask them to join you in praying about what God is saying.  But don't forget to spend more time with the One that is speaking.  And listen.  Because He loves you!


God invites us to trust Him.  And often times He gives us an opportunity to demonstrate this trust by doing something.  Maybe it's tellings someone about Jesus.  Maybe it's by giving something away.  I'm not sure exactly what God is saying to you, but I don't want you to be in such a hurry that you miss how He wants you to put your faith into action.  Often times for me, this invitation for me to put my faith into action is more for me.  It reminds me of the lesson God has been teaching me.  It solidifies what I have been learning.  And usually it allows me to share with someone else in their journey later.  It allows me to encourage someone else.   Please don't rush through this stage.

Get Ready for Sunday

Don't wait until Sunday for Sunday.  Begin now.  Begin asking God to prepare your heart to hear Him.  Begin praying for everyone that will be leading at church this Sunday.  Pray for those that will greeting.  Pray for those that are serving.  Pray for those that will be loving the children.  Pray for everyone that are doing things behind the scenes.  Begin praying now.  Ask God if there is anything He is wanting you to do?  Is there someone you should invite to come sit with you?  Begin preparing now.  Read through the verses one more time and celebrate the opportunity you have to study God's Word together with others!   For Sunday I will be using all four Gospels to learn more about Peter but will only post Matthew's account.  You can also study Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 18.

Matthew 26:31-51; 69-75

31Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
“ ‘I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. 32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 33Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”  34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”  35But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. 36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”  47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.  50Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear

69Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”  72He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”  73After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”  74Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

1 Comment

Suzanne Charity - March 22nd, 2023 at 8:25am

This is one of my favorite stories to imagine in my mind, Jesus in the garden, alone, but imagining myself being there with Him, and for Him. I feel so sad for Him to have been alone in His pain of what was to come, to not have a person to talk to- to share His feelings with, to be encouraged by, noone to be there for Him the way He was there for them every time! I don't know how He bares all of the pain of what we do or don't do. 3x His disciples fell asleep, Judus denied Him with a kiss, yet He called him friend, He watched one of his disciples respond with violence after teaching them LOVE, and 3x Peter denied Him.