"Then Jesus said to them, " You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, "I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED." But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee."
But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away."
Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You."
All the disciples said the same thing too.
Matthew 26:31-35

I am preparing for Resurrection Day, and honoring my Savior by studying accounts of the four gospels leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. This is a private time alone with Him, so He may teach me what He wants me to know at this time in my life. I encourage you to do the same. I want to love and honor Him by surrendering myself before Him for correction and direction in my life. I need to know the truth concerning all things, and I know He is the Truth. I know the Holy Spirit will lead me into all truth as promised.

As we look at our scriptures today we hear Jesus revealing to the disciples what is going to transpire in their lives before it happens. This is the way of our Father. He reveals to His own, as they allow Him to, what is going to happen in the future. He informs them they are all going to fall away because of Him this very night. He then quotes prophecy being fulfilled in the Old Testament which they have had access to for hundreds of years. He tells them the plan after His resurrection. He is going before them to Galilee and they are to meet Him there.

But Peter, being Peter, declares even if all the others fall away, he will not! He will never deny Him! Peter still did not realize apart from the power of the Holy Spirit we can do nothing. His flesh and good intentions would not be allowed to thwart the plans of God, the Father. Jesus, knowing full well the future, informs Peter he will deny him not once, but three times! Peter, wanting to be right, more than he wanted truth, replies he is willing to die with him before denying Him. Peter was speaking out of emotions sincerely felt, but it wasn’t the Spirit, it was his flesh. I want us to notice all the disciples declared the same thing. This is often overlooked.

However, Jesus explained to Peter earlier in chapter 16:21-23 his problem and ours also:

From that time, Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside, and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it Lord! This shall never happen to you."
But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on God’s interest but man’s."

Peter is responding out of emotions according to his flesh, and his feelings, leaning to His own understanding, doing what is right in His own eyes. We all understand Peter all too well. It seems right to our natural man, but we are clearly told in scripture our flesh wars against the Spirit of God within us.
Galatians 5:16-17 declares:

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. "

In order to be true followers of Christ we must deny our will for His in all we say and do. That is the example our Lord and Savior lived out before us. Of course we all fall short as Peter and all the disciples did. But that is exactly why Jesus knew what He must do.
2 Corinthians 5:21 proclaims:

"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

The only thing required on our part is repentance. Repentance is not an emotional experience with alot of tears unless it is truly from a broken and contrite spirit. Repentance is not remorse when you are simply sorry, but not willing to make a change. True repentance is loving the God you have offended, more than your sin, and you are willing to give it up for the love of God over pleasing yourself and others. It is a heartfelt conviction with brokeness and contrition.

Think of the love He has shone each of us by watching His Son pay the price for forgiveness and cleansing us from all our unrighteousness! Think of the shame, betrayal, humiliation, the agony, and being forsaken by all that Jesus felt, being totally sinless, yet willing to die for our sins on that cross. Let us not take for granted and cheapen the price paid by our Father and our Savior by carelessly, callously sinning and claiming you are under grace. Yes, we are all a product of incomprehensible grace with true repentance, but we have a Holy God that will judge every word and action internally, not externally. There is no deceiving the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t play religious games.

If you are living a life of misery, and you recognize you need a Savior there is hope for all. The cross reveals how much God loves His creation of mankind. His Word describes it best in 1 Peter 3:18. Read on in the scriptures about what Peter became, and how God used him mightily, finally doing what he proclaimed in his flesh, but performed in the power of the Holy Spirit by being martyred upside down, because he did not consider himself worthy to die as His Lord. We must look to scripture, and allow it to reveal truth to us if we want to qualify as a true disciple of Christ. 1st and 2nd Peter were written just before His own martyrdom. 1 Peter 3:18 declares:

"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God, He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit."

Peter, unlike Judas, truly repented for his sinsand was forgiven and restored. He proved it by the life he lived and with his death. Repentance is a way of life for the true followers of Christ. We will never end the battle with our flesh till we physically die. The more we feed our spirit the stronger we become. We do that by meditating on God’s Word day and night according to scriptures.
Psalm1:1 declares:

"How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night."

The Word of God is the sword of the spirit. We are all in spiritual warfare we cannot see, but it is more real than what we do see, and determines our eternity, because the flesh is temporal. We will shed our bodies, but our spirit man is eternal. Please seek God’s Word and His face this approaching Resurrection Day by staying in the scriptures for the true meaning of Easter. This truth is more important for mankind than anything else on this earth and into eternity. Do not remain ignorant of the love of your Heavenly Father, and the love of His Son for each one of us. Know what belongs to you no matter what you have done, or who you are. He died for all mankind. For God so loved the world He gave His only Son, that whosoever would believe upon Him should not perish, but shall have everlasting life! That includes you!
In His love.

Teresa Roberts

Masterpiece Fitness



Wonderful morning running this week at Hanging Rock State Park! Photos from Moore’s Knob and Hanging Rock with a heart full of gratitude to our Creator!