Unlikely Likeables: Peter the Impulsive
Then Peter took [Jesus] aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” Matthew 16:22
In terms of human strengths and weaknesses, many counselors hold the view that weaknesses are simply strengths misused or over-applied. Or, a weakness is an immature expression of a strength. For example, impulsivity, speaking without thinking, and hyper-activity might mellow into enthusiasm, boldness, and proactivity. That might have been the case with the apostle Peter.
Peter is a favorite disciple of many Christians, though he suffered from a continuing case of foot-in-mouth disease from speaking without thinking. For instance, when Jesus told His disciples He would be killed in Jerusalem, Peter immediately rebuked Him: Not going to happen, Lord! Instead of asking for an explanation, Peter assumed he knew better. And when Jesus predicted Peter would deny Him three times, Peter insisted—twice—that he would never deny or disown the Lord. Impulsive? Yes. But then Peter became the epitome of boldness in the early chapters of Acts.
Maturity takes time; the fruit of the Spirit is evidence of God’s conforming us to the image of Christ. Today’s weakness can become tomorrow’s strength.
There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. It takes time to be holy. Erwin W. Lutzer
Peter – Impulsive Activist ~UN~ Passionate Visionary
Life is really just a series of decisions. Most of them are small and seem inconsequential, while others could change the course of our life. Whether choices are major or minor, we need to know how to make wise ones that align with God’s will.
Our thinking is limited to what our finite minds can perceive and understand. Relying on our own assessment of the situation and possible options could easily veer us away from the Lord’s will. Even the smartest among us are foolish compared to an infinitely wise, omniscient God.
Godly wisdom requires the right perspective as well as the appropriate action—that is, it seeks to gain the Lord’s viewpoint and respond according to scriptural principles. Such wisdom asks, How would God interpret these events? What would He want me to do? Then it answers these questions, based on the truth of God’s Word. That’s why becoming very familiar with Scripture is so important. The time to prepare for future decisions is now. If we consistently read and study the Bible each day, we’ll acquire a sound base for making wise choices whenever they arise, because we’ll understand what pleases and displeases God.
The Lord has also given us His Holy Spirit as our guide and enabler. He gives us understanding of Scripture and wise direction, convicts us when we drift into sin, and empowers us to obey God’s commands.
All that we need to live wisely has been provided by the Lord, but it’s up to us to access it. Self-reliance will always lead us away from God’s will, but obedience to Him will make us wise.
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
This passage is often considered the defining passage of the gospel, stating the great truth that Christ died for our sins, then was buried (thus stressing that His resurrection was a physical resurrection, not just spiritual), and then rose again. As such, it is interesting that verse 1 which introduces it (“I declare unto you the gospel”) contains the central mention of the more than 100 times the Greek word for “gospel” occurs in the New Testament.
However, it does not say why Christ died for our sins. It was not just to pay for our salvation and make us happy. There are, in fact, numerous references to His substitutionary death that do give us further insight into just why Christ died for us and our salvation.
For example, “he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). And consider Galatians 1:4, in which Paul tells us that Christ “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world.”
Peter’s testimony and explanation was that the Lord Jesus “his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). John said: “[God] loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:10-11).
There are many other verses to the same affect. Christ did not die merely to save our souls but to empower us to live in a way that would glorify God right here on Earth. HMM
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane or the olive-press
Company yields solace to a heavy heart; the disciples could not bear any part of our Lord’s griefs, but they might have watched with him.
Mark 14:33, 34
He wished to have them near, but not too near: his woes were not to be seen of mortal man. The Man of Sorrows now began to enter the great deeps of woe.
Blessed prayer! Its sweet resignation to the Father’s will should be an example to every tried child of God.
It is said by Luke that they were sleeping for sorrow. Their kind Master, knowing this, was ready with an excuse for them, and did not chide them for what looked unkind.
Luke tells us, “Being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was as it were great drops (or clots) of blood falling down to the ground.” Oh, the amazing griefs which were laid upon Jesus when our sins became his burden. We bless him with all our hearts for agonizing thus for us.
His agony in the garden was over, and he went calmly on to meet death and finish the great work of our redemption.
And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come?
Still did the traitor mix a hypocritical respect with his baseness, as betrayers of Jesus are ever apt to do. How would such a kiss have provoked us! and yet our gentle Lord spake not one harsh word, his meekness endured to the end.
Where now were brave Peter and loving John? Alas for poor human nature! Far be it from us to imagine that we should have done better. These flying disciples warn us to pray that we may be kept faithful in the hour of trial.
I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send…. Then said I, Here am I; send me. (Isaiah 6:8)
The gospel invitation is offered freely to one and all, but many are too preoccupied to hear or heed. They never allow God’s call to become a reason for decision. As a result, they live out their entire lives insisting that they never heard any call from God!
The answer to that is plain. God has been trying to get through to them, but engrossed in a host of worldly pursuits, their line is always busy.
The world around us wants to put us in the same straitjacket that would have kept Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees.
“We will talk to you about religion” is the seemingly kindly offer people give us today. But then they add the disclaimer: “Just do not make religion personal.” Most people seem to have come to terms with an acceptance of religion if it does not have the Cross of Christ within it!
But when God calls men and women to the belief that Christ has given us the only way to God through His death and atonement, their faith will be an offense to the world. It was so in Abraham’s day, and it is so in our day!
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Dan. 12:3
Here is something to wake me up. This is worth living for. To he wise is a noble thing in itself: in this place it refers to a divine wisdom which only the Lord Himself can bestow. Oh to know myself, my God, my Saviour! May I be so divinely taught that I may carry into practice heavenly truth, and live in the light of it! Is my life a wise one? Am I seeking that which I ought to seek? Am I living as I shall wish I had lived when I come to die? Only such wisdom can secure for me eternal brightness as of yonder sunlit skies.
To be a winner of souls is a glorious attainment. I had need be wise if I am to turn even one to righteousness; much more if I am to turn many. Oh for the knowledge of God, of men, of the Word, and of Christ, which will enable me to convert my fellowmen, and to convert large numbers of them! I would give myself to this, and never rest till I accomplish it. This will be better than winning stars at court. This will make me a star, a shining star, a star shining for ever and ever; yea more, it will make me shine as many stars. My soul, arouse thyself! Lord, quicken me!