Today’s reading is Mark 13:1-14:72.
“Peter said to him, ‘Even though they all fall away, I will not’” (Mark 14:29).
I believe Peter was absolutely sincere when he made this promise. He could not possibly imagine any future event that would make him fall away from Jesus. He was ready to die with Jesus. There was no way he would deny his Master. I’m certain that is true because the guy who pulls out his sword in Mark 14:47 and struck the high priest’s servant was Peter (cf. John 18:10). Peter was ready to fight. He was ready to die. But he was only ready to die on his terms. When Jesus told him to put his sword away, he was confused. He couldn’t understand. He was ready to die in a fight, but it never occurred to him that death might come without a fight. He fled.
How many times have I said, “I’ll never do that”? How many times have I thought that there was some line I would never cross? How many times have I told God, “No matter what, you can count on me to avoid such and such”? Or how many times have I said, “Alright, God, I’ve got this figured out. I’ll never do that again”? How incensed I would get if someone suggested I needed to be a bit more humble. “Oh no, no matter what anyone else does, I’ll never do that (again). How dare you think that of me.” How puffed up with pride. How much I have tried to stand on my own feet. And it was as if Satan was just waiting for that opportunity so he could kick my legs out from under me.
I’ve had to learn some humility. God is teaching me to turn away from rash promises and rather to say, “By God’s grace, I haven’t done that yet. I pray that God will keep me from it.” That reminds me that I have to rely on God and His strength if I will keep from whatever it is. If I ever start relying on me, I realize I will do whatever it is I’m committed to not doing (cf. Romans 7:14-24).
So, today, I’m not making God any promises. Rather, asking God to fulfill His promise to me and grant me the strength to overcome.
Keep the faith today and keep reading,
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