How quick are you and I to say “I will never do thus and so?” We can learn a mighty lesson from our beloved Peter who more than once has “opened mouth, inserted foot.” They say you can learn from another’s experiences so that you don’t need to do “another lap around the wilderness” but do we? Peter’s quick “NEVER” is a lesson in recognizing that there is but one step needed to rectify our standing with God. “I will confess my rebellious acts to the Lord.” And then you forgave my sins.” [Psa 32:5] Wisdom lesson from Peter: true repentance is when you recognize your sin, have a teachable spirit and a humbleness to admit it. Wisdom lesson from Jesus: I am willing to forgive when one is truly repentant.
Jesus quoted Zech “you will all scatter” but our beloved Peter exclaimed: I will “never” forsake you and am willing to die for you. His word “NEVER” echoes across the Kidron Valley yet within a few short hours he will be found alone weeping bitterly in total repentance. He will weep for the words that are now etched in the scrolls of the sacred scripture: I do not know the man. Through this short vignette we also learn a more important lesson; when we are repentant God offers total and complete forgiveness as he did for Peter in John 21. He asked three times: Do you love me and three times Peter said yes. I love you more with a total commitment from this point forward until I meet you in eternity. That is true repentance. Jesus does not ask for a rehearsal of our sins; he knows them. What he is asking is where is your heart now?
Repentance frees us from our sin but remorse leaves us in bondage. Repentance comes from the heart but remorse is only surface deep. Peter is our example of one who was truly repentant and was restored to full fellowship. Judas is our example of one who was only remorseful and took his own life with no hope of eternity with the Savior.
Have you repented as Peter or are you still tracing the footprints of Judas? Will you take time now to weep and confess your sin to Jesus who gave his life on the cross paying your penalty and is willing to forgive totally and completely?
Each morning it seems that the darkness wants to claim this world but God’s clock and His timing say “sun arise!” There really is something marvelous about that initial sunrise with its glimmer of light that dispels the darkness. First the birds begin to chirp welcoming us to a new day, then the first rays, then the beauty of the clouds emerge as the stars slip into the sky to wait for their later appearance. Finally the sun itself touches our world. As the sun creeps up over the horizon more of God’s creation is revealed and it is marvelous to behold. What must it have been like for the Apostle John as he heard, saw, beheld, and touched the very Light of God in Jesus? A sunrise can never compare to the beauty of our Savior but each day as we experience the welcoming light of day we are using the same adjectives John used in his painting his picture for us: hear, see, behold, touch. John is so emphatic that he paints this picture three times! And this is why he is writing to us, that we may not miss this marvelous image.
From that image John moves to his message which he has heard from Jesus himself: God is light and in Him there is no darkness. This reminds us of the verse in Rev 22:5 “Night will be no more, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.” Even in the northern most part of our globe where there are places with many hours of light in the summer months, there is at least a portion of darkness, but here in Revelation John tells us that there will never be darkness! NEVER!
From that beautiful image, John paints three contrasting statements beginning with “if.”
If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness we lie to ourselves. BUT, if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship. That must be what heaven must be like, full of illuminating light 24/7. Not one drop of darkness for darkness represents sin and sin and God cannot co-exist.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves; the truth is not in us. BUT, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. If we had no sin there would be no need for the sacrifice of Christ but since there is sin within us we need cleansing and it is His blood that is the cleansing agent.
If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar. Did you notice that first we lie to ourselves and then to God? What does God say about lying? He hates it! Prov 6 says God hates a lying tongue and a false witness. This is one of those “OUCH!” statements.
God’s light has shined in our hearts, are we allowing it to shine forth as a new sunrise? [2Cor 4] Even though we live and move in darkness, is the Lord our light? [Micah 7:8]