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Friday, April 18, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Other people likely will comment on Golgotha today, but the story of Peter on Good Friday dawn hit me this morning. Mark 14:27-31, 66-72(NASB)
27 And Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away, because it is written, 'I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP SHALL BE SCATTERED.' 28 "But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee." 29 But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away, yet I will not." 30 And Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times." 31 But Peter kept saying insistently, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And they all were saying the same thing also.
I was doing a little channel-surfing last night while Eileen was checking e-mail. Our PBS outlet had a Nature show on Indian elephants and the Indian people who have to shoo away the elephants from their homes and rice paddies without killing their "gods." Such an obvious display of false religion brought a comment from Eileen that they were worshiping creation rather than the Creator who sent his Son to die for them. When directly confronted with something that goes against your faith, it's easy to come against it. It's when the attacks are coming from a angle that they're harder to fend off.
66 As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, "You also were with Jesus the Nazarene." 68 But he denied it, saying, "I neither know nor understand what you are talking about." And he went out onto the porch. 69 The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, "This is one of them!" 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders were again saying to Peter, "Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean too." 71 But he began to curse and swear, "I do not know this man you are talking about!" 72 Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, "Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times." And he began to weep
A couple of shows that got surfed into come to mind. In the 7:30 slot one of the local channels was carrying The Hollywood Squares. I hadn't seen the modern version and should have rolled on, for the 70s version was on the risque side for its day and the '00 version would likely be even worse. It took far longer than it should to change the channel, hoping that the first raunchy quip was an aberration; only Alf seemed to be free of sexual innuendo. Likewise, a Fox show on game show bloopers was in a comparable mental gutter that I was slow to pick myself out of. Even the parts of the show that weren't raunchy were making fun of people's denseness. That's just two little examples from last evening; it was a reminder of why I don't watch much TV and got rid of cable TV last month. I may have not been actively denying that Jesus is my Lord, but I was ignoring his instructions. Philipians 4:8 came to mind "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." What I was watching last night didn't meet those specs. I knew they didn't meet those specs. I watched them anyway for a time. It's not the big denials that are going to drag us down, it's the little ones that will start the process. You can start to tell yourself that it isn't that bad; then your definition of what isn't that bad starts to get bigger and bigger and the number of passages of the Bible you're having to chuck out the window gets bigger and bigger. I don't want to hear that rooster crowing in my life. Even if you do hear that rooster, you can still do a 180 and return to the narrow path. Peter's such an encouraging character; he had an amazing ministry despite the fact that he had to hop from place-to-place, for he always had a foot in his mouth. Yet God used Peter to be the Rock that he built the church around, the first on the list of Popes and the leader of the early Jewish Christians.

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