Here And There
Here And There
Matthew 26:69 - 75
69. Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
70. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
71. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
72. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
73. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee.
74. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
75. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out and wept bitterly.
Our text speaks of a notable person in scripture. He knew Jesus in a very personal way. He received some of the most powerful words ever spoken by the Lord: "Blessed are you, Simon, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you, but my Father which is in heaven." He spoke some of the most poignant words to Christ: "Thou hast the words of eternal life.” He shared a miraculous walk upon the water with Jesus. But those spirit eyes that enabled him to do the impossible, now behold the Lord Jesus arrested and led away as a captive. Faith has now turned to fear, and the disciple who seemed to be a pillar is in transition.
Many of you have come to this service either here, stuck in a painful existence, or you may be somewhere along the path leading to a greater realm of witness, power, love, and grace. Some may be babes in Christ, others are more mature, but the truth is that no matter how cold, hot, or lukewarm, there is a carnal, fleshly person in us that hinders the work of God, and sabotaging the Holy Spirit's goal of forming Christ in us.
The slogan is popular, "'I'm a born again Christian!" The sad but true commentary for the church at Corinth was that they, like most could not receive the meat of the gospel, but milk, because they were carnal babes in Christ. Saved? YES! but have never transitioned into a mature believer.
The meat of the gospel makes it uncomfortable to stay in the womb. Some of you have made that move because you have a vision of a better you, as a servant of the Lord. You've got to get out of that comfort zone that satan has allowed you to love so well. But you have a spiritual destiny that causes you to long to get from here to there. You see other believers walking in the power of the Spirit, and you have taken note of them that "they have been with Jesus", and you are saying, "I want to get there!
Babies who can no longer stay in the place where they are. The pressures of that place are so great that you say, "1 gotta get outta here!" Yes, Pastor, where I am has brought me pain and sorrow, hurt and despair, but a revival spirit has created such a dissatisfaction that I yearn for more of God. I have a vision of a greater existence. Yes transition is a struggle, but if I'm gonna realize my purpose, I've got to get out, and pursue it!
Life and Death
I've done hundreds of baby dedications, and hundreds of funerals in the 32 years I have been with you. I attended Doug Johns interment this last week. Being as I'm now looking back over the years, I've come to realize that death and life are viewed as polar opposites, but they are really the same. Both birth and death are used by God to get us from here to there! We are born as Adam's children but born again as a child of God.
At birth, found out that the watery bubble I was floating in suddenly broke, and a pressure I never felt before started carrying me through a birth canal, and suddenly 1 was able to see, and hear, and move my body around. I felt a slap on my bottom, and gasped for breath, and started a lifelong breathing that sustained life in me.
For seventy years, I have been here, but I know about God's future plans for me, and one day, the pressures of this life will make my earthly house unfit any longer for me to live in, and then face to face we shall know, and there will be no more pain and sorrow, and God Himself shall wipe away all tears from our eyes.
Joseph would tell you how great it was in his father's house I. Would also tell you how God walked with him through a painful struggle that included, hatred by his brothers, thrown in a pit, carried into Egypt, victimized by a lying woman, prison, and forgotten. Yes, it was an 18-year transition to realizing his destiny to save his people.
And it came to pass when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
Nehemiah would tell you of the comfort of his job as cupbearer. He would also tell you of a weeping, mourning, fasting, and praying. He had a vision of service to God that led him into a transition! That transition was a struggle with armies of Assyria, mockery and cruel ridicule by Sanballat and Tobiah.
Read Nehemiah 44
God will provide people who have been where you are intended to go. A Ruth will have a Naomi. An Elisha will have an Elijah. A Timothy will have a Paul. Oh, how the modern church needs these spiritual giants that will provide the example that God will use to cause people to see that there is a place of maturity and faith that will create a longing in the heart of other believers. Strong ought to support the infirmities of the weak!
Our text says that Peter went out and wept bitterly. You see 2 Cor. 7:10 "Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation." Peter made a great comeback! After declaring that he was going back nets and his fishing business in Bethsaida, the other disciples said, "We go also with thee." John 21:3.
But when their fishing business was so futile, Jesus appeared on the shore of the Lake and said, "Come and Dine. " John 21"12 In Acts 2, Peter preached the inaugural sermon on the day that the church was born.
1. But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews
2. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
3. Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.
4. reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:
5. And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.
6. So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
7. But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their wroth,
8. And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.
9. Nevertheless, we made our prayer unto our God and set watch against them day and night, because of them.
10. And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
11. And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.
12. And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you
13. Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
14. And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
15. And it came to pass when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.
16. And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
17. They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.
18. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.
19. And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.
20. In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.