Advice, Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Denial, Encouragement, Faith, Following, Forgiveness, Inspirational, Love, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Shame, Testimony

THAT LOOK

LUKE 22:61-62

“61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, ‘Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.’ 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.”

My dad had “that look.” Words were not necessary. I knew I was in trouble when I got that look. Peter got “the look” from Jesus, but it wasn’t a look of coming discipline. It was more of “I told you so.” He had told Peter he would deny him, and so it happened.

It’s interesting that only Luke records this “look.” Who told Luke about this? I have to believe it was Peter himself. I bet he never forgot that look, although Jesus forgave him and restored him to leadership. That look pierced his soul.

APPLICATION

Ask your children if you have “that look.” I bet they say you do. You may not even be aware of the look, but we parents tend to develop it. It can come in real handy when you need to correct your child when they are across a room. They understand the look sometimes much better than words.

But don’t forget to restore them. Jesus didn’t leave Peter hanging with that look. He came to him after His resurrection and let Peter know He had faith in him. Our children need to know our love isn’t diminished due our disappointment in their behaviors. Our love is unconditional.

Have you received “that look” from Jesus? Jesus loves us enough to correct us, but His love is lessened. When you get “that look” immediately confess whatever it is you need to confess. Let His look do its work.

When You look at me, Jesus, I know it is with love. Help me to confess quickly and often. The last thing I want to do is disappoint You.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Confession, Denial, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Service, Shame, Trust, Witnessing

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE

MARK 16:7

“’But go, tell His disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.”’” 

Oh boy, do I remember those days. I was quite the class clown and got sent to see the principal on numerous occasions. I wasn’t mean. I just loved making people laugh. Let’s just say the principal knew me well. His paddle did too.

I don’t know what the disciples were thinking when they heard these words from the women. But I bet Peter was thinking Oh no! What will I say? I just denied Him three times just as He said. Will He tell the others? Peter probably felt embarrassed and a little scared.

APPLICATION

Your child will probably do something that cause them to feel like I did. They, hopefully, won’t deny Jesus like Peter. But being ashamed is hard. When you have to deal with them, use this passage. Ask them how they think Peter felt. Ask them what they think happened when Jesus finally saw Peter.

Skip ahead and read that passage in John 21. Your children need to see how Jesus restored Peter to his leadership role. If hadn’t done that, Peter may have spent the rest of his life in deep grief and sorry. Jesus restored him because had just spent three years preparing him to accomplish his mission to a lost world.

What has Jesus been preparing you for? Will you let him use you? You may have unconfessed sins that are holding you back from being fully utilized by Him. Confess them today. Let Jesus use you to accomplish His mission. He still uses us. Let Him have you.

Take my life and use it, Lord. I ask You to forgive me and cleanse me now so there is nothing in me that could thwart Your mission.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Confession, Denial, Encouragement, Faith, Faithfulness, Following, Forgiveness, Grace, Inspirational, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Rejection, Repentance, Scripture, Shame

FAILURE

MATTHEW 26:74-75

“74 Then he began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know the man!’ And immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, ‘Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”

Epic fail! Peter realized immediately when he heard that rooster crow that he had failed his Master. He probably wanted to throw up. Can you imagine the thoughts that ran through his mind? This wasn’t a minor fail. He had denied Jesus threw times, just as Jesus predicted.

How many times have you failed our Lord? You’ve been told to do something, but you don’t. You know He placed someone on your heart to call or go see and you don’t. He places someone in your path to witness to and you walk away without doing it. Fail!

APPLICATION

Children are going to have failures. That’s part of learning and growing. I believe they can learn more from failures than successes if we help them. If we don’t, those failures can crush them. Losing can build character. Failing can do the same. You need to ask them what went wrong. How could have they prevented the failure?

They are also going to fail God. Tell them an experience you’ve had. They need to know you can relate. And then tell them how the Lord forgave you and showed mercy. They need to hear that. Read them this passage in Matthew and then skip ahead and read how Jesus forgave him after He resurrected.

Are you still living in failure? Take it to Jesus. He can forgive. Don’t put that confession off. It won’t go away. We have the God of the universe waiting for us to talk to Him. He wants to forgive. He wants to talk to us. Don’t make Him wait. Right now, bend your knee and ask for forgiveness for that failure. He’s ready to forgive.

I ask You to forgive me today for the many times I have failed You, Lord. Cleanse me and make me right in Your eyes. Show me how to be more obedient today.

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Advice, Alone, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Courage, Cowardice, Direction, Encouragement, Faith, Faithfulness, Following, Inspirational, Obedience, Parenting, Salvation, Separation, Shame, Trust

KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE

MATTHEW 26:58

“But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the officers to see the outcome.”

Peter wasn’t stupid. He saw what was happening. Jesus had just been arrested and was being led away, probably to be put to death. The Sanhedrin had tried before. Now they had him, thanks to Judas. How could he do that? After all Jesus had taught them, Judas had betrayed him. Peter was keeping his distance.

Before you judge Peter, ask yourself how many times you have shied away from standing up for Jesus. In our situation we were only avoiding potential harassment or embarrassment. We weren’t facing the possibility of arrest and death. How can we keep our distance after all He has done for us?

APPLICATION

Do your children face ridicule and scorn at school for standing up for Jesus? Have they ever come home in tears because some other kid made fun of them for being a Christian? If they have, you have the perfect chance to encourage them. Read them this whole story of Peter’s denial and his ultimate shame. Remind them of Jesus sacrifice for them. We must stand tall in the face of persecution.

This world does not like Christians. That’s just a fact. Your children are going to encounter persecution, however slight it may seem. Standing for truth invites opposition. But we need to draw close to Him during those times, not keep our distance. Distance only increases the chance we will deny Him. Drawing close allows us to experience His loving embrace. That’s the message for our kids.

Are you a distance keeper? Do you hide the fact that you are a believer? Stop that! Take a stand. Don’t you believe Jesus will defend you? Don’t you know that no matter how harsh the persecution, you still win. No one can ever take your salvation away from you. Nothing can ever separate you from the love of Christ. Stay in His footsteps. Don’t hide in the shadows.

Forgive me, Father, for the times I have kept my distance. I will trust You to defend me. I will stay close and feel Your embrace.

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Confession, Courage, Cowardice, Denial, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Following, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Joy, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Persecution, Scripture, Shame, Testimony, Witnessing

DANG ROOSTER

MATTHEW 26:33-35

“33 But Peter said to Him, ‘Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.’ 34 Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ 35 Peter said to Him, ‘Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.’ All the disciples said the same thing too.”

Unfortunately, this is one of the most famous stories about Peter. He had pledged his undying allegiance to Jesus here in these verses only to deny Him three times (just as Jesus said) hours later. We forget that he wasn’t alone. The rest of the disciples (with the exception of John) deserted Him as well. Peter, however, bears the shame since Jesus addressed him directly.

I bet Peter couldn’t eat chicken for a while after this event. He had been so sure of himself. He would never fall away. He would never deny Him. Ask yourself what you would have done. We sit here 2000+ years later and say we wouldn’t do exactly what Peter did. Until you are facing death for your faith, you don’t know how you will respond. Don’t judge Peter too harshly.

APPLICATION

What is the application for us? Loyalty, I think. We need to work on our loyalty to Christ in the smallest of ways. This is what we teach our children. What do I mean by that? I mean, standing up for our beliefs when we are challenged. It means walking away from friends who are telling that “off-color” joke. It means not being ashamed of the gospel when the Holy Spirit prompts us to share.

We may not ever be faced with a life or death choice concerning our faith. We can, however, stand with Jesus every day. We can show our children our pride and joy of being known as a true believer. We can BE Jesus to our neighbors, even those who do not believe. Our children are watching us, just as those around that fire were watching Peter. What will you do?

Today you may be faced with a challenge to your faith. How will you respond? Will you shrink away or stand tall? People will test you. Satan will tempt you. Let your testimony be known among those you encounter today. Let there be no doubt with whom you stand – the King of Ages. He will stand with you.

I will not fall away. I will not deny You. Let my words be true. I do not want to fail You, Lord.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Contentment, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Family, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Shame, Suffering, Trust

SHAMELESS

2 TIMOTHY 1:12 

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. 

“Shameless” may seem like a strange title for this verse today, but when I looked at the whole verse it made sense to me. Paul is not ashamed to suffer because he knows and is convinced of two things. He knows in whom he believes (Jesus Christ) and he is convinced Jesus is able – period. 

And when I read this verse, an old hymn popped into my head, “I Know Whom I Have Believed.” Here’s the link to the lyrics 

https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/I_Know_Whom_I_Have_Believed/. What a wonderful hymn reminding us of what we don’t know but also of what we do know. Just like Paul we know He is able. For that I will shamelessly suffer for Him. 

APPLICATION 

Children need assurances. They don’t do well when things are uncertain and unsettled. How do you assure your children that they are safe and secure in your home? You love them! Hugs, kisses and words of love are the bedrock of assurance for a child. Complete acceptance for who they are gives them that secure feeling they all desire. 

But as much as your love and affection does for them, it is NOT eternal. One day you will not be around. So, your job is to instill in them the love of the One whose love goes way past yours. Read them God’s Word and show them stories of faith. Let them see you trust the Lord in difficult times and explain to them how you completely rely on Him to protect you.  

Are you exemplifying the kind of shameless faith Paul is talking about in today’s verse? As someone has said, “Do you know that you know that you know?” Are you convinced He is able? Why? Then pass it on. Tell everyone why. Live it out. And the next time someone questions why you are willing to suffer for Jesus, tell them simply because He is able. 

For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” 

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