God On the Way
Great Shepherd of the sheep, who laid down Your life for me, when I am faithless You remain faithful.
Read Mark 14:27-31
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Our spirits were created to be filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit. He alone can burn up the chaff of fear in our lives” (Lloyd John Ogilvie).
Mark continues to give us a glimpse into the drama of the final hours before the cross. The continuing themes of friends and enemies become richer and more pertinent. The enemies, he says, will succeed in killing Jesus, but only so that God’s will would be accomplished. So confident is Jesus of the purposes of the Father that he uses a quotation from Zechariah 13:7 to explain to Peter what will happen. The reference suggests that as many as two-thirds might scatter, and that there would be a purifying by fire which would result in a purer discipleship.
Peter will go through this, despite his protestations that he would never deny Christ, and interestingly, it is by a fire (in the courtyard) that he would fail in his resolve. After the resurrection it would be by a fire that he would be restored and recharged with feeding and tending the very sheep Jesus says would be scattered. Jesus shows tenderness to us in our frailties, and we should take note that even the boldest extroverts have moments when fear, worry and anxiety grip the heart again. The song of Psalm 13 is there for us still. Jesus is able to hold on to the future (28), to sing his song of hope, inspiring some confidence in his friends, even as he lets them know that they will fail him. He speaks powerfully of the resurrection, moments after declaring that the shepherd will be struck. We know that his death and resurrection were perfectly planned, and that God can work his sovereign will even through aggressive enemies and depressing friends! All of us have moments when our courage fails us, or when some part of us would rather be associated with some great enterprise than with the name and values of Jesus Christ.
Rather than protesting your steadfastness, confess your weakness and ask for the strength of the Holy Spirit to enable you to honor him in all circumstances.
Lord, if the fire for You within me has become just white ash, reignite my spiritual passion and use me for Your glory.
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