to TUESDAYS TOGETHER (in the WORD). I am so glad that you have joined us.
Remember our goal/purpose is that we are reading God's Word and we are sharing with each other a "nugget" of what we are learning.
Oh Ladies, I must tell you that I am loving this time together each week. It is the push of accountability to keep me on track with my reading. And it also has helped me to avoid just reading through quickly with no purpose other than just doing my "daily bible reading". Thank you for joining me - and if there are others who are thinking about joining - jump right in! We would love to read your perspective and your comments.
The passage that I want to discuss is from Luke 22:31-32: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."
Have you ever really stopped to think about what this is saying? Jesus is telling Simon (Peter) that Satan is asking permission to sift him as wheat. The ESV note here says, "Satan is seeking to shake you violently, as one does wheat, to cause you to fail." Does this let you know where some of our attacks come from? Our enemy wants to tempt us and trap us and then stick his ugly finger in our face to tell us how awful we are. (condemn us) But what he means for evil, God means for good. Hence, God allows it.
Oh, but look at the next phrase. Jesus says, "but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail." (completely fail) Now, that is a precious statement to me. Jesus says that He has prayed for Peter that his faith would not completely fail. And He prays for us. Jesus prays for us. WOW!
And what follows? "When you have turned again..." In other words, you will stumble, Peter. You will fall flat on your face. You will mess up. Royally. Oh, but when you have come back, when you have returned... Peter, this is not fatal. As a matter of fact, since God allowed it - it will make you stronger and be used in your life for your particular ministry.
You are now, to "strengthen your brothers." Get up, turn around, and help others in a similar situation.
Since we have "the rest of the story," we know how greatly Peter was used by God. Kingdom Work. I am sure that it had to have been "more than he could have ever asked or thought." Oh, he failed. He was sifted. But he got up, turned around, and strenghtened his brothers. Good stuff!
Will you let this be encouragement to you? Many times when we mess up - sometimes royally - we think that we cannot be used by God. We listen to the lies that tell us it is over. Not true. Jesus is praying. We are to get up. Turn around. Strenghten others. God wants to use us.
I am looking forward to hearing from you. You know the drill... leave a comment... and if you blog... link with us.