Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: STAND UP FOR JESUS (don't write about the song) (04/09/15)
TITLE: From a Wimp to a Warriar
By Ernest Yoder
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What a momentous day it had been! The burly fisherman had never expected to experience a day like this day. Life for him had started out as a miserable and bewildering whirlwind of events since that fateful Friday morning of the crucifixion. It may have been that way to start with but not anymore. Not since today. What had happened today became known as Pentecost. For Peter bewilderment had fled and wonderment had taken its place. A sense of purpose filled his soul. It was now close to midnight and he was tired, but it was a very pleasant tired with a conviction of holy accomplishment in all that had happened that day. He did not know he could speak like that. He, an uneducated fisherman had actually preached. But he knew he could claim no personal credit. Having been gifted by the Holy Spirit Peter was still awestruck at how many people stopped to listen and how many were brought to repentance as he proclaimed the Lord Jesus and His wonderful salvation. He could not explain it. But it was vastly different compared to his wimpish behavior early on that fateful Friday morning.
Peter pondered on the memory of how he did not have the courage to stand for his Lord. Throughout that night confusion had reigned. The paschal supper, the garden experience, Judas’ betrayal of the Lord, and then the fear that gripped his heart when the maid accused him of being a follower of Jesus. He remembered the shame he felt as his denial of his Lord fell from his lips. He recalled Jesus’ look of love and sorrow after the rooster crowed and reminded Peter of what he had done. That Friday and the day following were the most miserable days of Peter’s life. But then Sunday came and bewilderment replaced misery for a few hours.
He remembered the excitement of the women as they carried the unbelievable news of the Resurrection. He recalled his consternation as he and John breathlessly ran to the tomb and beheld its emptiness. That evening he had seen the risen Lord. Since then life had begun to take on a transformed quality for Peter, including the breakfast on the seashore he and His friends had enjoyed with the risen Jesus. The special kindness Jesus had shown to Peter that morning had meant so much him. Jesus had ascended to heaven after having promised special power to His followers. And that power happened today.
As Peter laid his head on the pillow his heart was filled with gratitude and praise for His Lord and the Holy Spirit Who had been so miraculously revealed that very morning. What would tomorrow bring? Peter was looking forward to the blessed challenge of being a warrior for His Lord.
Peter’s story from his denial of the Lord to Pentecost is a challenge to me. The battle has been won through the empty tomb and we do not need to be wimps. The day is coming when those who do not come out for the Lord will desperately wish they had. Let us be counted among those who are willing to publicly take a stand for our Lord. As the culture of Peter’s day needed the unapologetic message of the cross on that first Pentecost by the warriors in that upper room, so does our culture. That is our only hope.
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