Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: TRUST (07/21/16)
- TITLE: Heal the Rifts
By PamFord Davis
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
otherwise I could bear it;
it is not a foe who rises up against me—
otherwise I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man who is my peer,
my companion and good friend!
We used to have close fellowship;
we walked with the crowd into the house of God (Psalm 55:12-14 HCSB).”
King David had experienced betrayal; he miscalculated the loyalty of a confidant. Many would empathize with the Psalmist; multitudes also identify with him. Created in His image, God’s own children emotionally scar one another for life through verbal assaults and malicious lies. Churches are marked by distrust and division. We must heal the rifts and find reconciliation.
I feel David’s pain.
A once trusted friend had hurled insults, had taken an unexpected stand against him. Binding ties strengthened through worship weakened after time and went up in flames. Was forgiveness and reconciliation possible?
Jesus personally knew bitterness of betrayal and desertion by disciples. Judas not only betrayed Him; he did it with an unholy kiss. Peter distanced himself and vehemently denied any connection to Christ.
“They seized Him, led Him away, and brought Him into the high priest’s house. Meanwhile Peter was following at a distance. They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, and Peter sat among them. When a servant saw him sitting in the firelight, and looked closely at him, she said, ‘This man was with Him too.’ But he denied it: ‘Woman, I don’t know Him!’ After a little while, someone else saw him and said, ‘You’re one of them too!’ ‘Man, I am not!’ Peter said. About an hour later, another kept insisting, ‘This man was certainly with Him, since he’s also a Galilean.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter. So Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly (Luke 22:54-62 HCSB).”
Did Jesus wash His hands of Simon Peter? The answer is astounding. No, He renewed their relationship instead. Setting Peter’s heart aflame, He rekindled the Big Fisherman’s love, empowering him for lifelong evangelism and ministry.
“When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said to Him, ‘You know that I love You.’ ‘Feed My lambs,’ He told him. A second time He asked him, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said to Him, ‘You know that I love You.’ ‘Shepherd My sheep,’ He told him. He asked him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ He said, ‘Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.’ ‘Feed My sheep,’ Jesus said. ‘I assure you: When you were young, you would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go.’ He said this to signify by what kind of death he would glorify God. After saying this, He told him, ‘Follow Me! (John 21:15-19 HCSB).”
Jesus continues to issue His call to follow. He offers reconciliation…
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