ARE YOU MORE LIKE PETER OR JUDAS (or both)…

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Are you more like Peter?

Have you ever followed close behind Jesus…

Witnessed His power with your own two eyes…

Been a conduit of His anointing and love…

Walked with Him…

Talked with Him…

Spent intimate moments with Him?

But,

When things got tough, uncomfortable or uneasy you acted like you didn’t know Him. Have you comforted yourself in the company of His enemy? Have you ever followed Him from a distance?

Have you denied Him?

Mark 14:54  (NKJV)

54 But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.

John 18:25  (NKJV)

25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not!”

Are you more like Judas?

Have you ever turned your back on Jesus for money? For influence? To satisfy your flesh? Have you gotten discouraged because things didn’t turn out as you thought they would. Have you ever put your motives above God’s motives? Have you ever put Him to open shame?


Have you betrayed Him?


John 12:4-6  (NKJV)

But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii[a] and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

Matthew 26:14-17 (NKJV)

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. 17 Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

Before we point a self-righteous finger at Peter or Judas, let us thank God for His grace and mercy because we have all been both of them.

Every time we yielded to our pride…our lust…temptation…

Every time we put others or ourselves before Him…

Every time we willingly lived contrary to His word…

Every time we influenced someone else to sin…


We have both denied and betrayed Him.


When we read about Peter denying Christ or Judas betraying Him, we are looking into a spiritual mirror.

Both were sorry for what they had done, but they both handled it differently.

Who are you more like?

Judas tried to return the money and was so grieved in His Spirit that he hung himself. He could have gotten on His knees and prayed for forgiveness. He could have rejoined the other eleven, admitted his mistake, and tell them he tried to return the money and been there when Jesus arose and ministered to them. They couldn’t have condemned him too much because they all scattered. Don’t you know that Jesus not only would have forgiven him, but commanded that his brother forgive him also? But, no. He hung himself in shame. If you have betrayed Him and not repented – you’re like Judas.

Matthew 27:3-10 (NKJV)

Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”

And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!

Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.

But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, 10 and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”[a]

After Peter denied Jesus, he rejoined the other eleven. He ran to the grave to find that Jesus wasn’t there. He saw Thomas put his fingers in the wounds. He ate a seaside breakfast with the risen savior. And, Jesus restored Him to become one of His most powerful apostles. Judas could have done the same thing. If you have messed up, repented and been restored – you’re like Peter.

John 21:15-17  (NKJV)

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[b] do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[c] do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

Judas’ story ended in disgrace – Peters ended in grace.

So, even though we have all been like both, our stories don’t have to end like that of Judas.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WE’RE BOTH USING SCRIPTURE SO…WHOSE RIGHT?

We’re Both Using Scripture, So Whose Right?mi mi

It’s undeniable that sincere, devoted Christians don’t always agree on the interpretation and application of God’s word…the bible.

How many times have you been in a discussion and someone uses scripture to support ‘their’ point and you think to yourself, “Ummm, that’s not what that means.

One of the main reasons that there are so many different groups  or denominations within Christianity is because sincere Christians don’t agree on what was meant by what God said in His inspired word.

“Once Saved Always Saved”

No music instrumental music in worship service

Speaking in Tongues

Proper dress for men or women

Female ministers and pastors

Proper day to worship

Should we celebrate holidays

Tithing

Clean and unclean foods

Should there be priest in church

Is it a sin to drink alcohol

These are just a few of the points in which sincere Christians disagree, unfortunately sometimes to the point of contention. Whether it be huge doctrinal issues or individual disagreements in navigating ‘real life’ situations, too many times Christians are at odds when the word of God clearly said…

1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Jesus Christ Himself was continually called a devil because He challenged how the religious elite interpreted and viewed the scriptures.

So, how do you know who is right and who is wrong?  NO ONE!

It’s not about US being right or wrong, but who is in harmony with God’s truth. We must be careful not to fall into the mindset of trying to prove we are right. We didn’t create the world. We didn’t die on the cross. We have no authority to be ‘RIGHT’.

So our goal isn’t to be right, but to be in agreement with God’s truth. We can only have unity in the body of Christ when we adopt this mindset. Here are a few ways to tell who is in harmony with God’s truth.

Those who are willing to…

ACCEPT NO GROUP HAS IT ALL RIGHT

It’s interesting how groups and denomonations are so different, but each thinks they are ‘the closet to the truth’. As we grow in our faith, we realize that God doesn’t change, but our theology evolves and changes. That’s what Jesus did. He challenged their theology. Look at some of Jesus’ statement I Matthew 5…

Matthew 5:17(NKJV)

17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill…”

27 “You have heard it said…”

31 “Furthermore it has been said…”

33 Again you have heard it was said to those of old…”

We have to mature and secure enough to realize that we can challenge our theology, grow and change our thinking without implying that the word or God has changed. Every group, just as the religious leaders in the New Testament has to be willing to accept that they are currently believing and practicing some things that ARE NOT in harmony with God’s truth.

HOLDING ON TRADITION

TRYING TO JUSTIFY WHAT WE WANT TO BELIEVE

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