Falling to Pieces

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

February 9

Falling to Pieces

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 22:19-31 | Exodus 29:1-30:10 | Matthew 26:14-45 | Proverbs 8:14-26

Today’s Scripture Focus: Matthew 26:14-45

“Before the night’s over, you’re going to fall to pieces because of what happens to me.” Peter Broke in: “Even if everyone else falls to pieces on account of you, I won’t . . . even if I had to die with you, I would never deny you” (Matthew 26:31 The Message).

The cross and the events leading up to it were going to be difficult ones for the disciples. Jesus knew that and warned them.  

In one case, there was outright betrayal. But they would all “fall to pieces” and be like sheep without a shepherd.

Peter would have nothing of it. “Even if everyone else falls to pieces… I won’t.”  

Jesus cautioned Peter, “Don’t be so sure . . . This very night, before the rooster crows up the dawn, you will deny me three times.”

With even more bravado Peter replied, “Even if I had to die with you, I would never deny you.”

Of course, as Jesus would remind them in the garden, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Peter, despite his best intentions, found his flesh weak and gave into the temptation as Jesus had predicted. He denied he even knew Jesus.

Following Jesus isn’t always easy. And despite our best intentions–even our bravado–we will have times when we fail him. There will be times when we fall down.

But we can be thankful that Jesus is eager to give us a second chance.  Just as Jesus sought out Peter after the resurrection to encourage and reaffirm his leadership, so he affirms us, even when we fail.  

We walk daily only by his amazing grace. We walk humbly knowing that even Peter “fell to pieces” under trial. We walk hopeful knowing that he is there to take us by the hand when we fall and help us on our way–just as he did with Peter.

Lord, give us your grace and enable us to stand firm. Forgive us when, despite our best intentions, we fall. Thank you for being a God of second chances. Thanks for seeking us out, affirming us, and encouraging us to press on, even after we’ve fallen to pieces. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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