Ezekiel 40; 1Peter 5

Prior to denying Christ, Peter seemed to think that his love for Christ set him apart from others. He shared intimate friendship and access to the Master. He was one of the first to follow Christ; he was the impetuous disciple who tried to follow Christ’s example by  attempting to walk on water. If anyone had good reason to think they were incapable of falling away, it was Peter. He must have felt heartsick when he heard Jesus say (Luke 22:31,32),

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Years later, Peter reflected back on his painful experience of being Satan’s target and warns his readers,

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him…”  1Peter 5:8,9

He should know! The love and forgiveness of the risen Christ overcame the bitterness of failed good intentions and betrayal; such love brought Peter to a place of humility and freedom. As a leader, he knew himself to be as weak and capable of error as those who looked to him for guidance. This humble, servant leadership, first demonstrated by Jesus and now lived out amongst his disciples stands in sharp contrast to the power play of the worldly order. Humility strips away the masks we try to hide behind and allows us to be who God calls us to be. I like how The Message translates Peters words,

“But all of you, leaders and followers alike, are to be down to earth with each other, for—

‘God has had it with the proud, but takes delight in just plain people.’

So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.”

1Peter 5:5-7

Lord, thank you that you have called me to live in a place of freedom: forgiven, beloved and humble. Thank you that I don’t have to fight for a place in your presence. By your grace, you invite me in and encourage me to point others towards you. Show me how to live that today. Amen.

Klueh

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