Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 2 March 2016

Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Mark 14, verse 72.

Do you ever wonder how Adam felt after the fall?   Do you think he might have lived out the rest of his life in regret over making such a small, foolish choice that made all the difference in the world?   Adam and Eve had lived in perfect harmony with God and with each other. They had lived their lives exactly as God had intended for humanity to live: in unifying communion with Him, enjoying His glory, His creation, and His love without end. Then Adam chose sin.   He chose the thing that would separate Him from God by believing something other than God.   Do you think that Adam lived out the rest of his life regretting that moment?   Or was he too busy learning how to live in this post-sin world to give it much thought?   We’ll never know…but we know the feeling.

What about one-term presidents? George H.W. Bush, Carter, Ford, Hoover, Taft, Benjamin Harrison, Arthur, Hayes, Andrew Johnson, Buchanan, Pierce, Fillmore, Polk, Tyler, Van Buren, and both son and father John Adams:   these are the men who were one-term presidents and alive at the end of those terms.   Polk vowed to serve only one term; Tyler was dumped by his party.   The rest stood for re-election and lost.   I’ve read that Bush and Carter spent time after losing re-election in depression.   It must be a terribly hard thing to be president and be rejected by the people you’ve dedicated your life to serve. Do you think the others regretted having run and lost?

What about your sins?   Do you regret them?   I’ve done some pretty heinous things, and I honestly wish I could take them back, to un-do them and live in different ways.   I try to not live in regret but sometimes it bubbles up and overwhelms me.

Maybe this is a taste of how Peter felt.   Peter broke down and wept when the impact of his sins hit him square on in the gob.   When was the last time you genuinely wept?   Me, it was the time I watched my family drive away after my sins of infidelity finally caught up with me.

End game: let’s forget how me, you, Adam, the presidents or Peter felt. Put all those feelings aside because remember this: ‘it’s not about me.’   It’s not about me because it’s about Jesus.   We can navel-gaze all day long and try to analyze how or why we feel the way we do about things.   Strip away that navel gazing and we’ll find that it isn’t about us.   Our self-focus is just idolatry, just another way for the old Adam to choose anything but God.   How did Jesus feel when Peter proved Him right?   How did Jesus feel looking down from the cross at John and the Mary’s there knowing He was powerless (by choice) to do anything to help them or stop what was happening?   How does Jesus feel when I choose to mess up a hundred times every day? More important, how does Jesus feel now knowing that He remembers my sins no more because of His atoning sacrifice at Calvary?   THAT matters most.

Thinking about that, it doesn’t matter how we feel.   It’s about Jesus.   Anything else isn’t Him.

Lord Jesus, may every minute I live today be focused on You and only You.

Read Mark 15, verses 1-15.

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