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Updated: Mar 25, 2020



“Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me 3 times.” ~Matthew 26:34



Simon Peter - Disciple of Jesus


I thought my heart was sold out for the cause; or rather the man behind the cause. He just showed up one day while I was fishing: “Come and follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” he said. From that moment on, I was 100 percent in, or so I thought. I grew to love him more and more each day that I spent with him. I would have done anything for him, but the day he was arrested something changed. Earlier that day, he said I would disown him three times before the rooster crowed that night. I didn’t believe him for a second. It seemed absolutely impossible! But it happened, just the way he said it would. The crowds were so angry, and I was so confused. Something in my heart was holding me back and keeping me from remaining faithful to the best friend I'd ever had. Something dark. Something unchecked. Something unidentified, unnoticed, unhealed. Something was hidden in the shadows, and that “something” almost cost me everything. I couldn't bear for it to ever happen again.





Contemplate

Have you ever denied (or wished you could deny) knowing a friend? Why?


If you don't currently have a relationship with Jesus, why do you think a Christian might deny or try to hide their relationship with Jesus in certain circumstances? Do you think they should?




For those that do have a relationship with Jesus...


How have the pressures of the culture kept you from from being completely forthright about your relationship with Jesus?


Recall a specific time you hid your relationship with Jesus (to one degree or another). What, specifically, were the circumstances?


What are the key factors or temptations that cause you to keep your relationship with Jesus either partially or periodically “undercover?”


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Updated: Mar 25, 2020



One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner...so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping.


Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. ~


Luke 7:36-38


Woman with an Alabaster Jar



I could hardly believe it when heard he was having dinner so nearby. He was traveling from place to place, speaking to the crowds, but I could never get close. There’s no way they would have let me pass through. They mock me for my reputation. They act disgusted by me, but they come knocking in the night to mop up their needs. But I’m not here to tell you about them. It’s him - Jesus - he’s the one I can’t stop talking about.


When I managed to get into the house I just ran to him and fell to the ground at his feet. I couldn’t stop the tears as streamed from my eyes, spilling over my cheeks onto his toes. There was nothing to dry them off, so I picked my hair up out of the dirt and dragged it over the wetness. There are simply no words for the love that radiates from him. It is deeper and wider and warmer than anything I have ever felt or known. Simon, the Pharisee, told him who I was. He didn’t use my name. He just mumbled something under his breath saying, if Jesus were a true prophet, he would know better than to let a “woman like that” touch him.


I didn’t care that he was talking badly about me, but his snarky attempt to discredit Jesus was almost more than I could bear. But Jesus didn’t try to defend himself; instead he defended me. For the first time in my life, someone defended me. “Simon,” he said, “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then he turned to me, looked me right in the eyes, and forgave me. I never knew love could be so powerful and so pure.




Contemplate

Has your reputation ever been damaged due to something you did or were accused of doing?


We all have secrets. If your secrets were all exposed, would there be people who would be shocked by your intentional behavior or mistakes?


Has there ever been someone in your life who has accepted you just the way you are, regardless of your flaws and past mistakes? If so, how did it make you feel? If not, do you wish someone would?




Jesus wants to treat you just like he treated the woman in this story. He already knows all your secrets and he longs to forgive you - completely! You only need to ask.


Prayer



Jesus, come into my heart today and make your home there. Please accept me as I am, but forgive me for the things I've done wrong and give me a second chance. Help me learn how to live in the light of your forgiveness and love.


If you sincerely prayed this prayer and want to talk more about it, please email Pastor Vicki.


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Updated: Mar 28, 2020


Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” ~Matthew 14:28-31


Simon Peter - Disciple of Jesus

We had no idea the wind would kick up the way it did. Jesus told us to get in our boat and cross to the other side of the lake. I assumed he’d meet us there. But after we got started, oh that wind! The waves were crashing over the side of the boat - we couldn’t steer - we could hardly see. The boat thrashed and turned so many times I was no longer sure which shore was which. And then I saw something out among the waves. It looked like a man. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who saw it, because I heard one of the others shout, “It’s a ghost!” I was terrified; we all were!


Then, through the noise of the rushing wind, I heard a soothing and familiar voice: “Don’t be afraid, “ he said, “I’m here...I am here.” It was Jesus! I’d know that voice anywhere. But it didn’t make sense. Something didn’t seem right. I just needed some proof. I shouted back, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” he replied. I’ll be honest, I was immediately sorry that I asked. But now I didn’t really have a choice; I at least had to try. So I stepped out of the boat onto the water and I took a few steps. My eyes were locked with his. Unbelievable! We were both walking on the water straight toward each other! And then I remembered what was going on around me - the wind - the waves. Suddenly, I was gripped by the most horrifying feeling: pure fear rushed through me like a bolt of lightning and I started to sink. I cried out from the waves, “Save me, Lord!” And he stretched out his arm pulled me up. “You have so little faith. Why did you doubt me?” he asked. That question will haunt me the rest of my life. The truth is, he has never let me down. Not once. Not even in the midst of that storm.



Contemplate



Who or what do you turn to in times of uncertainty, doubt and trouble? Make a list of what you turn to. When you are done, read through the list and draw a line through all the things that have failed you.


Has there ever been a time that you believed God failed you? If so, why? How did you react?


Have there been any storms in your life that have helped you draw closer to Jesus and expand your confidence of his sovereign care for your life?


What were the circumstances? Why did it help your faith grow? Try to recall a time when God’s peace flooded you in spite of the circumstances that were swirling around you?



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