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Sunday Recap
March 15, 2023

Your Faith Will Not Fail


Close in distance but far in heart

Continuing in the Into the Current series, Pastor Eli Nelson preached on shame, titling the message: Your Faith Will Not Fail. In Luke 22:54-62, we read after Jesus has been arrested at the Mount of Olives. Peter is following at a distance and is eventually approached three times by three different people, who notice him as a follower of Jesus. Just as Jesus predicted in Luke 22:34, Peter denies knowing his Lord three times. And after the third time, the rooster crows. Peter weeps.

“The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: 'Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.' And he went outside and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:61-62 (NIV)

The rooster was Peter’s reminder of his failure. And as Pastor Eli shared, in our own lives, the devil is a master in convincing us that what we did is who we are. He whispers that we not only failed but we ARE a failure.

Accuser vs. Advocate

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: 'Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.'” Revelation 12:10 (NIV)

Above we read about the accuser, the devil, who goes before God day and night accusing us. He wants us to remember what we’ve done in the past and convince us that it’s who we are. But what’s the most noteworthy is that we have an advocate who pleads our cause in front of the Judge. This advocate is our defender. This advocate reminds us of everything God says about us.

Same issue - Different narrative

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 (NIV)

After the rooster crowed, Peter had the choice, just as we all do in our moments of shame, we can either go to God in prayer or let our shame lead us to hide and distract. Shame reminds you of what you've done. Grace reminds you of who you are. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. So, what narrative will we choose to believe? Shame from the devil or the grace of God through Jesus Christ?

Shame makes you hide - Conviction brings you close

"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

Conviction from the Holy Spirit, the advocate, gives us the grace and power to change. We do have to take ownership of what we have done, but not take identity from it. What we have done in the past, is not who we are. God loves us just as much in our worst moments as He does in our “best” moments. Knowing this, we can embrace the fact we are a work in progress and always approach the throne with boldness (Hebrews 4:16). His grace has covers us and will continue to cover us! We are not deserving of God’s relentless love, but we are worthy of it because of what Jesus did for us. Nothing will change the fact that you are God’s child.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

So the next time the devil “crows” in your life, you can boldly declare who God says you are. Jesus predicted Peter’s failure, but he also declares that his faith would not fail. And neither will ours in our own moments of shame. Our Lord bestows a crown of beauty instead of ashes (Isaiah 61:3).

“But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32 (NIV)
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