Summary: A sermon on Peter's denial of Christ and how he was restored (Much material taken from "One Month to Live" Day 8 by Kerry and Chris Shook)
Sunday Evening 1/10/2010
Kick Start (Adapted from Day 8 of One Month to Live)
A. Do we ever feel powerless in life?
B. Many people don’t change because they feel powerless to alter the circumstances in their lives. May have a habit that feels powerless to break. Maybe we have a problem in a relationship, and we’ve tried everything to restore it, yet it’s still falling apart. Maybe an issue at work is draining our energy, and we can’t see a solution. Maybe our schedule is overloaded, and we feel completely overwhelmed and burned out. At times we all feel powerless.
C. Kerry and Chris Shook- Recently my family and I went to a motocross track and were amazed at all the bumps, turns and curves packed into the rolling hillside before us. As our turn to ride approached, we were instructed on how to control our bikes. They pack a small engine with a lot of power. Then it occurred to me: what if I just pushed my motorcycle around the motocross track? That would be crazy, wouldn’t it? Yet this is the way so many face life. We have God’s power available to us. God store of strength provides the oomph we need to power our lives. We have God’s power to help us, to heal our marriages, to restore our finances, to save our families, to intervene in our workplaces, and to rescue our lives.
D. People facing the end of their lives are forced to recognize their powerlessness and limitations. The weaker they get, the more they have to depend on others to take care of them. At the end of the day, they know that much of their lives are out of their control. They are forced to turn to God. For many it is too late to make major changes.
E. We have God’s power available to us each and every day. (Eph 1:19 NIV) and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, (Eph 1:20 NIV) which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.
F. In what areas of life can you honestly say that this is by God’s power?
A. Life bears many similarities to motocross. Tough turns and sharp curves. In motocross the bumps and hills are called whoops- how ironic? These are just the normal bumps and bruises to be expected as part of the fun. And then there are the crashes.
B. When a motocross rider goes into a turn and leans in too far and crashes, it’s called a low side crash. But when a rider goes into a turn, then flips, it’s called a high side crash. A high side crash is much more violent than a low side because of the leverage and increased G forces. High side crashes can be deadly.
C. At time we all crash on the track of life. It’s not a matter of if we fail but when we fail. It’s a part of life. Everyone who has succeeded has also failed many times. While struggling to invent an electric light, Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” We need that persistence to keep going. The greatest power we need in our lives is the power to begin again.
D. The best example of someone rebounding from a high side crash is one of Jesus’ apostles, Simon Peter. As far as crashes go, he wiped out! Yet God gave him the power to begin again. Peter became a great champion for Christ, and laid the foundation for the church on the day of Pentecost. But before that he suffered a high side crash.
Thesis: If we reconstruct Peter’s crash site, 3 lessons emerge that are as relevant for us as they were for him.
1. We must learn from our losses.
A. We must admit our failures if we are going to learn from them.
B. Jesus bragged on Peter. (John 1:42 NIV) And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter). Also Rock.
C. Peter became overconfident. (Mat 26:31 NIV) Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: "'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'(Mat 26:32 NIV) But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."(Mat 26:33 NIV) Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."(Mat 26:34 NIV) "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "This very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."(Mat 26:35 NIV) But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.