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Summary: This destination leaves us wondering what in the world just happened…there is often a crisis that seems to put into a spiritual tailspin

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Series: Destinations on the Journey of Faith

Unexpected Stop

Matthew 26:69–75

Intro: Leaving for a trip getting only a few miles and having a blowout…

This destination leaves us wondering what in the world just happened…there is often a crisis that seems to put into a spiritual tailspin…

One person is quoted saying the following about this destination…

I have this old saying that fits right now. “Just when I got it all together, I forgot where I put it!” That’s how I feel about my spiritual life.

It is hear that we often find ourselves doing an about face or an abrupt change in who we think we are…we find ourselves in a mode of questioning, exploring, falling apart, doubting, dodging real issues, sinking into uncertainty, and indulging in self-centeredness.

People around us think that we are completely falling apart.

Sounds like our friend Peter doesn’t it?????

He was so sure of his faith and devotion to Jesus that he proclaimed his loyalty in Matthew 26:33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

But as we heard earlier he was suddenly a coward and ashamed to be associated with Jesus…

Jesus was used to this…

Jesus Christ was denied by the Jewish people

John 1:11 (NRSV) — 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.

Psalm 118:22 (NRSV) — 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

The consequences of denying Jesus Christ

Denying Jesus Christ results in judgment

John 12:48 (NRSV) — 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge,

To deny Christ is to be denied by Christ

2 Timothy 2:12 (NRSV) — 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us;

Matthew 10:32 (NRSV) — 32 “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven;

Mark 8:38 (NRSV) — 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Warnings against those who deny Jesus Christ

Peter himself the very one that was so good at denying Jesus wrote…

2 Peter 2:1 (NRSV) — 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.

So there is hope for restoration…and even a place that is more confident in who you are in your walk with the Lord…

In this 4th destination we find ourselves looking more for direction and not just answers…we go from the life of being productive and obedient…we have found the importance of belonging and being in the center of the community…

It is here that move from a posture of knowing to one of seeking…

This sudden change moves us to seeking a deep inner direction for our lives…

This allows us to take God out of the box that we had so neatly placed him in…after we come through this sometimes dark soul searching stop on the journey of faith God no longer represents our own worn out or frightening father, brother, savior, or warrior images…God begins to take on new, healing, and personal images that expand our view of God’s presence in our lives…

It is very common for us to loss our faith in the church or people…that is when the church is guilty of labeling people as weak or misguided…sadly many people abandon the journey at this point….

There is a danger in becoming stuck in this destination…when a person is stuck here they are always questioning and are never satisfied. Always learning, but never coming to the truth. There is always another question to ask…there is this lingering doubt if they are on the right path…

Often attending every seminar or any other spiritual experience…appearing to be searching for the truth but deep down refusing to accept it fully…because the risk is too high!!!

Therefore, at this destination there is feeling of constant self-assessment…if not careful personal growth and worship become our god…

In this way we replace God with idols of self, even when in the surface it appears that we are giving up self and finding wholeness… we study and worship for the way it makes us appear not because we have an insatiable desire for God…

Moving forward means letting go of our spiritual ego…

Denial, repentance and restoration: the example of Peter

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