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Summary: What would you do if you are confronted with the choice of denying Him or being killed. Columbine High School Cassie Bernall and Rachel Scott, students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. When fellow students on a rampage held automatic w

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Four Things Made Peter Fail the Test of Loyalty

How did Peter fail? It is important to see that his failure did not just happen overnight. Peter himself took the wrong steps that put him on the road to failure.

1.He Boasted too Much or too Loudly

The first step in Peter’s fall was overconfidence. This is evident in

Matthew 16:22-23 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you." [23] But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."

Verse 22 tells us that he took Jesus aside and corrected him. Peter sought to protect Jesus from the suffering he prophesied. But if Jesus hadn’t suffered and died, Peter would have died in his sins. Great temptations can come from those who love us and seek to protect us.

Peter, in his rebuke of Jesus’ words about dying, was saying the same thing. Trying to hinder God’s plan had been one of Satan’s tools; Peter inadvertently used Satan’s tool in trying to protect his beloved Master.

John 13:36 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward." 37 Peter said to him, "Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."

Again in John’s account of Peter’s overconfidence “I will lay down my life for you.” Peter loved for Jesus was so intense, that he wanted to be with Jesus always. He did not understand any need for Jesus to die; in fact, he planned to protect Jesus with his life if necessary. The disciples may have started to wonder if Peter (instead of Judas) was the betrayer.

Luke 22:31-32 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, [32] but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

Satan wanted to crush Simon Peter and the other disciples like grains of wheat. He hoped to find only chaff and blow it away. But Jesus assured Peter that his faith, although it would falter, would not be destroyed. He would be renewed, and Peter would become a powerful leader. Jesus prayed for faith, not the removal of the test. Apparently, he knew that Peter would fail; otherwise, there would be no need for Peter to repent. Yet Jesus was confident of this turning back, and also understood that, having faced this trial, Peter would be able to strengthen fellow believers.

James just tells us that we need to be

James 1:19,26 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

2.He Prayed too Little

Matthew 26:38 Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me."

When Christ entered Gethsemane that night, he deliberately took Peter, Peter, James, and John and told them to pray with Him and for themselves. They needed strength to fight the temptations that is coming. Luke then gives us what happen.

Luke 22:45-46 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, [46] and he said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."

1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

As a result, Christians are to be clear-minded and self-controlled (neôpsate, lit., “be sober”; cf. 1 Peter 1:13; 5:8) so that they are able to pray (cf. Eph. 6:18). Prayer, of high priority in persecution, is to be clear, reasonable, sober communication with God.

Illustrations: Recent studies showing that “the average professing believers surveyed prays only three minutes each day.”

3.He Acted too Fast

Luke 22:50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

Luke gives the literal blow-by-blow description: “When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, ‘Lord, should we strike with our swords?’ And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear” (Luke 22:49, 50). The question (probably Peter’s) was not really a question because before Jesus could answer, out came Peter’s macharia (the same word used for a Roman short sword), and with poor aim but great determination Peter whacked off the right ear of one of the high priest’s servants. Lucky for the man that Peter’s sport was fishing! Swords instantly gleamed blue under the night sky.

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