February 23, 2019
- By Ed Powell
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"And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly." Luke 22:61-62
This is one of the most solemn accounts in the Scriptures. I'm sure this scene was forever ingrained upon the heart of Peter. He would never forget his betrayal in the palace courtyard, when Jesus turned and looked upon him. Can you imagine being Peter at that moment? Only hours before, Peter had boasted that he would never deny Christ, even if he had to pay with his life. He would stand true beside his Lord. Now, only hours after his intimate meeting when the Lord washed the disciples' feet, Peter is accused by a lowly maid. He falls miserably and denies being one of His disciples.
What was in that look that pierced the heart and soul of this disciple? Can you imagine how penetrating, convicting, and revealing those eyes must have been as the Lord looked upon Peter? Did those eyes of Jesus reveal anger, disgust or revenge? No! His eyes were filled with divine compassion, pity, and love for one who had miserably fallen. His eyes revealed infinite mercy and grace that melted the denying heart of Peter. The "look of Christ" brought penetrating conviction that awakened Peter to his dreadful denial. Christ's heart of love drove Peter to his knees in bitter repentance that soon brought reconciliation.
Like Peter, many have fallen unmercifully to the depths of sin and despair. Many are critical and quickly point their finger at this fallen disciple, but few have wept bitterly in heart-wrenching repentance as Peter did. The remembrance of his fall never left him, but he saw more. He saw the fathomless love of God, the love that flowed at Calvary, the infinite grace that forgave him in his darkest hour and restored him to Christ.
Deep are the wounds of many lives that have been abused, neglected, unloved, and forgotten by those closest to them. How needful it is for Christians to come alongside those who are starving for acceptance and understanding. The Good Samaritan, when he saw the beaten and needy stranger beside the road, went where he was and not only ministered to his wounds but found a place for him to stay. He told the owner to tend to any of his needs and he would pay for the service. What's so significant? The Good Samaritan identified with the stranger in his need.
How we need to do the same. Whether people are in destitute conditions or in disarming circumstances, they need someone to come alongside them and identify with them, seek to minister to their needs, encourage and pray with them. Our testimony is not established "in the church," but out in the byways of life where we encounter people with broken hearts, facing adversities and trials that are tearing their lives apart.
We need to manifest the "love of God" to them and put our compassion and faith into action, showing a cynical, unbelieving world the reality of a Christ-centered life. It is then that their lives will be impacted with the Gospel and the walls of defiance and unbelief will crumble. What the world "sees" in your life means much more than what you "say" with your lips. Demonstrate His grace, mercy, and love by the life you live and the compassion of your heart! "And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter, and Peter remembered."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php=1&row=&date=2019-02-23
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