The Invitation - Day 31

Luke 22: 31-34

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”

We’ve already tackled the idea of betrayal this week, but it’s an ongoing theme leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus, just like it’s a constant theme in our lives.  Time and time again, we betray the One we love, even though we tell ourselves we’ll never do it again.

But in this text, Luke introduces us to the person behind our fallen nature. Satan is also known as the devil and the adversary.  Jesus tells us that Satan is the “Father of lies,” a “murderer” who seeks to “steal, kill, and destroy,” and that he “hates the truth” (John 8:44 and John 10:10).

You and I are in a battle between good and evil.  Thankfully, when Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day, the war between good and evil was won, and the devil’s fate was sealed.  But Satan is not going down without a fight.  He wants to take with him anyone who reminds him of his enemy, and in case you didn’t know, you and I were created in the image of his enemy.

Peter wanted to remain strong and fight by Jesus’ side, even if it meant dying by the sword.  Peter didn’t realize on that night that for Jesus to win the war, He would have to die.  We, too, must die to win the battle, but we are not alone.  Jesus is with us, praying over us.

The apostle Paul wrote about this struggle in his letter to the Romans when he said, “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But another power within me is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 7:21-25 NLT

You and I must continually surrender our way for Jesus’ way, but we won’t always get it right.  We will always need the grace and forgiveness of Jesus, no matter how hard we try to get it right.  Thankfully, Jesus is on our side, cheering us on and offering His strength and forgiveness all along the way.

Questions to Consider:

  1. When have you experienced doing something you didn’t want to do but did it anyway?
  2. The devil may be an adversary, but who is more significant, more powerful: Jesus or Satan?  (if you need help with this one, read I John 4: 4) Why is this truth important?
  3. PRAYING TOGETHER - You may live in a sinful world and have a sinful nature, but Jesus died to set you free.  That doesn’t mean you’ll never sin again.  Someone once said that with the cross, Jesus won the battle over sin and death, and though sin remains, it no longer reigns.  What sin do you need to let go of and hand over to Jesus?  Confess, pray, find freedom in Christ…together, and receive His strength.

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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