Peter Won't Be There Today

by Barry Newton
As a new day dawned, imagine Jesus thinking to himself, “Since Peter will not be going to the temple today, I think I’ll just stay here instead of going to minister to people.” Or can you see Jesus looking at broken lives and responding, “I can’t be bothered.”
While Jesus did on occasion renew himself by withdrawing from the crowds, it is ludicrous to envision Jesus shying away from his ministry because of self-centered shallow reasoning.
Yet, as people who are supposed to be imitating Christ, what sort of excuses have we heard or even entertained which resulted in hamstringing service to God and his kingdom?
> My friend won’t be there, so I don’t think I’ll participate.
> Can’t do it, my favorite show will be on.
> I’m too tired. But then we become involved in a strenuous activity we enjoy.
> I don’t feel like forgiving.
> I don’t want to love *that* person.
The specifics of the list are not particularly significant. What is important is the state of our hearts which motivate our speech, attitudes and behavior.
While we also need to refresh ourselves, if the ongoing pattern of a person’s daily decisions reveals avoiding being engaged in living out God’s will, then what is truly in the heart has spilled out into visible behavior.
We are supposed to be growing more and more into the mindset and image of Christ. And he lived for God.

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