Sunday Sermon 11.13.21
Imagine spending three years of your life lovingly devoted to someone. Walking daily with them, eating, sleeping, traveling with them and even having sacrificed your career for them. In your heart you love them and are fully committed to them. “Never in a million years would you ever leave them”, is your declaration.
So sincere we (think) we are. So sure. We (think) that we know our heart and are certain of it’s trustworthyness.
Therein lies the fallacy.
We don’t really know the depth of our heart; it’s hidden caverns, twisted motivations, roots of anger, biterness, resentment, and pride. We don’t see it’s deceit, arrogance, fear, shame or wounds. We don’t really know the ability within us to hurt the one we love, or even abandon them.
Peter, Jesus devoted right hand man, experienced this very conundrum. Having declared that he would NEVER DENY Jesus in Mark 14:29, that, in fact, is exactly what he does. Mark 14:66-72.
But the phrase, found at the end of Peter’s denial is what gripped me,
” And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.“Mark 14:72 CEV
Peter didn’t really know what he was capable of. He didn’t really know what was in his heart, but Jesus did. Jesus knew the good, the bad and the ugly of Peter’s heart, just as He does mine and yours. But here’s the impacting part to me, when Peter remembered what Jesus had foretold about him, he broke down and wept.
You see, realizing how well Jesus knows and loves us is overwhelming and should bring us to tears. When we understand that Jesus knows all of those deepest carverns, twisted roots and dark recesses of our heart, we, too, just may respond as Peter did, with weeping.
But first we must remember.
- Remember that before He formed you in the womb He knew you. Jeremiah 1:5
- Remember that He has searched you and knows you. Psalm 139:1
- Remember that He knows when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
- Remember that before a word is on your tongue He knows it. Psalm 139:4
- Remember that He has called you by name. Isaiah 43:1
- Remember that He knows His own. John 10:14
- Remember He formed your inward parts and knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
- Remember that your frame was not hidden from Him when you were being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths. Psalm 139:15
- Remember that His eyes saw your unformed body. Psalm 139:16
- Remember that every one of your days of life are written in His book. Psalm 139:16
All of this remembering is in itself overwhelming, but consider this, as well:
“But this I recall to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every mourning; great is your faithfulness.Lamentations 3:21 CEV
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.”Psalm 139:6
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast in the sum of them! Were I to count them, they are more than the sand.”Psalm 139:17-18
God is LOVE. He keeps no records of wrongs, He is patient with us and demonstrates loving kindness. He bears all things with us, always believes in us, and endures beside us, even in our “denials”. (like Peter) 1 Corinthians 13, 1 John 4:8
THAT my friend, is what causes my eyes to mist over. That kind of love is overwhelming. I am captured by the depth of His love for me, in spite of my dark heart.
I believe THAT is why Peter “broke down and wept.” He remembered just how much Jesus knew about him, all the ugly betrayal that he held in his heart, and yet Jesus still called him. Jesus still told him that he was “the Rock”. Jesus still included him, taught him, drew him close, and loved him.
Let’s remember though, in Mark’s account so far, Peter doesn’t know the end of the story. He doesn’t know what we do about Jesus’ resurrection and appearing to the eleven disciples afterwards, Peter is left remembering and weeping. But not us! We know the end of the story. We know Jesus restored Peter, just as He will us.
I have been moved lately by remembering what God’s word says about His love for me, but also that He knows everything there is to know about me. That is unimaginable! He knows me COMPLETELY, and still loves me! Mindboggling. He loves me so much, He is ever calling me to come near, see Him and be changed. He knows me, my weaknesses, my words and my thoughts, my desires and He loves me. He knows me. He loves me in perpetuity.
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me!”
He knows you, too. Through and through.
Go with God.