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From Trusting in Your Promises to Trusting in God's Promises [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
May 20, 2022 6:00 am

From Trusting in Your Promises to Trusting in God's Promises [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. We can build our life not on our commitment to God, but on God's commitment to us.

And when we do, faith and courage and obedience emerge in our lives. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, Life of Peter, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire broadcast, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you this special offer available today.

Contact us at PastorAlan.org, that's PastorAlan.org, or call 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Alan Wright. Are you ready for some good news? Although our promises to God, though well-intentioned, though our commitments to God, we have every desire to keep them, though they fall, though we fail, God's promises to you will never fail. Therefore, faith, and courage, and obedience come not by us ramping up our commitment to be better Christians and to follow God more dearly, but by meditating more deeply and receiving more fully the good news of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ and how committed He is to seeing us through. We continue today in the life of Peter, and we are coming to the dark place of Peter's denial of the Lord.

And I want you to see today how well-intentioned Peter was, how dismal his failure, and then we're going to look at the restoration of Peter and the amazing love of God. So, I want to turn you to Matthew chapter 26. Matthew chapter 26, after the institution of the Lord's Supper, we come to verse 30. Matthew 26, verse 30.

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, You will all fall away because of me this night, for it is the day of the Lord's reign. For it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But after I'm raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.

Peter answered him, though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away. Jesus said to him, Truly I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you'll deny me three times. Peter said to him, Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you. And all the disciples said the same. But let's move forward to verse 69 and see what happened.

After the betrayal and the arrest of Jesus, and Jesus has appeared before Caiaphas and this phony trial. In verse 69, Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant girl came up to him and said, You also were with Jesus, the Galilean. But he denied it before them all, saying, I do not know what you mean. And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, This man was with Jesus of Nazareth. And again, he denied it with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a little while, the bystanders came up and said to Peter, Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you. Then he began to invoke a curse on himself, and to swear, I do not know the man. And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.

And he went out and wept bitterly. Essentially some of the songs that we like to sing, you will notice you do not hear us sing these songs here, because there are some songs that, even though they are in some ways classic, and there is something in it that kind of stirs our soul a little bit. I have kind of put a little red X next to them. We are not going to sing them, and sorry about that. But one of them, remember the song, it is like, and it is something that gets in you.

It kind of gets the blood flowing. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.

No turning back. Though none go with me, I still will follow. Though none of these other pitiful disciples go with me, I still will follow. Though none of these lesser Christians go with me, I still will follow.

No turning back. See how committed I am to Jesus? I am going to sing about it.

And another song that kind of gets us going that I am sorry, but I put a little mark by this one too, is I used to love, I used to love, I actually love this. All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give. All to Jesus I surrender. I surrender all.

I surrender all. One day after we sang this in a church I served in Durham, a lady came up. She was doing her actual Ph.D. work in church history, and she was a wonderful friend and Christian.

And she was one of those good friends also in the church who would come up and speak honestly with you even though you're the pastor, and she'd like tell you what you needed to hear. And she came and she said, Alan, you know that's a good song. She said, there's only one problem. I said, what? She said, we're perjuring ourselves.

She said, it's not true. I said, we're saying that, you know, I surrender all, but who amongst us really has surrendered all? You know, it's like, should we really be singing this song? And I got to thinking about it.

I said, yeah, but it doesn't sound as good to sing. I surrender some. I surrender a few things I don't really want.

A little bit to Jesus. I surrender. I surrender some.

It just doesn't work. You know, there's a part of us that gets kind of charged by, though none go with me, I still will follow. We'll do this thing.

We'll do this thing. That's Peter. He's like, I'm going to do this thing, Jesus. Though none go with me, I still will follow.

Even if I have to die for you. And the other disciples, you tell them, Peter, amen. All the rest of them, they just weren't as bold as Peter, but it says they were all saying the same thing. They were so well intentioned.

And that's the thing we're learning about. Peter is just this man. He's so likable. I like him. I really like him. And you can believe him. I mean, Peter, if you're making a business deal with Peter, Peter's like, no, I'm going to do this. I will be delivering a hundred fish to you every day.

A hundred fish every day. You're like, you believe him because he believes it. He's so well intentioned, but he will let you down.

And this is the moment more than any other. He says, I will follow you no matter what. I will never deny you. I'm not going to fall away, Jesus, though others might. And Jesus says tonight, you're going to deny me three times before the rooster crows in the morning. And what we learn from the story is the futility of trying to find power for Christian living by ramping up your commitments to God. No amount of chanting about your commitment to God, no amount of singing about your commitment to God, no amount of stomping your foot about your commitment to God is going to enable you to overcome your sin. None of your oaths to God give you power for the victorious Christian life. But instead the power, the power that sets us free from slavery to fear and sin is the power of the gospel, which is a revelation of what God's done for you to make you into a child of God. And if a child, then an heir and a co-heir of Christ. In other words, let us not boast in our commitments to God, but let us revel in the commitment of God to us and watch what happens in Peter's life when this shift takes place.

That's what I want to talk to you about today. Peter is prone to be the one who speaks for everyone. And so oftentimes when he's speaking as a leader on behalf of the disciples, he's saying what others would like to say or what others would like to do.

And he is always in this mode of thinking he's going to be able to do something and then failing, as we've seen it over and over and over. This is the same Peter who sees Jesus walking on the water towards him. And he says, Jesus, if it's you, tell me to come to you. And Jesus says, come. And so he gets out and he walks on the water for just a little while.

And then he sees the wind and the waves and he becomes fearful and he begins to sink, glub, glub, glub. This is the same Peter, who when Jesus comes to wash his feet says, you'll never wash my feet. I'm your servant.

You're not my servant. And Jesus says, unless I wash you, you have no inheritance with me. And he says, okay, then wash me. This is the one who comes at the transfiguration scene. And Peter's like, wow. He sees this glorious sight of Jesus and Moses and Elijah, illumined in glory. He's getting a vision of what the glorious Jesus, not just the human Jesus, but the glorified Jesus, what he really looks like in the glory of God shining all around them. And their disciples are just in awe. And this is the Peter who goes, wow. Shall I build three little huts now, one for you and one for Moses and one for a bunch? Always wants to do something, doesn't he?

That's Alan Wright. And we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Ever feel like the pressure's always on?

Do you find it hard to say no, worried that you'll disappoint someone? The Bible tells us only one thing about Adam and Eve's relationship in paradise. They were naked and felt no shame. But as soon as sin entered the world, they became anxious, plagued with a gnawing question. What must I do to be accepted? There is only one solution, the grace of God that lifts our shame. In a new six-week video masterclass, Pastor Alan exposes the dynamics of shame and shows the path to freedom. Whether as an individual or in a small group, the video series is sure to bring healing and hope. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries this month, we'll send you the digital masterclass videos and study guides as our way of saying thanks for your partnership.

In a world so quick to say shame on you, it's time to let God's grace take the shame off you. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org.

Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. This is the one who at Gethsemane, Peter is one of the few that Jesus says, come near me. I'm going to go into the Garden of Gethsemane. I'm going to pray, and I need you to watch with me.

I need you to pray through the evening hours with me. And we don't have the text, but don't you know that Peter said, absolutely I will pray for you. And Jesus comes back after sweating blood and nearly dying from sorrow and finds Peter asleep while the Savior bleeds. This is the same Peter who when they come to arrest Jesus pulls out His sword and He's going to take on the whole Roman army and cuts off a soldier's ear until Jesus rebukes him and returns the ear and heals the man. This is who Peter is, but it's not just who Peter is.

It's who so many well-intentioned disciples are. We're quick to make promises. We're quick to make promises to God about what we will do. And the problem is that what happens is that in the moment of encouragement, in the moment of fervor, in the moment in which all seems okay, we're able to make this kind of commitment. But what happens is the circumstances change afterwards.

I can make the commitment. It's just what if the circumstances change afterwards? And I'm like, well, but this is a contingency I did not know would come into play. And therefore, I need to change what I originally said about this. We have this on vivid display in an election year, do we not?

And so we're tempted to really give our word and then okay, but things have changed. I got a sort of baptism in basketball on Thursday, had a delightful day. Ended up going down to Raleigh and watching basketball all day, the NCAA playoffs. And we had our afternoon session tickets for cheap and then the evening session for the number one seated North Carolina Tar Heels to play that evening. And our seats were no good for that. And so we were trying to figure out a way to get a little better seat. The man that I've gotten the tickets from for the afternoon session said, I've got the same seats for tonight.

We had these really cheap seats that were way up in the upper deck. And so I called him during the afternoon session. I said, what kind of deal would you make if we give you these tickets and get your other good tickets and give them some money for it? And he said, okay, we'll do the deal. And it sounded like a good deal to me. And I said, the only thing is I can't leave this game.

I can't come out of the arena to make the swap with you until after these games are over. And this is a man who's out there selling tickets all afternoon. And so I said, I got to count on you not selling these tickets to somebody else. And he said, listen, I'm a man of my word. I grew up on a farm. I don't know how that makes you more a man of your word, but grew up on a farm. And he said, I'm 60 years old. Again, the 60 year old, less likely to lie to you. But anyway, he said, I'm 60 years old.

I grew up on a farm. And if a man doesn't have his word, he doesn't have anything. He said, I gave my word. I'll meet you out there at 5.15.

We'll do the deal on the tickets. And I said, all right, I'll give you my word. I'll see you out there too.

And so I trusted the man. And I said, that's what we're going to do. I'll go out there and get tickets. So we went out there after the games to, and while we were out there, one of my buddies, we're waiting on the guy to show up. And I'm like, I believe he's going to show up.

I believe he's going to show up. And while we're out there, my buddy started talking to another guy who was out there selling tickets, who had better tickets for about the same deal, center court. He came walking over. He said, this guy's got, got tickets right here, center court, about the same kind of deal.

And I had to look at him. I said, I gave the man my word. And he says, you gave me your word? I say, I gave him my word. He said, all right.

Went back over. And then the guys, they continued to talk to us. The deal was getting better with the other guys.

It was getting, they were sweetened in the pot. And I was like, no, I gave this guy my, I gave the guy my word. And sure enough, the guy showed up, got the tickets, did the deal as we, as we, as we said. But I was thinking later, I thought, what if the, what if the pot had gotten so sweet that somebody would come over and said, send her court tickets for free. Would I kept my word in that situation? Or do you start saying, well, I didn't know there were going to be free tickets.

I mean, you know, I'm sure, I'm sure the man would not want to hold me to it if now I have free tickets. See, that's, that's, that's kind of the way life is like that. And circumstances change that you could not have expected. And Peter, when he said, I'll not deny you, he wasn't expecting that he would be given opportunity to deny him. He wasn't expecting and still didn't fully understand that he would watch Jesus go to trial and that Jesus was going to be crucified and that the followers around Jesus might be killed as well. He didn't understand all of that. And everything changed. And though he had said, though none go with me, I still will follow.

When the moment came, he was, he was unable. We're quick to make promises. We want to do something. We are, we are the sons of Adam. And in our sin nature, what we want to do is just ramp up our, our commitment to God and think that somehow we can look within and make it happen. But what Jesus knows is that He is going to the cross and they will all fall away.

The word that is used here, fall away, that phrase in the Greek is a word that transliterates directly into English. It's scandalize. You will all be scandalized. It is, it is something that Jesus knows. It was foretold in Zechariah. The shepherd will be struck down and the sheep will scatter. The shepherd is an image for the Messiah.

It's an image for a king. The shepherd, the ruler, will be struck down. And the prophecy, Jesus saying, is coming true in me. I'm the shepherd. I'll be struck down and you're my sheep and you're going to scatter. And knowing all of this, Jesus says to them, but I'll be raised and I'll go before you into Galilee.

We'll be together again. That's what's amazing to me. As you spend your time meditating about the thoughts of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and Easter morning, let this somewhere be central to your thoughts. Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him and still washed His feet. Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him and that the disciples would scatter from Him as He hung alone on the cross and yet He still loved them. God has never disillusioned with you because He already knows every frailty that you have and He understands you and He knows all the ways that you have sinned. He knows all the way that you will sin. And He came and He died for you. He set His love upon you. And therefore, since He already knows everything that is dark about you and He's already come and died for you and set His love upon you, it means this. There's nothing that you can do that will ever detract from the love of God that He has for you in Jesus Christ.

You cannot disillusion God. So Jesus makes His promise. Peter makes His promise. I'll never leave you. I'll not fall away.

The others might. And He fails and Jesus makes His promise. I will rise and I'll be with you again in Galilee. And He keeps His promise. And part of the beauty of this story that is amazing is the contrast in literature we call the foil, the contrast of Peter and Jesus. Because Peter is so strong in his insistence of what he's going to be able to do. And yet the temptation that he meets is a servant girl. In other words, one of the most lowly members of that Palestinian culture, a young person, female and a servant, had no authority to do anything to Peter. And yet Peter could not even acknowledge who he was to a servant girl. And yet Jesus faces a tribunal, the very ones who have the authority to crucify Him. And He is asked if He's the Son of God.

And He says that He is. Alan Wright. We're putting a bookmark here in the series of Life of Peter and the teaching specifically from trusting in your promises to trusting in God's promises. And the conclusion on the next program, Sharing the Light. But in a moment, Alan Wright is back here today in the studio for our final word. Ever feel like the pressure's always on?

Do you find it hard to say no, worried that you'll disappoint someone? The Bible tells us only one thing about Adam and Eve's relationship in paradise. They were naked and felt no shame. But as soon as it entered the world, they became anxious, plagued with a gnawing question. What must I do to be accepted? There is only one solution, the grace of God that lifts our shame. In a new six-week video masterclass, Pastor Alan exposes the dynamics of shame and shows the path to freedom. Whether as an individual or in a small group, the video series is sure to bring healing and hope. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries this month, we'll send you the digital masterclass videos and study guides as our way of saying thanks for your partnership.

In a world so quick to say shame on you, it's time to let God's grace take the shame off you. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. So Alan, here we are in this series, this particular teaching from trusting in your promises to trusting in God's promises.

So unpack this a little bit further while listening right now. Daniel, this is one of the absolute most important gospel principles that any listener you could ever get a hold of. I so want you to, if you didn't get all this message, try to get all of this, listen to it, get hold of this because it is so, so, so essential.

It's been transformational in my life. So many Christians think that the way that we're going to find power for holy living, for godly living, is by making greater and bigger promises to God, like making our vow to Him. Here's what I'm going to do.

Here's how I'm going to do it. And that's what Peter did. Though others deny you, I will never deny you, you see. It's a promise. It's a vow. So he had all of this noble desire and look what it got him, nothing. In fact, God just puts it on display and highlights the fact, predicts the fact, and then shows it to us through all the gospels. Peter, when there's not much on the line even, he denies Jesus three times. And so what we see in Peter then is a transformation of trying to find power by making his vows to God and instead learning that transformation comes by God's promises to you. It is an enormous move to make in one spiritual life. And boy, it's important.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-13 11:15:07 / 2023-04-13 11:24:38 / 10

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