As our Lord and Savior was on His way to become the ultimate sacrifice for mankind, we find a man right in the middle of the intense action. In the twenty-second chapter of the book of Luke, as Jesus was being arrested, one of his closest friends was caught in a dilemma. As history was being changed forever would this man be more concerned about surviving or thriving? This man’s name was Peter, who was in the midst of terrifying circumstances. On this horrific yet glorious day, we see a man who chose survival for himself rather than thriving for the glory of God. Despite being warned by Jesus that the temptation to be more concerned with his own survival we see the picture of a man who was scared. So scared that he not only denied he knew Jesus, but he vehemently denied it three times, even swearing to it. When first questioned if he knew Jesus Peter said, “Woman, I do not know Him.” The second time he was accused of being a follower of Christ he said, “Man, I am not!” On the third occasion Peter lashes out with these immortal words, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.”
Girlfriends, sometimes we find ourselves in dire straights and our fear can cause us to abandon the desire to thrive and become so obsessed with just surviving. Our thought process can start managing our survival by scheduling our days mentally. When we become survival minded our thoughts become consumed with just making it to the next item on our mental schedule. Instead of thriving for the glory of God, everything we do is wrapped up in our desire to survive. This is where our dear friend Peter found himself. He did not want to be entangled in the deadly mission his friend and mentor, Jesus, had so willingly became involved with. His fearful heart was now determining his actions and instead of bringing glory to God, he brought shame to himself.
But hold on for the end of the story of Peter! His life would not end in survival mode, but rather this cowardly man would get past surviving and go on to thriving in tremendous ways that would ultimately bring glory to God. In the book of Acts we see the incredible story of thousands of people coming to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. This once survival minded man had gotten past surviving the moment to looking to the importance of eternity. As we continue to read about Peter, we see that he went on to live a life of thriving spiritually.
Dearest girlfriends, I pray that when life calls us to merely survive, we would set our hearts on things above and not on earthly things, therefore living to thrive for His glory!
Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance. After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them.And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.”A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.”But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed.The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. ~ Luke 22:54-62 NASB
But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. … Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. ~ Acts 2:14, 36-41 NASB