Devotional Thoughts

We offer two ways to be encouraged by God’s Word:

Pastor John Blog – Pastor John shares a little devotional, insight, or testimony and invites you to respond as well.
This week – We use big words like discipleship, sanctification, and commitment when we could just as easily use words like follow, walk, and live.  Why do we do that? Do we feel that if we make following God sound mystical that it will have greater meaning?  Instead, I suspect that when we make it sound difficult that we find ourselves following less… for more, click here.

→ Daily Devotionals – If you like to have a devotional thought for the day, the following links will take you to a trusted Christian Bible teacher.  You will find a Scripture and a devotional thought there that we hope will encourage your heart.

Daily Readings:
Charles Swindoll
Greg Laurie
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Charles Spurgeon
Billy Graham
Weekly Readings:
John Piper
Max Lucado
R.C. Sproul

Our devotional highlight for this week is from Proverbs 31 Ministries (note: all links will take you away from this site and to the the websites chosen by the devotional for Bibles and cross references).

When the Rooster Crows

Lee en español

“And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:61-62 (ESV)

When we discuss conflict in our marriage small group, my husband will ask each spouse, “What are your ‘trigger words’?”

We often associate a trigger with some type of ammunition. A trigger word has a similar effect, in that it has the ability to set something off. No matter who you are, married or not, we all have particular words that might not start a fight on the outside, but something still hits us wrong on the inside.

I have my own trigger word. When I hear this word, even in casual conversation, my heart immediately drops and sometimes, I tear up. It reminds me of a part of my life that didn’t turn out how I thought it would. The word may be insignificant to most people, but for me, it’s a constant admonition of how I disappointed the people closest to me.

Everyone’s trigger is different, but oftentimes it’s something that moves us to tears.

In the New Testament, we read about Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples but also the one who betrayed Him.

After Jesus was arrested, Peter denied knowing Him, not just once, but three times. It happened just as Jesus said it would: “… while he [Peter] was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:60b-62).

In my hometown, it’s not very likely to hear a rooster crowing. In rural Israel, it might have been a more common occurrence. Apparently, it happens every morning — and maybe even more often than that.

Can you imagine what Peter must have felt every time he heard a rooster crow? His mind must have wandered back to that night when things didn’t go how he said it would. He was the one who said he would be with Jesus until the end! Each morning, when the rooster woke up the sleeping town, was he reminded how deeply he disappointed his Lord?

Yet just days after the resurrection, Jesus had a one-on-one conversation with Peter, instructing him to “Feed My sheep” (John 21:17c, ESV).

God still had plans for Peter. And He still has plans for me and you.

In Acts chapter 2, Peter returns to the scene, except this isn’t the same man who ran away. Instead, he stood boldly and addressed the crowd.

On this particular morning, I wonder if he heard a rooster crow in the distance, suggesting to him that he was the last person in the world who should be proclaiming the gospel. If he did hear it, he didn’t let it stop him. He kept on that day … and the day after that … and for many days to follow.

Whatever our greatest heartaches or regrets, we can turn them over to the One who gives “beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor” (Isaiah 61:3, NIV).

That moment the rooster crowed didn’t define Peter. The moments with Jesus did.

Dear Heavenly Father, I sometimes struggle with mistakes I have made, so I ask You would heal that part of my heart. I am thankful my past is forgiven and my future is secure — You still have plans for me! I want You to be glorified in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

2 Corinthians 12:9, “but He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough — always available — regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.’ Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.” (AMP)

Ephesians 1:18, “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called — his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” (NLT)

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