Monday Devotional

Two questions asked:  

First, have you ever wished that you hadn’t done something?  Here are some examples.  

When I was attending a private high school, the boy’s section (one campus) participated with the girl’s section (the other campus) to perform a "sacred concert” (600 voices!).  I had led the boys in and Sarah (let's call her) led the girls. I was supposed to lead the boys up into the 7th row.  However, I inadvertently started into the 6th row and suddenly looked and saw a horrified soprano coming in the opposite direction.  Angst!!  I couldn't jump over into the next row and couldn't push the 5 guys following me back out of the row. It was an “oh no!...what have I done?” moment.  So, I simply proceeded completely mixing up the carefully planned structure of soprano, alto, tenor and basses.  Needless to say, it was a terribly, unpleasant moment!

The apostle Peter vowed to Jesus that come whatever, he would never forsake Him only to renege on his promise by denying his relationship with Jesus three times.  Immediately following his third denial accompanied with a swearing curse Peter went out and "wept bitterly".  It was an “oh no!...what have I done?” moment.  “How could I have just done what I vowed I would never do?!”

Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus to imprison and/ or kill followers of what he termed a heretical and god-awful person named Jesus.  When he was suddenly struck down and blinded by an incredible presence which he knew to be God, he asked," Who are you Lord?"  And the answer came, “I am Jesus, who you have been persecuting."  Saul must have experienced an “oh no!...what have I done?” moment.

As Peter preached his first sermon to a large group of Jews immediately following the coming of the Holy Spirit, He told them that this event was prophesied by the Prophet Joel, he went on to say that Jesus who did mighty works among you, "whom you crucified and killed" was raised from the dead."  And in hearing this they were "cut to the heart” saying, “What must we do”?  It was an “oh no!...what have we done? moment. We have killed the Messiah...to which Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized".

We hit these moments of “oh no!...what have I done?”, realizing that we have through stupidity, unknowing, or downright sin have "messed up", have blown it, or have done something that is a present humiliating, embarrassing, wanting to "get out of" awful situation.

So, secondly, what do we do when these things happen?  We can acknowledge our poor judgement by confessing that action and by receiving the promise of God in 1 John 1:9 of forgiveness and cleansing.  We can look for God's "escape" route as found in 1 Cor. 10:13.   And we can simply move forward through it all trusting that Jesus will never leave or move from us.  We can allow Jesus to change an “oh no!...what have I done?” moment into an opportunity for Him to forgive us and empower us to move on through.  Then, like Peter upon denying Jesus, like Paul upon killing the ones who were following the ONE, like the Jews who were "cut to the heart", we can ask forgiveness, repent and move towards a closer walk with the ONE who can set us up on a "higher plane"!

Blessings,

Chuck Ives