We have a choice. We can find any type of preaching to listen to. There are all types of religion to follow. The choice is ours. Know this. There is nothing wrong with this Bible. There is a scarcity of faith. In order for the Word to guide we must have faith in what God says. Jesus kept saying everywhere he went that people must believe on him and the Father who sent him. He said that all those who did not receive him and the Father would be judged.
Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
This is a frightening remark but also a truth Jesus told. He knew how the end times would be. We are saved God’s way—through the blood of Jesus Christ the son. Jesus said when the day and hour comes for him to return, will he find faith on the earth.
The disciples asked Jesus once to increase their faith. That’s a prayer we all need to pray. Too often it is Lord, do this and Lord, do that. How often do we realize we’re in a faith crisis and ask God to increase our faith? So much is going on with our people. So much healing is needed. How many of us go to the Lord each day with that list? What about instead of a list of what we want that we admit we’ve become unfamiliar with the Word and don’t have the faith we should. Do we love like we should? Can we admit our backsliding? David did. In Psalm 73:2 he said but as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped. David realized his feet were slipping. We’ve all fallen physically. When we notice it, it is our feet that slip first and then we try to catch ourselves before we fall completely. That’s what happens to our faith.
Judas was the disciple who slipped unknown to the others. Some think God won’t help them. Too much else is going on. There is always room in the room of God at his table. One time Jesus looked at the disciples. Many were walking away. He asked them if they too would go. Peter had the faith to say “to whom shall we go?” None of us have been as mean as this group of fishermen. They hated the Romans and the tax collectors. In a fishing business they were right there at each catch to get the government’s part. Now they were followers of Jesus. Yet when Peter denied the Lord he was cursing and swearing. How in the world did that happen? Peter’s faith slipped just as Jesus said it would.
Peter was also the one who answered Jesus when he asked who the people said he was. The disciples told Jesus some said he was Elijah or one of the prophets. Peter said “thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” Who had enough faith to walk on water? Peter. He’s our example. If there was ever one like you and me, it is Peter. Jesus had to call his name twice: Simon, Simon. How many times does he have to call our name to get our attention? Too many depart the faith. How can a strong Christian do that? None of us is immune to slipping. If you think you’re too close to God for that to happen you’d better get on your knees. Denying it can happen is the first step.
Peter was first in his faith yet it was to him that Jesus had to say, Simon, Simon Satan desires to sift you as wheat. Peter’s reaction was “who me?” I’m sure he thought remember when…. It should be our heart’s desire that when Jesus looks down on the earth that he finds our faith.
We all have moments of crisis. The devil sifts us all trying to get us to doubt our faith in the Lord. When you start doubting God’s word or start patting yourself on the back, look out for the sifter! What do we do? Admit to the Lord you can do nothing on your own. Only Jesus can get you out of the sifter. Don’t play around with sin but don’t play around with the Lord. Don’t dilly dally with your faith. Everyone has a measure of faith given to us by God but where we direct that faith is what matters. You have all the faith you need to get saved and all the faith you need to make it through. It’s all about who you trust. Should we trust Washington? Hollywood? YouTube? Facebook? Let God be true and every man a liar. If we want truth, this Bible is truth. Believe what it says not what I say. Why? The Lord is infallible. You can trust him!
Who was Jesus talking to? It was the bold one. The loud mouth. That was Peter. In Luke 18 Jesus told this story: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. The one we might consider the least is the one God may say has the most faith.
Peter’s failure is a lesson to all of us. If he can fail, we can too. Jesus told Peter he had prayed for him. We have an unfailing. John says that if we sin we have an advocate with the Father, none other than Jesus Christ. I sin. You sin. There is more sin committed by Christians than we’ll admit. Don’t speak of the sins of others while you overlook your own. Jesus didn’t cast Peter away. He has prayed for us all. He could have trashed every one of the disciples but instead he told Peter that when he turned back he was to strengthen the brethren. That’s exactly what Peter did.
If you’re fallen or drifting, Jesus is there. Come back to your first faith. Let victory be in you as you take your faith from the sifter and put it back in Jesus. He never fails. That’s why when we put faith in HIM; he causes us to move forward.