Denial – Paula Hill

Paula HillAnd Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75). Recently, I was thinking about the goodness of God and how many times I don’t quite measure up to the kind of Christian I feel I should be. I was especially remembering a time I felt impressed of the Lord to pay for the meal of a woman who was standing in line behind me at a restaurant. I had never seen her before, but I felt it strongly. My heart was beating fast, and I was fidgety as I approached the register to pay for my food. I didn’t do it. I started thinking of how embarrassing it would be to try to explain, and my children were with me and I didn’t want to draw attention to them and possibly cause them embarrassment. I talked myself out of it. I could hardly enjoy my meal because I kept looking at the woman and wondering if she really needed to be the recipient of a kind deed that day. In the end, I realized I was the one who was probably robbed of the greatest blessing by not heeding the voice of the Holy Spirit. She obviously had money to eat or she wouldn’t have been there. I don’t think that was the point of the situation at all. The same morning, I was sitting out on the deck eating breakfast and reading my Bible. At this particular time, I was reading through the Book of Matthew again. I’m guessing many of us have read this book as much or more than any other book. 36 GRACE NOTES I, like you possibly, have started there many times intending to read through the New Testament and fallen by the wayside somewhere during the process. But as I read this scripture again, which I’ve read and heard quoted possibly hundreds of times, I was struck by the humanity of Peter. I’ve heard him criticized so much for denying Jesus. How could you be walking beside God in the flesh, be a partaker of His miracles and His wonders, and then deny you even know Him? Because Peter was just as human as we are. He didn’t want to, but fear gripped his heart because he knew he might suffer punishment and even death by being associated with Jesus. Thinking about it like that I don’t begin to imagine I would be strong enough to do any different than he did. But if you read the rest of his story you’ll find that he became bold and strong in the Lord and did many signs and wonders in the name of the One whom he denied. He did end up suffering for the name of Jesus, but he never denied Him again. Thank God, we don’t have to give up when we fail Him. There’s still hope for me and you.

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