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Strengthen your brothers

December 19, 2016

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

 

But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered,

 

“I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

 

Luke 22:31-34

 

We, all of us, have times in our lives when we deny God's glory within ourselves.  We can lose ourselves in the world, or even sometimes in religion trying to work out our own salvation without Jesus in the picture.  But what matters is how you react after you have been "sifted" in your own way. Do you lose faith in the world, others, yourself, or God?  Or do you take the lessons you have learned to encourage the Lord's dearly beloved children?  The greatest slap in the face to God is bitterness after suffering (Hebrews 12:15), the greatest sacrifice to God is joyful helping of others (with an emphasis on "other", you don't build treasures in heaven by only working with pleasant, easy-going, agreeable people on your side of the fence) after suffering.  After his death, Jesus came back to earth to continue to heal and gather in those who had crucified him.  Have we ever been so injured, and yet so gracious?

 

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