August 20, 2014
READ: Luke 22:15-34
I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers (v.32).
As a kid, I enjoyed helping my mum in the kitchen— especially when it came time for our holiday baking. One tool that fascinated me was the sifter. My mum stored it in a large plastic bag that kept it clean and caught any remnants of flour dust from previous projects. Turning the handle, I’d watch as the heavy clump of flour met with the metal pieces and screening to become a soft, light product.
Luke 22 records one of Jesus’ final interactions with His disciples before his crucifixion. While He had already addressed Peter’s need to trust God’s will above his own (Matthew 16:23), Jesus knew Peter’s confidence in his own abilities remained an issue.
Not only would the disciples have to accept the servanthood of Jesus; they would have to embrace their own (Luke 22:26-27). This was not an easy task, especially for one as fiery as Peter. All too quick to define themselves as loyal, the disciples began the dangerous game of comparison (vv.23-24). Who would ever choose self-protection over the call of Christ?
You and I would.
Intent on our best interest, God would not allow spiritual sifting if it were not transformational. Always, though, we have a choice as to how we respond to the process. Will we remain the heavy clump of spiritual knowledge with a tendency towards pride, or will we be sifted into the impassioned yet humble messenger of His truth?
Testing will come, and our enemy is real. But as Peter learned, we overcome our spiritual challenges when we allow God to test and change us—making us into something He can truly use.
365-day plan› Luke 17:1-19
Read Matthew 4:1-11 and consider the nature of Satan’s temptations and what Jesus used to overcome them.
How can we allow struggles to make us more submissive to God, rather than becoming more angry and bitter? What are some avenues God is giving you to encourage others by sharing your story?