There has been no time in history when American Christians have come closer to personally understanding the story of the servant girl and Peter at Jesus’ trial, found in Mark 15, then right now. In fact, on the very week that we find these particular scriptures in our Bible reading plan, we also may have watched a television special about Kayla Mueller, a 25-year-old American Christian aid worker who was kidnapped, tortured, raped and killed by members of the Islamic State while defending her Christian faith. There are many more.
Other generations may have been able to safely pass judgment on Peter for his denial of Jesus, knowing that they would never be in a position to have to publicly defend their faith in Christ or lose their life or freedom. This is a luxury we are no longer afforded. We read Mark 15 and nervously wonder, would we do any better than Peter did in a similar situation?
There are a few things that we can do to become spiritually strong Believers who can pass the ultimate test. First, we must study the Word of God consistently with a humble and teachable attitude. In Hebrews 2:1, Paul wrote, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”
Reading “a scripture a day to keep the devil away” won’t be enough if we don’t meditate on it, seek answers to what we don’t understand and think about it enough that it is permanently tattooed on our hearts. The time to build a tornado shelter for your home is not when you can see a tornado coming. Likewise, the time to build a strong foundation of scripture in your heart is not when you are facing great peril. It is now!
Second, memorizing scripture is not just for kids. In Psalm 119:11 David said, “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin.” When we feel weak and are tempted to compromise our spiritual beliefs for the sake of our job or a relationship or our social position in our community, those scriptures that we are actively hiding in our hearts will come leaping to our minds when we need them most and can keep us from sinning.
Third, there is great value in singing songs of praise and worship to God in our everyday lives; it will keep those songs ready in our minds for when we need them most. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing on another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” Paul knew something about the power of praise in horrifying situations. After a brutal beating, while in a Roman prison, when he and Silas were singing and praying, the jail shook, the walls fell down and everyone’s chains fell to the ground. That’s the power of singing spiritual songs.
Finally, don’t do this alone. Be in church. Be in Bible study groups. Don’t skip Sunday School. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” The Day is now 2,000 years closer. We need to be in church.
(For those who have missed any of the previous lessons, you can go to https://comethirstyministry.com/blog/ and view all previous postings.)
Day 1: Mark 5:25-34 (Healed Woman)
Day 2: Mark 6:1-29 (Herodias)
Day 3: Mark 7:24-37 (Daughter Healed)
Day 4: Mark 14:66-72 (Peter and the Servant Girl)
Day 5: Mark 15:1-47 (Women at Jesus’ Death)