Perception and Performance 1 - Easter
|2004-04-11||Mt 26:31-35, 74-75|
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31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 "But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."
33 Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble."
34 Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." (Cf Lk 22:31-34)
35 Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And so said all the disciples.
74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And 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.
Lu 24:12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, wondering /marveling to himself at what had happened.
John 20:8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
I. Our Habits and Values create expectations, influencing our Perceptions, determining our Performance.
A. Our Habits (experience) and Values (desires) create expectations,
B. ...influencing our perceptions (of reality, and consequent emotions),
C. ...determining our performance.
D. Peter valued self reliance, security & prestige, drawing his worth from what others thought of him rather than from what God thought of him.
1. Peter’s expectation was that following Christ would result in immediate temporal power (security/significance) (pleasure & possessions)
2. Satan used Peter’s unscriptural expectation (arising from his values and leading to his emotions) to tempt and harm him.
3. God used Peter’s failure to purify him and prepare him for greater service.
1Pt 1:5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the trial (KJV) of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
1Pt 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
II. Caterpillar Christians (who haven’t transformed their minds/values ala Rom 12:1-2) view life from an earthly perspective
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
A. As a result of unscriptural expectations they endure life defeated, crawling in the mud, rather than floating through the flowers.
B. Renewing our minds (replacing Satan’s lies with the Holy Spirit’s Truth) results in:
1. Transformed Values - we value what God values (eternal power/pleasure/possessions)
2. Transformed Perspective - we see things as they really are, from an eternal perspective, with God’s priorities
3. Transformed Emotions - we rejoice in everything that brings us closer to God and His purposes for us
4. Transformed Performance - we do what pleases and glorifies God, benefiting Him, ourselves, and others
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Do you think most believers live resurrected lives, or do they spend most of their time crawling around in the old mud? Why?
2. Is failure ever fatal in the Christian life? If we are discouraged over regression or lack of progress, what does that indicate?
3. If ultimately we do what want, how can we want to do what is in our highest interest, as well as what’s in the best interest of others?
4. What can you do this week to experience more of Romans 6:4...
just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.