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THE ROCK THAT MOVED

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THE ROCK THAT MOVED Empty THE ROCK THAT MOVED

Post  Admin on Wed 02 Nov 2011, 9:53 pm

THE ROCK THAT MOVED


Let me begin by asking a question: Are you a "rock"????
We all need to a ROCK so that we are not tossed with every wind of
doctrine. If you move, if you don't react as a rock, then you are
sand.

Read Matthew 21:31.
Do you remember the Gospel episode in which Jesus asks the
disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" and "Who do
you say that I am?" (Matt.16:13, 15). It is then that Simon Peter has
one of his finest hours, and one of his worst. At this point in the
Gospel no one has openly acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah. It is
Simon Peter who blurts out the answer first: "You are the Christ,
the Son of the Living God." The power and the strength of the faith
this revelation from God has given Him evokes high praise from
Jesus. Peter reminds him of hard rock. "You are Rock...I will
entrust to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven," Jesus tells
Simon Peter. (Matt.16:18, 19). It is the apostle's finest hour.

But, as someone else has said, Peter was not yet a very stable rock.
He was a rock that moved. He fell, he faltered, he failed, he
shifted. He made mistakes. In that very rewarding moment with Jesus,
he made a big one. Christ was using that moment as an opportunity
to try to explain to the disciples that He was going to be tortured
and executed; that He was not the kind of Messiah they had been
looking forward to; that He was not going to be a political hero or
great military leader. He was going to be humiliated, made to suffer
and die, as the Prophet Isaiah had foretold.

Peter could not accept that. To the same Jesus he had just
acknowledged as Messiah, he said, "God forbid that any such thing
happen to you." Peter was correcting the Messiah, and Jesus
whirled on him and called him "satan." In seconds, the Keeper of the
Keys to God's Kingdom became the personification of satan.

The "rock" had moved. Peter was constantly flucturating hot and
cold, making mistakes, catching the ball and then dropping it. He
was impulsive and impetuous down to the very last night of Jesus'
life. Peter was right there with the Master, pledging his loyalty
and support to the death. But Jesus knew His man. He looked him in
the eye and said, "Peter, the cock will not crow today until you
have three times denied that you know Me." (Luke 22:34).

Peter, of course, knew that that was impossible, but it happened.
Three times he denied that He even knew Christ. This was Simon
Peter: A strong man and a weak man; a solid rock and a rock that
moved. But that is not the whole story, because God never gave up on
Peter.

There is much of Peter in each one of us. We have come here today as
a People who intend a good life. We want to be Christ's women and
men. We honestly have good intentions about changing our ways. There
is a rock-like quality in us down at the center.
But, like Peter, we ARE ROCKS THAT MOVE. We fall, we falter, we
fail, we make mistakes, we hurt other people (often the people we
love most). We talk about Christian love and we mean to love, but oh
how we fail! Time after time after time, even in our own families we
fail in love. Maybe someone else's ego is getting in our way! Maybe
we've become emotionally drained from the pressures of our
day-to-day situation. Maybe we're just overly tired, physically.
That's the way it is.

We fail so often, not only in our close relationships but also in our
involvement with the "outside" world. As Christians, we know that we
are called to personal involvement in God's mission of love to the
world. We know that we are on mission, all our lives. We talk about
this and we intend that we shall become involved in whatever way the
Holy Spirit will direct us, but the fact is that most of us never go
out into our Father's vineyard.

Most of us love only a very few people and we need to be shocked
into seeing how narrow we have become and who we really are.

When you go through a trial, the storms of life, you know who your
true friends are. The ones who truly are your friends will stick
with you and join in the battle. Those who are not ROCKS, those who
are not strong in the Lord, will gather their marbles and leave.
They will run rather than stick it out and fight.
Are you that kind of Christian? Or are you a Rock that doesn't move.

In Albert Camus' novel, "The Fall," there is a devastating line that
expresses the truth of this. It comes in a scene where the
respectable lawyer, walking in the streets of Amsterdam, hears a cry
in the night. He realizes a woman has fallen or been pushed into the
canal and is crying for help. Then the thoughts come rushing through
his mind: Of course he must help, but... A respected lawyer getting
involved in this way? What would the implications be? ... And what
about the personal danger? After all, who knows what has been going
on over there. By the time he has thought it through, it is too
late. He moves on, making all kinds of excuses to justify his
failure to act. But, Camus, in that devastating line, says, "He did
not answer the cry for help. That is the man he was."

This is precisely what happens to us. We come here with good
intentions. We resolve to be Christ's women and men as never before.
Then we go back out and we hear the cries for help but we just move
on, making excuses all the way. We don't want to "get involved".
We become the rock that moves.

And we stand under the judgment of Camus' devastating line: He
did not answer the cry for help.

We have the simple little story of how two brothers responded to
their father's call for help in the vineyard.

One son expressed his good intentions, saying, "I am on my way, sir."
But he never went out to the vineyard. The other responded
negatively, saying, "No, I will not." But he later changed this
attitude and he did go out to do his father's work. "Which of the
two did what the father wanted," Jesus asks the chief priests and
the elders of the Temple. They answer correctly, of course, "the
second."

Jesus doesn't put on this little quiz to see how smart His
listeners are. He is making a crucial point with them about their
relationship with God. It is not what you say, not what you
promise, not what you teach that matters most. Far better to move
from bad intentions to positive action than to remain locked into
your good intentions and no action. This is a lesson in repentance.
You stumble, you fall, you hedge, you shift, you fail, but God is
always there, ready to pick you up, if only you will repent.
Repentance takes you beyond good intentions. Repentance is the
process of actually becoming the person God wants you to be. Only
the power of God was great enough to do this for Simon Peter. And
the power of God can do this for you and for me, if we will let it
come into our lives.

No need to sit there turning yourself over the coals and blaming
yourself, over and over again, for your failures and your misdeeds.
The forgiveness, the healing, the New Life is here and it will
change everything for you if only you will open yourself up to
receive the Resurrection Power of a loving God.

One Church Historian describes the last years of Simon Peter as
follows:

"We have a picture of a saintly man, laden with years and fame,
still bearing on his face the radiance of that light which he had
received on the day of Transfiguration. An old soldier of the
Gospel, whose presence alone constituted a lesson in the faith,
making his way from city to city, blessing, healing, exalting souls
and bringing the peace of Christ into men's hearts.

The solid stability of Peter, the "Rock", was sorely needed (by the
early persecuted Church) ... He died on a cross, in his humility
having asked to be hung there not upright, as his Divine Master had
been hung, but upside-down, his head dangling towards the earth."

This miracle of life which was the Apostle Peter, is the constant
miracle-of-the- moment with God. A loving God transforms rocks that
move into solid pillars of strength. This is what He did with Simon
Peter. This is what He is doing, at this moment, with you and me. At
this moment God is offering us the strength to answer those cries in
the night with more than good intentions. Carry your mission into
your Father's vineyard. And have no fear. The strength will come.
God is with you.

Let us be the "Rock" that does not move, does not falter or fail in
God's vineyard. Let us be earnest in our ministry to win others into
the Kingdom.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

God bless you!
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