“And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.” — Matthew 26:75
– Living with regret can be devastating to your relationship with the Lord. The night Peter denied Jesus could have been a death blow to his future ministry. We pick up the story of Peter’s failure and regret in John 21. After the resurrection, Peter wanted to go back to something he felt confident in doing. He announces to the other apostles that he was going out to fish. As they were fishing they hear a voice calling to them from the shore. One of the apostles, John the beloved, recognizes the voice as being that of Jesus. Peter, who was known for his impulsive behavior, immediately throws himself overboard frantically swimming to shore to face his Lord.
Peter still wore the shame of his denial. He no doubt had the feeling of failure within him, but something inside of him wanted to be where Jesus was. As far as Satan was concerned he had Peter right where he wanted him, away from his ministry and back on a fishing boat.
– The meeting that morning by the fire pit had a purpose; Jesus was going to silence the rooster in Peter’s life. He looks Peter right in the eye and says, “Peter do you love me more than these?”
Peter said, “Yes Lord.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” The second time Jesus asked Peter the same question, “Lovest thou me?” Peter said, “Yes Lord.” And finally, a third time Jesus asked Peter the same question, “Peter do you love me?” Peter said, “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.” In order for us to be free to live in the present we must be released from the failures of the past. We must understand that failure doesn’t have to be fatal. If you carry a load of guilt from past mistakes, perhaps you need to silence a few roosters in your life.
Philippians 3:13-14 “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
– Booker T. Washington told a story of how his mother silenced a reminder of her slavery. He said every morning of his young life, he along with all the plantation slaves, were awakened by the sounds of the rooster’s cry. Long before daybreak the unwelcome noise of the rooster’s call would fill the sod shanties reminding Booker T. and his fellow slaves to crawl out of bed to leave for the cotton fields. The rooster’s crow came to symbolize their dictated lives of long days of backbreaking labor. Then came the Emancipation Proclamation whereby President Abraham Lincoln announced freedom for the slaves. The first morning after the slaves had been set free, young Booker T. was awakened again by the rooster’s cry only this time his mother was chasing it around the barnyard with an ax. The Washington Family fried and ate their alarm clock that day for lunch. Their first act of freedom was to silence the reminder of their slavery.
Rev. Randy Skeens is pastor of Central United Baptist Church and a member of the Logan Ministerial Association.