If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Cor 10:12 NIV)
As an unschooled and ordinary man, filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter astonished the high priest and the teachers of the law by courageously proclaiming that salvation is only found in Jesus, and that there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Courageously Peter declared before the Pharisees that “we must obey God rather than human beings”.Floggings and beatings for his faith could not stop Peter from daily teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah in the temple courts and from house to house.
Yet Peter still had more to learn about the magnitude of God’s grace. God miraculously spoke to Peter through a vision to convince him that he could eat the same food as Gentiles eat, and hang out with them. God had to teach Peter not to call anything impure that God had made clean. Peter had to absorb the fact that Jesus is the Lord of people from every nation. When in obedience Peter accepted the centurion Cornelius’ invitation to be his guest, Peter, had the awesome opportunity to see the Holy Spirit poured out on Cornelius and his Gentile friends who believed in Jesus Christ.
Imprisoned by Herod, Peter fearlessly and peacefully slept chained between two soldiers until the Lord sent an angel to free him, and escort him out of the heavily guarded prison. Later when Peter’s friends came to visit him in Antioch we find Peter cowering in fear. The one whom the Lord had delivered from Herod’s clutches, and from everything that the Jews hoped would happen to him, drew back from the Gentiles and acted like a good Jewish person because he was afraid of being criticized. Paul, appealing to Peter’s value and dignity as a child of God, spoke to Peter about his sinful behavior and the impact it was having on Barnabas and his friends. Paul reminded Peter what is important – his faith in Jesus Christ expressing itself in love.
You stand firmly in your faith and boldly proclaim the Lordship of Christ in many places, but where do you cower in fear?
How might your actions be impacting those around you?
If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Cor 10:12-13 NIV).
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV)