Blessed… With the Best of Intentions

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Tonight you will all fall away because of me. This is because it is written, I will hit the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will go off in all directions.  But after I’m raised up, I’ll go before you to Galilee.” Peter replied, “If everyone else stumbles because of you, I’ll never stumble.” Jesus said to him, “I assure you that, before the rooster crows tonight, you will deny me three times.” Peter said, “Even if I must die alongside you, I won’t deny you.” All the disciples said the same thing (Matthew 26:31-35, Common English Bible).

Peter had good intentions. All the disciples had good intentions. Jesus told them that they would all fall away. Peter, as Peter always seemed to do, speaks up, saying, “No, not me.” H

Jesus told them that they would all fall away. Peter, as Peter always seemed to do, speaks up, saying, “No, not me.” He had the best of intentions. He truly believed he would never fall away from Jesus.

I feel pretty certain that, while Peter was not speaking for the group, they all had similar sentiments. Who among them, with the exception of Judas would ever want to fall away?

What the disciples in general and Peter in particular truly believed they could stand by Jesus no matter what. And, that sounds really good. But, what Peter and the others were to learn that night is, you can have the best of intentions, but when things get difficult it is easy to lose focus. It is easy to say and do things that might not be said or done otherwise.

The same thing is true for us. Our boss isn’t a believer or at least isn’t real faithful, and wants us to do something that falls outside the boundaries of Christian ethics. We think our job might be on the line so we do that which we know is wrong. Our intentions may have been good but our follow through, our ability to live the lifestyle of Christian morals and ethics is not where it should be. When we do that we know is wrong, we deny Jesus.

If any of us were to ask another Christian, “would you deny Jesus?” Of course, our answer would be “No.” What is more, we mean what we said. But when push comes to shove, we fall short. Perhaps we are afraid. Perhaps we outthink ourselves. Perhaps we lose face with subordinates, peers, and Supervisors. Perhaps we “backslide” and fall into old habits. Whatever it might be, we had really good intentions and then we saw ourselves falling away.

So, what are we to do? We are to remain vigilant.  Beyond that, we must realize we are not alone in all this. We have faithful brothers and sisters who stand with us through times of difficulty. We also have prayer where we speak to God and enlist God’s help in these situations in order that we might maintain our focus and not fall away.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s