2 Peter 2:21
It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
On our recent trip to the mountains, Danny and I play backgammon every afternoon. He's an expert at the game, having spent years sparring with friends and in tournaments.
I am a novice.
And, I haven't played in over a year, so I require major coaching in the rules of the game.
Danny patiently reviews these with me. Reveals the magic die combinations. Gently corrects my inaccurate moves during our first several games.
Backgammon is spatial. Mathematical. It takes my anything-but-mathematical mind a good long while to even begin wrapping itself around the game.
By our tenth one, I think I have the gist of it. I tell Danny to let me win or lose on my own.
And, lose, I do.
Because the rules are still new. There are so many strategies. Too many to recall all at once.
But, that's no excuse.
I've been shown the way, and I need to move forward.
I need to try harder to remember.
There's no turning around now . . .
By our second afternoon foray, I begin to win a game here and a game there. Not because of the luck of the die, but because I'm actually, finally, implementing the strategic moves crucial to winning.
I am on my way!
And, I won't look back . . .
If anyone had trouble following Jesus without falling on his face, it is Peter.
So many new rules. New strategies. New ways of looking at the power, the might, the grace of God.
Confused and bewildered on so many occasions, Peter listens and tries to understand all Jesus is teaching him, showing him.
When he recognizes Jesus as the Messiah, he wins the game.
When he denies the Lord three times, he loses. Big time.
He has earned the right to chastise those who have claimed the path of righteousness, but have taken the dangerous detour instead.
Just as he fell away from his Lord and Savior. And, the cock crowed . . .
Thankfully, for us, Jesus redeems His beloved Peter.
For, on his shoulders, the church is built.
Christianity is born.
We are saved . . .
Are your feet firmly planted on the road to righteousness?
Will you pray with me?
When we lose our way, Father, guide us back to you. When we fall, pick us up, dust us off, and set our course straight. Thank you for loving us even when we fail Your rules and Your strategies. We praise You for Your great glory! Amen.
Psalms 40, 54 or 51
2 Peter 2:17-22