June 26, 2009

A Broken Promise

Mark 14:27-31, 66-72

And he broke down and wept.
Mark 14:72


We’ve all made promises that we’ve broken. When that happens, we diminish ourselves as persons and lose the confidence of others. Sometimes it can lead to great bitterness and sorrow.

A few hours before Judas betrayed him, Jesus told his disciples that they would soon all “fall away.” He would be arrested and crucified, he said, and all of them would forsake him.

Peter vigorously disagreed: “Even if all the others fall away, I will not. I will never disown you.”

But Jesus told him that before a rooster crowed twice the next morning, Peter would deny Jesus three times. And that’s what happened. Three times Peter broke the vow he’d made with so much gusto—and when he heard the rooster crow, Peter remembered Jesus’ words, and he broke down and wept.

The story of Peter’s broken promise does not end there, however, because Jesus is the Savior who forgives promise breakers when they repent and return to him. After his resurrection Jesus restored Peter to the circle of his disciples, and Peter lived on to serve the Lord and spread the gospel. For the rest of his life, he thanked God for his forgiving and restoring grace.

Have you had the wonderful experience of being restored by the forgiving Savior?

Father, we stand in awe of your forgiving grace. Forgive us our broken promises, restore us to service for you, and keep us faithful, we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — R. Scott Greenway

R. Scott Greenway was born in Mexico City in 1964, the fourth child of missionary parents. He graduated from Calvin College in 1986, Calvin Theological Seminary in 1991, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2002. He and his wife, Kelly, have four children. He pastored the Irving Park Christian Reformed Church in Midland Park, New Jersey, and currently serves as pastor of Caledonia Christian Reformed Church in Michigan. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing.

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