For several months our devotions have covered the fruit of the Spirit. The final aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. From an early age, our children and grandchildren say, “Me do it.” They want control. But if we have true self-control, we’re not in control—the Holy Spirit is.
The apostle Peter’s life demonstrates how a rough fisherman became a powerful, self-controlled preacher. He also wrote two books of the Bible. God’s Spirit within him created a genuine makeover! Today and tomorrow we’ll look at “before and after” clips from Peter’s life.
Scene 1: The Garden of Gethsemane
The disciples finished the Last Supper; Judas left to betray Jesus. Then Jesus and His disciples walked to the Garden of Gethsemane, and Jesus pleaded with God to remove the cup of death.
Picture yourself in the garden with Jesus and his disciples. The soldiers have come to arrest Jesus. Peter—our man of action—takes action! In John 18:10 we read: Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear.
Can you identify with Peter’s impetuous, vindictive spirit? Perhaps we’ve all had times when we wanted to let someone have it!
Scene 2: Peter denies Jesus three times
In Matthew’s account, Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him three times. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you” (Matthew 26:31,33).
Although Peter had good intentions, we know Jesus predicted correctly. Peter did deny Jesus three times.
Afterwards, Peter felt ashamed that he had denied Jesus, his wonderful friend. Now that Jesus was dead, Peter was ready to return to his fishing career. But that didn’t happen. Tomorrow we’ll look at two more scenes from Peter’s life to see how God changed him.
Heavenly Father, how we treasure the work of the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge that in our own strength, we cannot bear real fruit. But we can display this wonderful, appealing fruit as we stay connected to You, the Vine. Please transform us into Your image more and more each day.
Lydia Harris. This post is adapted from Lydia’s Bible study for grandparents, Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting. Lydia, known as Grandma Tea, enjoys spending time with her five GRANDchildren.
Reading God’s Story Schedule today, 7/08/13: Pray and meditate on last week’s scripture reading.
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About Lydia Harris
Lydia E. Harris is happily married to Milt, her sweetheart for 48 years. She has two married children, five grandkids, and is the author of a Bible study, "Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting" (AMG Publishers, 2010 release). She's also a tea enthusiast and writes the column "A Cup of Tea with Lydia."