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Knocked Down

Have You Ever Been Sucker Punched?

One day every thing is perfect and the next day BAM. Out of nowhere someone or something hits you, and you find yourself lying on the ground thinking, “what the HECK happened to me?”

Just yesterday everything was great, and now you’re busted up and bleeding.

Now, there are two types of people: those who have taken it to the chin and those who have not.

If you haven’t taken it to the chin…know that it’s coming. The Bible says, “PRIDE comes before a fall.” Life will not always be neat and tidy.

So, what kind of foundation are you building on?

People are fickle and opportunistic.
When you’re up, everyone wants to be your friend, but when your down, suddenly no one is around.
Your friends are the ones who stand behind you when everything falls apart.
And remember that God will never forsake you.

You will get knocked down, so be prepared.

Maybe you are on the ground right now, or you are trying to get your senses back… God has a word for you today:

YOU CAN RECOVER FROM A FALL!

Let me say that again, “YOU CAN RECOVER!”

When you’re knocked down the only place to go is up. You’ve gone through hell and now you don’t have anything else to lose.

Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep going!” Don’t stop; keep going. One big difference between people who have taken it to the chin and those who have not is that people who have been through HELL recognize that they need HELP. This is a great place to be. You aren’t struggling with pride; you are struggling to get back up.

The truth: there isn’t anything more dangerous than someone making a comeback.

When the rose colored world that someone was living in is gone, they are ripe for increase.

When you don’t have anything to lose, you can fully embrace the presence and power of the Lord, and that makes you dangerous.

So, GET UP! Don’t just lie there on the ground. You can recover from this fall. Allow the Lord to heal you and empower you for the work He has planned. GET UP! GET UP! GET UP!

The devil had no idea what he was getting into when he knocked you down!

Because when you get back up, you are going to be stronger and more dangerous for the Kingdom of God than ever before!

If you are struggling with a fall or know someone recovering from one, check out T.D. Jakes sermon “You Can Recover From A Fall”.

-Daniel

Denial -Part 2

“Suddenly Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: ‘before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.’ And he went away, weeping bitterly.”
Matthew 26:75
Peter remembered.

It was in that moment that Peter came face to face with a harsh reality…

He wasn’t who he thought he was.
He was the opposite.
He discovered inconsistency.

Can you relate? 


There is nothing easy about being confronted with your own brokenness; your own weakness.

Peter was a strong and confident disciple. He had decided early on that Jesus was the Messiah and that he would follow him to whatever end necessary.

However, when time came for “whatever means necessary,” Peter didn’t follow through with his commitment.

We may not know exactly why he denied Jesus, but we are told how it affected him.

Matthew tells us he went away “weeping bitterly.” Have you ever wept bitterly over your own sin? Have you ever wept over your own denial of Jesus?

My heart hurts for Peter in this moment.

Because I’ve experienced life at this level.
I’ve experienced my own sin at this level.
I know what it feels like to want to run away and hide.
I know what it feels like to experience a tsunami of hopelessness that leaves you wondering if life can ever be restored.

I imagine Peter “went away” wondering if Jesus would ever speak to him again. Was his life, as he knew it, over? 
 


…YES!

Peter would never be the same.

And in John 21, Jesus restored Peter. Peter is asked three different times by Jesus “do you love me?” There is no doubt that Peter loves Jesus, but Jesus is trying to get Peter to believe again. Jesus is pulling Peter out of the hole of despair and re-assuring him of their relationship.

It’s critical to notice that Jesus is restoring the relationship first. Peter needed to feel the security that comes from knowing you are a child of the King; from knowing that he is beloved. 
 


The reason I answered, “yes” earlier is because Peter would never be the same…and isn’t that the goal?

The goal is to become more like Christ. Peter was restored by Jesus and ultimately given the mission of leading this young movement in the world.

I know Peter never forgot what happened that day when he denied Jesus three times.

I also know that Peter never forgot the day that Jesus restored him back into fellowship.

It is a hard lesson when we are confronted with our own duplicity.
It was for Peter. It was for me. It will be for you.

But HOLD ON! Don’t give up just yet! God isn’t finished with you! God still has a plan!

If you are sinking, REACH out to someone who can help you. Joy comes in the morning! God’s mercies are new everyday! On the other side of pain is JOY!

Don’t bail. Don’t medicate. Don’t hijack the process.
Remember the promise and go through the process, so that you might experience the payoff.

If you need someone to pray for you send me an email at dtaylor@elevationstlouis.com 
 

You don’t have to do it alone. You can make it. Believe today that God is ABLE! 
 


-Daniel

Transparent

“They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
–Mark 14:32-34


There is so much going on in this passage of scripture. It is an extremely powerful scene in the life of Jesus; one of the only places in scripture where we get really “up close and personal” with his humanity.

His humanity is up front and center, which could make many of us feel uncomfortable.

You see, we are very comfortable with the divinity of Jesus, but a lot less comfortable with the humanity of Jesus. Which are you?

Both are real. Both are important.

For us to fully understanding Jesus, we have to grasp both aspects. 


There is a lot that could be focused on in this passage, but I want to look specifically at Jesus’ wisdom in his vulnerability, honesty, and transparency.

We are told, in the Gospel of Mark, that Jesus went to the olive grove and told the majority of his disciples to sit and pray. He decided to take Peter, James, and John a little further. It is at this point that Jesus reveals himself.

He tells them he is greatly distressed and troubled.
He is in agony.
His soul is crushed and grief is closing in on him like a tsunami.

Notice how Jesus doesn’t reveal this to everyone. 
 


Here is the point: As human beings it is vital to have places where we can be completely vulnerable, honest, and transparent—but it must be with the right people in the right environments.

In order for those things to become clear you must seek wisdom from God.

A FOOL is vulnerable, honest, and transparent with everyone, but a WISE person is selective (like Jesus was with Peter, James, and John) with whom they share their heart.

It’s okay to not share with everyone.

There is this fallacy that says, “if you aren’t transparent with everyone, then you are lying and that is wrong.”

Don’t worry about what others say.

Follow the example Jesus laid out for us and I am confident that you will be more than all right! 


-Daniel