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What Shall I Do Lord? part 1
Our devotional this week is titled, "What Shall I Do, Lord? " (WSIDL). WSIDL is taken from Acts 22:10 which says, “What Shall I Do Lord?” We will be coming back to this shortly, so keep it in mind.
I was reading in Mark’s Gospel last week - my personal favorite of the Gospels – from chapter 14 which deals with the arrest of Christ in the Garden and some of the details of Peter’s denial of Christ. Mark 14:66-72 “And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, “You, too, were with Jesus the Nazarene.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” And he went out onto the porch. 69 And the maid saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, “This is one of them!” 70 But again he was denying it. And after a little while the bystanders were again saying to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean too.” 71 But he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this man you are talking about!” 72 And immediately a cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, “Before a cock crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he began to weep. “
Just literal moments before Peter denies Christ, he swore to Him that he would never do so - and yet he does! He does the very thing he promised he would never do. Peter was determined that he would never deny Christ, yet, he does, not once, not twice, but three times. And as soon as he does, the reality of what he did hits him and he begins to weep. There are all sorts of torment and chaos in his life at this point.
There is a great difference between self-denial vs. self-preservation. The tendency to protect ourselves rather than die to self is the very thing that can keep us all messed up in life. Man’s most ordinary reaction to any life-threatening situation is to lean towards self-preservation. It’s most common to protect ourselves’ first. But God’s tendency is to lean toward self-denial.
By self-denial I’m referring to the willful rejection of the natural tendency to protect one’s reputation, image, position, or even life. The spirit of man is quite different from the Spirit of God. The spirit of man puts himself first, just as Peter did when facing the possibility of persecution. The Spirit of God puts God first in all situations.
Medication: A Merry Heart
A not-so-bright man goes into an ice cream parlor and says, “I’d like two scoops of chocolate ice cream, please.”
The girl behind the counter says, “I’m very sorry, sir, but our delivery truck broke down this morning. We’re out of chocolate,”
“In that case,” the man says, “I’ll have two scoops of chocolate ice cream.”
“You don’t understand, sir,” the girl says. “We have no chocolate.”
“Then just give me some chocolate,” he says.
Getting angrier by the second, the girl says, “Sir, will you spell VAN, as in vanilla?”
The man says, “V-A-N.”
“Now spell STRAW, as in strawberry.”
“Now,” the girl says, “spell STINK, as in chocolate.”
The man hesitates. Then he says. “There is no stink in chocolate.”
“THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU!” she screams.
God Bless, Press On!
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Acts 1:8 CSB
Today’s readings: Proverbs 7 – 9