How many of us have considered as applicable to us the wisdom contained in the Bible statement (I Cor. 10:12), "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall"? The heartache involved in our not heeding this admonition can be realized from a story in the twenty-second chapter of Luke, which tells of Jesus' warning Peter that before the cock crew he would have denied Jesus three times. This is certainly an excellent example of the danger of not heeding. Peter did deny him and "wept bitterly" because of it. Yet, he could have heeded, and he need not have fallen.

Peter loved Jesus dearly. He was drawn away from his whole way of life, which was fishing, because he was attracted by Jesus' spiritual strength. But at the time of Jesus' agony in the garden of Gethsemane, Peter was so sure of his faithfulness to Jesus, so certain of his personal sense of loyalty, that he did not realize the need of strengthening himself through prayer for the ordeal ahead. Jesus, who knew that all of his followers were facing a great testing time, had warned Peter (Luke 22:31), "Satan hath desired to have you." The Master had gone on to tell Peter that he had been praying that Peter's faith would fail not, in order that he might strengthen the brethren.

If Peter had accepted the Master's warning and had defended his thought against the aggressive suggestions of the world's hatred of Truth, he would not have been so unaware of the snare of the evil one. But be it to Peter's everlasting credit that he was not long deceived, nor did he long wallow in self-pity and remorse. Though he did return to his fishing for a little while, he was at the morning meal to receive Jesus' three admonitions to feed his sheep. This time he obeyed. Again he became a fisher of men, giving as part of his rousing sermon at the Pentecost these admonitions (Acts 2:38, 40): "Repent, and be baptized. . . . Save yourselves."

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July 7, 1956

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