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      Being Sifted

      June 14, 2019 Pastor Byron Hand

      Being Sifted

      This Sunday our text will be Luke 22:31-38. Here Jesus warns his disciples that Satan, their infernal enemy, wants to have them to “sift them like wheat.” He wanted to sift the disciples like wheat. In other words, he wanted to toss them in the air the way a farmer tosses his grain to separate the wheat from the chaff. Maybe the disciples were solid enough to land back on the ground, but maybe they would get scattered by the harsh wind of persecution. Satan wanted to see if they would get blown away like Judas, in which case they would belong to him forever. But he could not do this without God’s permission, so the devil dared Jesus to let him put the disciples to the test. This is also his desire for us. 

      The following is a great little devotional on this text from the pen of Charles Stanley … Enjoy. 

       

      And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.”

      In Peter’s mind, it was a brave moment of standing with his Messiah. Sword in hand, Peter would do everything he could to help Jesus carve away the Roman Empire and regain Israel’s independence.

      Christ’s battle was not against Rome, though; it was against sin. He saw the truth of the situation, whereas Peter had a limited view. Jesus understood that in the stressful events leading up to the Crucifixion, the disciples would be filled with sorrow and confusion. Jesus knew that Peter would fail. Jesus told him, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:32).

      Jesus knows there will be times when you fail too. Things will arise in your life—distresses, perplexities, great pains—that will be extraordinarily difficult to stand against, and you will flounder. However, Jesus is interceding for you. He does not view you in light of your failures but whether you rise again to serve Him.

      Henry Liddon said, “Nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice; everything is lost by failure to obey God’s call.” When you fall, do not be afraid of God. He always accepts you with open arms. Focus instead on His forgiveness and get up again!

      Lord, just as You knew Peter would fail—but would return, humbled, and serve You—so, too, You know my failings and draw my penitent heart back to You.

       

      See You Sunday,

       

      Pastor Byron