Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
How can someone call Jesus Lord and yet say “no” to Him? That’s exactly what Peter did when Jesus told the disciples that He was about to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the hands of the scribes, chief priests, and elders (Matthew 16:21). Peter then took Jesus aside and essentially rebuked Him and told Him God forbade that this happen to Him, even saying, “This shall never happen to you” (Matthew 16:22)! How can Peter call Jesus Lord and in the same breath tell Him no? But that’s what I’ve done at times, and perhaps you have, too. The next time God speaks to us through His Word or by a prompting of the Holy Spirit, will we say “Yes, Lord”?
Never Resist a Generous Impulse
I heard the true story of a pastor who once saw a mother struggling to take care of her children and reaching into her purse for the money to pay for her groceries. He could tell she was struggling to find enough to pay for it all, as she was reaching for loose change. The pastor got an impulse to help her, and whether it was from the Holy Spirit or just something that was on his heart, he reached out and gave her $20. He said the look on her face was priceless. She started to tear up and was grateful. In a broken, soft voice, weakened by emotions, she said, “You don’t know how much I appreciate this.” That man had a chance to be generous, and he didn’t resist it. I wonder how many of us would have done the same thing. How many of us typically resist such an impulse, whether it’s from a heart of compassion or just a prompting of the Spirit of God?
By No Means, Lord
Once again we turn to Peter, who had just received a vision and told “take and kill” something that the Jews considered unclean (Acts 10:13). What was Peter’s response? He said, “By no means, Lord” (Acts 10:14), which in our language might be “no way, Lord.” Here again was Peter saying the word “no” and “Lord” in the same breath. But instead of judging Peter and saying “how could he do such a thing,” I think “how often have I done such a thing?” Will I say “yes, Lord,” the next time he asks me to do something or “no, Lord”?
A Closing Prayer
Righteous God in heaven, thank You for Your patience with me when I have said “no Lord” in the same breath. Help me to never resist a generous impulse to help others and to say “yes, Lord” more often. In Jesus’ great name I pray.
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