Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Monday, August 23 - Riding a High Horse

“But Peter declared, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And all the other disciples said the same.” — Matthew 26:35

In ancient times, not everyone owned a horse. Often, kings, queens and nobles rode through the streets on tall horses to emphasize their power and look down on peasants who traveled on foot. Some wealthy people were kinder than others, but jealousy rose to the surface when the powerful people strutted out in front of everyone. Occasionally, it was humorous if a horse got spooked by a clap of thunder and a haughty person was thrown off into a muddy bog on a rainy day.

Throughout Scripture, the Lord tells us true stories and parables to instruct us about the danger of getting on a high horse, because we might have a hard fall. For example, King Nebuchadnezzar was rich, strong and smart. He thought he would always be on top of the world. In the height of his power, the king said, “I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous” (Daniel 4:4). Suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar fell hard like a big tree. The Lord took the king’s power away for several years and then restored his power after he learned to be humble.

In the four gospels we read about Peter, who was outspoken and overconfident. Peter thought he was the best of the 12 disciples, and he told Jesus so, but Jesus knew Peter better than Peter knew himself. Since Jesus is God in the flesh, He knew the future and told Peter what would happen on the night before Jesus was crucified. “‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times'” (Matthew 26:34).

Peter said there was no way! “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you!” (Matthew 26:35). In a short time, however, Peter fell flat on his face. He denied Jesus three times and heard the rooster crow. When Jesus looked at Peter, Peter wept.

However, Peter learned afterward to be humble and rely on God’s resurrection power to be brave. Peter therefore preached about Jesus for the rest of his life.

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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