New life doesn’t come from enlightenment. New life comes only from the message of the good news of Jesus, which God has unveiled and made known for anyone who is willing to listen. To believers Peter wrote, “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23 NLT)
I grew up in the country in rural Kentucky where giving someone directions usually involved turning right just past the bridge, left after the third dead skunk, and if you see the red barn you went too far. Thankfully, the directions God gives us in His word for living life well are far more explicit. He tells us repeatedly that if we want our lives to move in the right direction, we need to start thinking straight.
Let me focus in for a moment on Simon Peter, one of the key disciples surrounding Jesus. You may know the story by heart in which Peter asserted that He would never dessert the Lord Jesus, to which Jesus replied, “Before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.” Sure enough, Peter forsook his allegiance to the Lord Jesus and denied Him, even cursing, to distance Himself from the cross.
One of the most powerful phrases in the New Testament is found in Acts chapter 12… “but prayer was made.” James was martyred, killed with the sword, and Peter was thrown in prison, “but prayer was made without ceasing by the church of God for him.”
There’s a scene in The Lion King I really like when the old wise monkey hits Simba in the head with his cane. Simba demands, “Hey, why’d you do that?” The monkey replies, “It doesn’t matter, it’s in the past.” There’s a lot of wisdom in that!