February 11 - When Good Intentions Are Not Enough

By Mike Clarensau

Devotional Scripture: Matthew 26:69–70

Central Thought: Overconfidence in oneself can lead to a failure.

    Sometimes it is called a 'moment of truth.” It's that instant when everything that has previously occurred comes to its climax, when the very reason for what has occurred now stands before us. Like the athlete who has practiced and trained for months—and now stands poised for his moment to compete—this moment defines all that investment. It's when who we really are and what we really stand for will be revealed.

    That's the moment Peter faced. His investment? How about nearly three years of day-in-day-out training? He'd seen miracle on top of miracle and copied notes from the wisdom of humanity's greatest teacher. He was ready. He knew that even if every other member of the class failed, he'd be the one who would stand victorious.

    In spite of his noble intentions, Peter did fail. His adversary wasn't an armed soldier who threatened to kill him—it was a little servant girl, observant but not imposing. He crumbled as a failure in his moment of truth. Arrogant words from yesterday thundered in his mind as he fell. Talk never felt so cheap. In spite of his professed loyalty and self-sacrifice, Peter's moment to repay the Savior of the world evaporated as quickly as it came. His unworthiness was all that shone from his heart.

    Big words and even good intentions can't bring victory when your moment of truth comes. Like Peter, you must have help from above. Seek that strength every day, as it is the only means by which you'll find yourself able to live the great intentions of your heart.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, I must have the power of Your Spirit to be the person You want me to become. Keep me from foolishly trusting in my own determination, for my best intentions will never be enough.

Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 32:1–33:23; Matthew 26:69–27:14; Psalm 33:1–11; Proverbs 8:33–36