A servant girl came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee." But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are saying." —Matthew 26:69-70
How is it that a man who walked in such close fellowship with Jesus could deny his Lord? Just a handful of mistakes led Peter from fellowship to denial.
Peter's first mistake was arguing with Jesus (Matthew 26:31-35). If you ever find yourself in an argument with the Lord, know this for sure: you are wrong.
Just a handful of mistakes will take you from fellowship and lead you to denial.
Secondly, Peter boasted of his commitment. "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble" (Matthew 26:33). Beware of overconfidence in your flesh.
Then, Peter chose sleep over prayer (Matthew 26:40, 43). We often treat prayer as an afterthought, or as being optional. I am certain that if we would pray more, we would sin less.
And then, Peter put distance between himself and Jesus. "But Peter followed Him at a distance" (Matthew 26:58). The secret of the Christian life is to stick as closely to Jesus as you possibly can.
Finally, we find Peter warming himself by the soldiers' fire (Mark 14:54). It is always dangerous to seek warmth from the enemy.
Peter denied the Lord, but his faith did not fail. If, like Peter, you have failed, Jesus wants to help you start over—this time holding tightly to His hand, sticking closely by His side, and avoiding the enemy's fire.
Father, we thank You for Your mercy, Your grace, and Your forgiveness of our sins. We are so grateful that despite our failures, You are able and willing to restore us to a place of usefulness and service. In Jesus' name, amen.