September 18, 2019
… and when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Luke 22:31-33, 54-62
by Leonore "L.E." Schmerber
Assistant Youth Director & Certified Lay Speaker of
Christ UMC (Knoxville, TN)
Tennessee Valley District
I have read or heard this verse at least once a year for the majority of my life. During this time of study, for this devotion, I was able to focus on it for a longer period of time. It was during this time I had an “ah ha” moment. Do you ever have those moments when reading your Bible? A moment where you see a verse differently or it just rises up from the pages and smacks you in the face!
“When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” Luke 22:32, these amazing words touched my soul in a new way. Even when Jesus was going through so much knowing what was facing him, he took the time to make sure Simon heard him and displayed such Amazing Grace! I thought back to a stressful time in my life and wondered if I was able to even show the smallest amount of patience or grace to another individual. I wish I could share a story that would demonstrate this, but I can’t. That is what made this moment even more amazing to me, and it just jumped off the page at me during my study time.
He knew Simon would deny him, he knew Simon would struggle with this for the rest of his days. Jesus knew this and wanted to make sure that Simon would know he was forgiven and to keep on being a good disciple for Jesus. How do I know this? Because Luke 22: 32 “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Wow! WoW! WOW!!!!!!
That is my prayers for all of us, when we have turned back, strengthen your brothers! When we turn back from whatever sin is trying to separate us from God just as Satan tried to sift, or separate Simon from Jesus. When we turn back, turn our hearts back to the words of Jesus. To always remember to Love God and Love one another. Jesus knew before the sin, during the sin, and after the sin that he would love us. Perhaps that is why Simon denied him three times, to prove that no matter how many times we deny Jesus, he will always love us.
Please pray with me:
Lord, thank you for always watching over us and guiding us through the many trials of our lives. Just like Simon thank you for helping us through the bad times when you know we will doubt ourselves but still having a plan for our lives on the other side. Thank you Lord for the blessing and the freedom to study your word and share it with others. Lord please continue to bless our study times so that we may continue to seek your Love and Grace through your Holy Word. We ask all this in your name, Amen.