The Weakness of Presumed Strength

daily-devotionalsWhat can we expect from Peter but a triple denial of his master among his enemies, when he dares deny the truth of Christ to his own face? He that will venture to deny the truth of Christ’s Word will quickly, under temptation, deny the profession of his truth.

Peter had not yet learned not to contradict his master, though he once got rebuked for it with the appellation of “Satan.” Weak man! Do you not see how you have already begun to deny the Lord, and even when you seem most fortified and resolute to defend Him? You deny Him if you deny His Word. Why would you either doubt Christ’s word when he told you “all should be offended”(Matthew 26:31) or else should have such confident presumption in your own strength and uncharitable conceit of your brother’s weakness? God, who has out of true weakness ordained strength, does in Peter’s case, out of presumed strength foretell weakness.

He who can make the mouths of babes and sucklings(Psalm 8:2; Matthew 21:16) to confess him can suffer the mouth of Peter to deny him. This shows the dependence that both the strong and the weak have on God’s goodness. The strongest apostle is not able to confess Christ without his sustaining grace and with the same grace the weakest infant is able to cry “hosanna.”

Dr. Edward Reynolds was born in 1599 in Southampton, England. He received his BA degree at Oxford in 1618. In 1622, before studying for his masters, Reynolds became a chaplain to the king and preacher at Lincoln’s Inn, London. The puritanical inclinations of Dr. Reynolds were well known; his character of piety and decorum were evident even in his college years. Edward Reynolds is known as the Bishop of Norfolk, but he was bishop for only the final fifteen years of his life and ministry. Prior to that he was the rector of Braunston, Northamptonshire, for almost thirty years. Although Reynolds was a Presbyterian by conviction, he had a reputation of moderation in his church polity. This was evidenced in his role in the Westminster Assembly. He was the only member to sit on all three of the major committees on the Confession of Faith, and with his moderate spirit provided balance in the discussions.

These devotions are taken from the works of Edward Reynolds. They have been edited for © 2013 thinkgospel.