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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
In Luke 22 you read the story of Jesus and His disciples in the upper room eating the Passover and Him instituting the Lord’s Supper. Afterward the disciples disputed among themselves about who should be greatest and Jesus hearing them told them that the greatest should be serving the rest of them and He was greater than all and He was as one that serveth. He goes on to tell them they will have a place with Him when He does sit up His kingdom. Then He says to Peter in vs. 31-32 “Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat”. This is the same language that was used in Job when Satan came before God and they began discussing Job. God said, hast thou considered my servant Job? Whereas Satan said you have a hedge around him that I can’t get to him but if you were to remove the hedge and I took all he had, he would curse thee to thy face. I desire to sift him is what Satan is saying. From vs. 13 all the way to 2:13 we find Job in the sifter. He lost his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, children and eventually his health. Satan is shaking him, agitating him and separating him from the chaff, the husks in his life. Peter is about to go through this sifting also and Jesus is warning him. And just as Peter was sifted, just as Job was sifted we too are sifted from time to time. We go through the trials, the storms, the persecutions in life which sift us and separate us from the chaff which covers us. I want to look at this sifting this week in our message.
The first thing we will see is sifting is severe. When you sift wheat it is with great agitation and great deliberate motions. Whether you use a sifter, a mesh-wire bottom cage or you use a pitch fork and toss the wheat into the air for the wind to blow the chaff away, it is done forcefully. In the message we will deal mostly with the sifter for illustration purposes. Job’s sifting was very severe just as Peter’s sifting was. Peter was approached on at least three occasions about him knowing the Lord and every time he denied he knew Him. Then as the cock crowed he went out and wept bitterly; that’s when the sifting began. There’s no doubt Satan got into his mind by telling him since he did this despicable deed he wasn’t even saved. Perhaps he told him, Peter, you’ll never amount to be anything now, you are ruined. Or even, he said, you might as well go back to fishing for He will never have any use for you again. We don’t know all Peter went through but we do know he went through the sifter and he was never the same once he got out of it. The sifting is severe but it is also needful many times. When you go through the sifter don’t let Satan get into your head but be as Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”. We are to have the mind of Christ not the mind of the world or even our own mind.
Next we see that sifting is severe and it separates the chaff or husks from the good grain. As it is sifted in the sieve the chaff stays in the sieve and the good grain falls into the barrel. All we can see is the chaff and we lament over losing the chaff. Peter cried and wept bitterly, sorrowing over his failure and denials of Jesus. We focus on what we are being separating from. We get our eyes on what God is trying to remove from our lives and we sorrow over what we are missing. But look in the barrel! Look at what God is separating you to. Look at the good grain we are becoming. God is saying there is something I want Peter for and he must go through the sifter to separate him from some things, and I am going to let Satan get him ready for me to use. God doesn’t always use Satan to get us ready but He sometimes lets circumstances to lead us and make us ready. God wanted to use Elijah at Mt. Carmel but he wasn’t ready for Elijah yet and the people weren’t ready for God yet so he sent him to the brook Cherith and he stayed there until the brook dried up. Then He sent him to Zarephath where the widow woman took care of him. Three and a half years Elijah waited until God was ready. Sifting and waiting for the right time. He wasn’t ready for Mt. Carmel and the people weren’t ready for it but God had him in the sieve until both were ready and God did the work.
Lastly we will see the sifting secures the Christian. The wheat must be sifted for the grain to ever be used. You can’t use grain until it has been sifted. After the resurrection the women told Peter that Jesus wanted to see him and to go to Galilee. But Peter had to go through the sieve in order for God to prepare him. He prepared him for Pentecost where 3000 souls were saved at one time. He prepared him for the palsied man that was healed at the beautiful gate. Again He prepared him for the persecutions he would endure in Acts chapter four. He also prepared him for the prison he would experience in Acts 12. Peter could not have gone through these things unless first he was sifted.
Jesus didn’t try to prevent Peter from going through the sifting. He could have if He had wanted to but He knew it was needful for Peter. And each time we go through the sifter it is needful for us for some purpose in our life. He could prevent it if He wanted to but He is using the sifter to prepare us for something in the future. Even though He didn’t stop the sifting He did give Peter a promise to hang onto and that promise is a help to us today. He said Peter I am praying for you and if He prayed for Peter He is intercessing to God on our behalf also. Not only that but He is with us in our sieve! He said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. He also told Peter when thou art converted, when you are changed into what I intend you to become, strengthen the brethren. After our sifting and He makes us into what He wants us to be help and strengthen those around us. Sifting isn’t any fun but it is needful from time to time in our lives to prepare us for what God has in store for us.