December 27 – God of 2nd Chances – Peter

Read John 21:15-19

Peter, Peter, Peter!  

Just who is this guy that Jesus asked 3 times if he loved Him?  We know he was a fisherman.  He was strong and bold and sometimes a hot head, often acting before thinking.  We also know that Jesus was depending on him to build His church.   Although Peter denied even knowing Jesus the night of His trial three times, Jesus still loved him and forgave him.   Jesus knew he was the perfect person to build His church upon.  Peter’s boldness was what was needed at that time if the church was going to survive the persecution that was in its future.

Peter went on to do exactly what Jesus had told him 3 times to do: feed His lambs, take care of and feed His sheep, the church.

He has missions for all of us to do too.  We are to use our God-given talents to feed and take care of the “sheep” around us and lead them not astray, but into a relationship with Him.  If we can teach, we need to teach.  If we can write, we need to write.  If we can sing, we need to sing. Everyone has a God-given talent they can and should dedicate to Christ and not be afraid of failing.  Jesus knows that we, just like Peter, are only human.  Try as we might, we are going to fail.  We are going to make mistakes.  He understands and He forgives. 

A few years back, I got to see a musical production called “God with Us.”  It is the story of Peter comforting a group of persecuted Christians by reminding them of all the things Jesus had done as they face their inevitable fate of hungry lions in an arena.   The final scene was of them being greeted by Jesus in heaven with a big hug! But when Peter came down the aisle, he was not walking but running full force up the ramp and into Jesus’ arms.  

For those of us who knew Peter’s full story, it had an extra special meaning of forgiveness from not only sin but denial!

Is that the way you want to be greeted in Heaven, running full force into the arms of Jesus?

The One who has been your Savior and friend through all the good and bad times of your life? The One who has listened to you as you called out to Him in the middle of the night for guidance. The One who knows the pain of having friends desert you when you thought you would be able to count on them.  The One who knows what you are going through because He has experienced it Himself.  The One who knows your faults and loves you anyways!

Do you know Him like that?  What steps do you need to take to grow in your knowledge of Him? In what ways are you scared of failing?

He is waiting for you to get to know Him, to give you, like He did Peter, a second chance. Get busy taking care of His sheep!

Pat Arnold

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