Today's passage: John 21
"He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."
There have been days when I have wondered how Peter felt after denying our Lord. If he feels like I am feeling today, then he felt like there was no use trying to accomplish anything, because he would surely fail. The Lord knew I was going to need this chapter this morning. I didn't know it, but He did. He knew I was going to wake up feeling a little like Peter this morning. He knew that I would feel defeated because I failed Him in a particular area in my life for the umpteenth time. Before I started reading this morning, I told God I was certain I would probably not be blessed by His Word and I would understand why. Even though I had confessed my sin and asked Him for His help, I still felt that I would probably be of no use.
I'm reading about Peter's failure. Some people may think, well, I would never fail Jesus that poorly. That is the wrong view to take. We all fail Jesus that poorly any time we fail Him. But God has encouraged me this morning. Even though I've read these events numerous times, it feels fresh to me, because I feel like Peter did. Jesus was persistent in letting Peter know, he was still His chosen vessel. Just as Peter denied Jesus three times, Jesus insists on him declaring his love for Him three times. And Christ gives Peter a job to do. I know Peter loved his Lord, even though for a few hours he wouldn't admit to it. I know Peter was ashamed of his treachery (the gospels tell us that he wept bitterly after the rooster crowed). I know Peter was certain that His Lord would not claim him as His disciple again. Aren't you glad that wasn't the case? Aren't you glad that when we have messed up, again, that God still welcomes us in His arms and allows us to serve Him? I am. I'm so thankful God is not done with me yet. I'm so grateful that He allows me to ask for His forgiveness and restores fellowship with me. I know that He can help me overcome areas in my life that I am still lacking. I know because I see areas in my past where He has given me victory. My pastor often says he knows that God is not finished with him yet. He knows this because he is still breathing. This is true for all of us. I've checked, and I am breathing today, so God is not done with me. I don't want to be done with Him. I want to serve Him today, better than I did yesterday. I want to look forward to the times in my life just like Peter had, when he proclaimed Christ to over three thousand people, when God used him to heal a lame man, when God delivered him from a prison cell. If Peter's story had ended in John 21, many of us would have given up a long time ago. Peter's failure shows me I will fail. Peter's humility shows me I will be humbled. Peter's discouragement shows me I will become discouraged. But Peter's victories shows me I can be victorious.
Father God, thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You that when I don't feel like reading it will accomplish anything because I have failed You so miserably, that You prove me wrong. Thank You for knowing exactly what I need to see everyday, and Lord, with Your help, I ask for Your guidance and ability to avoid failing You today. I know You still want to use me, just as You used Peter.