Summary: Do you feel God has placed you on a shelf because of something you’ve done? Never forget that you are serving the God, not only of a second chance, but countless chances.
For some of you, it was all you could do to even come here today. You failed over and over. You had such a bad week or month that you really didn’t even want to show up today.
We sometimes want to give up because of
· the regularity of our sin (“I just can’t seem to stop!”),
· the reproach of our sin (“What I did was so bad!”), and
· the result of our sin (“I hurt the ones I want to love so much!”).
But here you are. God got you here today.
“But I’ve blown plan A for my life!” There are 26 letters in the alphabet. And God can come up with a plan B, C, D or X, Y, Z for you. He can invent more letters of the alphabet for you if He wants to. And when you get to the end of your days, you’ll look back and see that what you thought was plan Z was plan A after all.
Do you feel God has placed you on a shelf because of something you’ve done? Consider that God may be going to use you to accomplish more in the future than you have in the past. If such a thought seems far-fetched – then remember this fact: You serve the God of a second chance. Never forget that you are serving the God, not only of a second chance, but countless chances.
Failing forward, part 3: Getting a fresh start
John 21:1-19 (NASB)
Series: Life Under Construction
If anyone ever needed a second chance it was Peter. This inner circle friend of Jesus had every opportunity for spiritual success. Peter made the first powerful profession of faith. He called Jesus the Son of God, then denied Him three times in one night. He promised that he would never to forsake Christ, but when the going got tough, he ran. Peter: A man of broken promises. A man of who failed. He wimped out when he should have stood strong.
Later in the Bible, we see Peter boldly proclaiming Jesus as the Son of God. He’s willing to go to jail for his faith. And he does. He has so much power with God that people just wanted to be touched by his shadow believing that it could heal them. What turned Simon, a piece of jello, into Peter, a rock?
Think about a time when you have failed Jesus. Now, you’re not really sure that you want to face Jesus. What will Jesus say to you? Is He going to “chew you out”? Is He going to place you on the shelf never to be used again? What will He do?
This morning, we’re going to take a look at a conversation between Peter and Jesus that made the difference. When Peter denied Jesus, their eyes met. Then Jesus died. But now, He’s back! And when Peter and Jesus talk one-on-one, what’s Jesus going to say? “How could you”?
Today, we’re going to learn some lessons about how Jesus treats us when we let Him down. Five big ideas today:
When I have failed Him,
1. Jesus comes to me. vv. 1-7
1 After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will also come with you." They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.
Peter and a few others had gone fishing. Maybe he needed to make some money for his family. Maybe he just wanted to get back to something familiar. We don’t know why. But we do know that Peter went fishing and that he was spectacularly unsuccessful that night.
4 But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 So Jesus said to them, "Children, you do not have any fish, do you?" They answered Him, "No." 6 And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch." So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.
The first talk in this series was from Luke 5. It explained how Jesus called Peter to follow Him. The similarities in that story and this one are striking. Both conversations take place on the Sea of Galilee when Peter was fishing. Both times Peter couldn’t catch a thing. Both times Jesus told him to throw his nets into the water again. Both times there is a miraculous catch.