Summary: God gave Peter position, power, passion, and perseverance. He wants to give us the same gifts.
Strength, Wisdom, Strategy, Endurance, Focus, Courage, Toughness...
These sound like the description of someone on the television show “Survivor.”
But actually they pretty well describe a man we read about in the New Testament.
Peter. God worked in Peter’s life in powerful ways. The great news is that God can work in our lives too if we will allow Him to.
In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus asks his disciples who people say he is. They give him several answers, then he asks them directly- “But what about you, who do you say that I am?”
Peter is the bold one to speak up. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
God had worked in Peter’s life. Think about three things that I like to call God’s gifts to Peter.
A. God Gave Peter the Gift of Position-
God worked in the life of Peter many times to give him position. Not position like we think of it. Not position like power or fame. But God gave Peter position in that he put Peter where he wanted and needed him to be.
When Peter was puffed up, God humbled him. When Peter boasted “Not me Lord, I will never fall away!”
God humbled him as he denied Christ three times.
When Peter was at his lowest, God lifted Peter up with the words and presence of Jesus.
Whether we realize it or not, God affects our position in life.
God changes our position from lost to found.
God changes our position from guilty to innocent.
God changes our position from condemned to forgiven.
God changes our position from dead to alive.
Like Peter, when we are proud God has a way of humbling us. When we are down, God lifts us up.
God also gave Peter position by putting him right where he wanted him to accomplish His will.
Jesus said to Peter- “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church.” Some people have unfortunately misinterpreted this scripture. The Greek word for rock is “petra” which some have translated to mean Peter. It doesn’t translate to “Peter“, it translates to “rock.” God wasn’t ordaining Peter as the first Pope. What he was saying was “Peter you are right, and on this rock, this truth that I am the Son of the Living God, on that truth I will build my church.”
He gave Peter position by putting him right where he wanted him. On the day of Pentecost, Peter was there with the “keys to the kingdom” ready to preach the first gospel message.
There on that day, the Church was born. Lives were changed, history was altered forever. All because God gave Peter position.
I truly believe God takes to certain places in our lives to accomplish his will. He leads our paths to cross paths with others, who may need to hear the Gospel. God puts us right where he wants us, when he wants us there.
B. God Gave Peter the Gifts of Power and Passion.
God took the energy that Peter had so many times and had exhibited in the wrong way, God took that energy and turned it into power and passion.
Peter stood that day of Pentecost and preached with great Power and great Passion.
Passion for what he believed.
Passion for who Jesus was.
Passion for the salvation of others.
God gave Peter and the other Apostles the power. The power of Holy Spirit resting on them, helping them to speak the Word boldly. They had the Holy Spirit resting on them.
Today when we accept Jesus as our Savior and are baptized into him, we are given the Holy Spirit to live in us and give us great power to live for Jesus Christ.
There is no reason for any Christian to live a life of powerless, a life without passion. If we live that way, the problem is ours, not God’s. God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but one of power.
C. God Gave Peter the Gift of Perseverance-
I Peter 3:13-17 God gave Peter the realization that to suffer for Christ is a blessing. Better to suffer for doing good than doing evil. Persevere.
I Peter 4:1-6 Suffering changes our focus from the earthly things to the things of Christ.
I Peter 4:12-16 Glorify God in your suffering. How? By persevering.
Verse 19- “Let those who suffer for Christ, commit their souls to him and continue to do good.
Suffering in our society is a bad thing. We have pain relievers for everything. We want the quick and easy way out for everything. It wasn’t that Peter loved to suffer, it was that he saw beyond the momentary sufferings and saw something so wonderful down the road that a short time of suffering was a small price to pay.