Sermons

Summary: Like Peter, Jesus can restore us from our past mistakes through the process of reaffirming our love for him.

I WAS READING IN THE BOOK, “STREAMS IN THE DESERT”WHICH STATED THAT ONE OF LIFE’S GREATEST CONTRADICTIONS IS KNOWING THAT THE ONLY PERSON WHO IS TRULY AT REST IS THE ONE WHO HAD ACHIEVED THAT REST BY WORKING THROUGH THE STRUGGLES OF CONFLICT, MISTAKES AND REGRET.

THE BOOK WENT ON TO NOTE THAT: “THE PERSON, WHO MAY APPEAR TO BE BLESSED, HAVING BEEN UNTOUCHED BY SORROW, IS TYPICALLY NOT ONE WHO IS STRONG AND AT PEACE. HIS QUALITIES HAVE NEVER BEEN TESTED, AND HE DOES NOT KNOW HOW HE WOULD HANDLE EVEN A MILD SETBACK.”

I THINK IT WOULD BE SAFE TO SAY THAT AFTER HAVING BREAKFAST WITH JESUS, PETER IS FINALLY AT REST. HE HAD HIS SHARE OF WORKING THROUGH CONFLICT, MISTAKES AND REGRET.

PETER TOOK MANY RISKS AND DARED TO BOLDLY PROCLAIM ALLEGIANCE TO JESUS. YET, AT THE SAME TIME, HE WAS JUST AS ARROGANT SELF-PROMOTING AND QUITE PRIDEFUL. HE TRIED TO WALK ON WATER. HE CLAIMED THAT HE COULD DIE FOR CHRIST AND EVEN SPOKE OUT AGAINST JESUS BEING CRUCIFIED. IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE, HE DREW HIS SWORD AND CUT OFF THE EAR OF THE SERVANT OF THE HIGH PRIEST.

PETER WAS AGGRESSIVE, LOYAL, AND ACTED OUT WITHOUT THINKING. WHEN THE TEST CAME AND AT THE MOMENT IT REALLY MATTERED, PETER RUNS OFF INTO THE DARK OF NIGHT AND THEN LATER DENIES JESUS THREE TIMES. THE ROOSTER CROWED AND PETER IS OVERWHELMED WITH FAILURE, REGRET AND SORROW.

I THINK JUST ABOUT EVERY ONE OF US CAN SAY “I’VE BEEN THERE!” MAYBE WE CAN EVEN SAY “I KNOW HOW PETER FEELS.” WE HAVE REGRETS, WE’VE DONE THINGS WE SHOULDN’T, WE’VE PULLED AWAY FROM OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS AND MAYBE EVEN DENIED HIM…WHETHER BY OUR LIFESTYLE, OUR WILLFUL CHOICES, OR BY LETTING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM GO COLD.

I BELIEVE JESUS IS ASKING US THE SAME QUESTION HE DID OF PETER. IN VERSE 15, JESUS ASKED, “SIMON SON OF JOHN, DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE?” JESUS IS OFFERING PETER A CHANCE TO “START OVER” AGAIN. NOTICE, HE DIDN’T CALL HIM “PETER” BUT REFERRED TO HIM BY HIS ORIGINAL NAME. USING HIS GIVEN NAME SYMBOLIZES TO US THAT JESUS WILL OFFER US A CHANCE TO GO BACK AND “START OVER”…TO TRY AGAIN…TO HAVE ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY….TO RECOVER…TO REBOUND…TO DO A NEW THING.

JESUS IS OFFERING A WONDERFUL GIFT OF FORGIVING AND CORRECTING OUR PAST. WHEN WE FAIL HIM, HE WILL NOT SHAME OR HUMILIATE US. HE ISN’T “KEEPING SCORE” SO HE CAN BRING UP OUR PAST AND RUB OUR NOSES IN IT.

RATHER, JESUS LOVINGLY TAKES US ASIDE AND SIMPLY ASKS US TO REAFFIRM OUR LOVE FOR HIM. PETER MISERABLY FAILED HIS LORD AND MUST HAVE WONDERED IF HE WAS EVEN WORTHY OF BEING CONSIDERED ONE OF JESUS’ DISCIPLE EVER AGAIN.

IT CAN BE PAINFUL AND SOMETIMES PARALYZING WHEN WE REFLECT BACK AND REALIZE ALL THOSE TIMES WE HAVE FAILED OUR LORD. SOMETIMES THE DISCOURAGEMENT OF FAILURE IS DEPRESSING, OVERWHELMING, AND PERSHAPS, INSURMOUNTABLE. WE MAY EVEN THINK, “THERE’S JUST NO WAY TO FIX THIS!”

OUR GOOD NEWS FOR TODAY IS TO KNOW THERE IS A WAY TO FIX EVERYTHING! COME ALONGSIDE JESUS, LIKE PETER, AND REAFFIRM YOUR LOVE FOR JESUS. HE IS NOT ASKING FOR RESOLUTIONS, RECOMMITMENTS, OR OUR PROMISES TO TRY HARDER. JESUS ASKS FOR YOUR LOVE. IF WE TRULY LOVE HIM, OUR SERVICE FOR HIM WILL BE AT THE LEVEL AND OF THE QUALITY THAT HE DESIRES AND IS LOOKING FOR.

GOD WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON US BECAUSE HE WANTS TO HAVE A LOVING, PERSONAL AND INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU BUILT FROM LOVE! EVEN IF WE’VE MADE POOR CHOICES IN THE PAST THAT HAVE LEFT US WITH REGRET, REMORSE AND GUILT, WE CAN STILL CHOOSE HOW WE WILL LIVE RIGHT NOW, TODAY! WE MAKE A CHOICE TO ALLOW THE PAST TO REMAIN FORGIVEN AND BEHIND US SO THAT WE CAN JOURNEY FORWARD RENEWED AND REAFFIRMED.

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DISCOURSE WE HAVE HERE BETWEEN JESUS AND PETER. JESUS, WHO HAS CONQUERED DEATH AND HAS BEEN RESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD, IS SEEKING TO “RESURRECT” HIS BODY, BUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH PETER AND TO RELEASE HIM FROM ALL THAT DEADENED THAT RELATIONSHIP.

THAT IS WHY I’LL CLOSE WITH ROMANS 8:35-39, WHO SHALL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST? SHALL TROUBLE OR HARDSHIP OR PERSECUTION OR FAMINE OR NAKEDNESS OR DANGER OR SWORD? …FOR I AM CONVINCED THAT NEITHER DEATH NOR LIFE, NEITHER ANGELS NOR DEMONS, NEITHER THE PRESENT NOR THE FUTURE, NOR ANY POWERS, NEITHER HEIGHT NOR DEPTH, NOR ANYTHING ELSE IN ALL CREATION, WILL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.”

WE CAN BE CONFIDENT THAT GOD IS MOST CONCERNED ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP HE HAS WITH YOU! HE WILL NOT LET ANYTHING GET IN HIS WAY…NOTHING NOW…OR FROM YOUR PAST.

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