Summary: This messages talks about we try to be perfect and show a good front to people when it is not that way. We try to manage things in our own strength when Jesus told us to come to him.
“Come unto me all ye that labor and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28, 29
We come today with tattered edges. What does that mean? We try to be perfect and put on a front or a smile that tells the world we are fine and we want to live the perfect Christian life but then blow it time after time. We beat ourselves down because of our frailties but the Lord knows us inside and out. Peter was the perfect example of a person with tattered edges who never seemed to get it right. Not only do we try to live up to our own impossible standards, but we take on the impossibly high standards of others around us. What does it mean when we have tattered edges? We get the image of anything that is old, worn, torn, and frayed around the edges such as a faded blanket that a little child carries around all over the house. It is surely not in pristine condition as it once was. When we first come to Jesus and He cleanses us from all our sins, we feel as if nothing could go wrong and life is perfect for us. That is until the devil tries his best to trick us up. We slip up in our actions and our speech so many times that we feel that we can’t live it. Might as well just give up. We measure ourselves by other people so often and underneath their smile they are probably struggling just as much as we are. The devil knows how to carefully devise schemes that we fall for one right after the other. Peter denied Jesus three times in one day. He didn’t intend to, but he did and his tattered edges showed up that much worse than he ever intended. He argue and said to the servant girl, ”No I don’t know what you are talking about. I wasn’t with Jesus,” Afterwards he wept bitterly.”
Peter couldn’t fix the tattered edges. They only got worse with one statement after the other. Oh, he didn’t intend to tell the girl he didn’t know what she was talking about. He knew full well what she was talking about, but it just came out wrong. The more he tried to fix things, the worse it got. The devil had tempted him and he gave in to it as quick as a wink. Once the rooster crowed as Jesus told him it would, Peter knew he was nailed. He wept bitterly. Ephesians 4:27 say, “Do not give the devil a foothold.” Petr clearly walked right into that one even though he was warned of the temptation ahead of time. Another translation says, “Don’t give the devil an opportunity.” Another verse says, “Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). We often forget the first part of this verse to first submit yourself to God—then resist the devil and he will flee from you. One might say what if he doesn’t flee from me when I resist him? The scriptures say he will for “thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
Another statement in Revelation tells us how we overcome. Rev. 12:11 “[we} overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” There is power in the blood. What Jesus did for us on the cross is still effective today. We gain bold access to God through His blood that causes us to overcome the temptations of the devil no matter how strong they are—we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Say what God says not what our tattered edges look like to us. Say, “I can overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony” and another verse that fortifies us is, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:12). It is through Christ and what He has done for us that makes us resistant to the schemes of the enemy.
It doesn’t matter if your tattered edges are showing. Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you for my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29). This verse says to learn of me. You don’t have to be perfect or know it all. Learn of Him who has answers about how to resist the devil nd deal with the clever schemes he comes up with. I think Peter was probably fearful when he didn’t want to be identified with Jesus so he backed away and said, “I don’t know him and I don’t know what you are even talking about. Never heard of him.” Peter knew Him all right. What did Jesus think of Peter’s denial of Him? Did he say, “I’ll never be able to trust him again because he crossed the line?” After time went by Peter said, “I’m going fishing” (John 21:3). Petr went back to his old occupation as a fisherman. He probably had not resolved all of his old conflicts about denying Jesus. That morning Jesus asked the fishermen if they had caught anything over night. They hadn’t. He instructed them to put the net on the other side and they caught all kinds of fish. He gave them an invitation to breakfast. He was approachable to Petr and wanted to reinstate him. He wanted Peter to forget about the past and how many times he had slipped up. He wanted him to know that the tattered edges didn’t matter in the long run. His forgiveness could make things go right, but Peter was probably not convinced because Jesus asked him a question in more than one way. Peter kept answering him but didn’t quite get it right. What did Jesus really want to know? He was trying to find find out what Peter really did think about Jesus. “Peter do you love me?” Peter would always answer, “Yes, Lord you know I do.” Then Jesus would give him an assignment. What did he want him to do and why was it so difficult to get it through his head? He asked him, “Do you love me? Followed by an assignment. These assignments were somewhat different. “Feed my lambs, take care of my sheep.” In spite of Peter’s tattered edges, Jesus gave Peter a pretty big assignment for the long haul. He said, “Peter I understand that you are not perfect and you have tattered edges but I can help you with all of that. You don’t have to be perfect within yourself. It is through what I did for you on the cross that makes you an overcomer. II Corinthians 5:21 sums it up by saying,” For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Jesus has taken care of our tattered and torn rough edges and made us to be an overcomer in Him. Don’t let the devil devise a scheme and pull his tricks on you again.