November 15, 2007

Peter’s Challenge to Invest

Sharon Jaynes

 

Today’s Truth

“And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32 (emphasis added)

 

Friend to Friend

I’m so glad Jesus picked Peter to be one of His disciples. Time and time again, we see him with his foot in his mouth, his pride in his pocket, and his temper on his sleeve. Satan knew Peter was going to have a big impact on the church at large, and he tried many times to get him off course. During the last supper, Jesus warned Peter that he was about to be tested…”Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31 emphasis mine).

 

Peter puffed out his chest, lifted his head and said, “I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

 

I imagine Jesus thought, sure you are, son.

 

Just a few hours later, the sifting began. As Peter stood by the fire just outside where Jesus was being beaten and tried, a little servant girl asked if he was one of Jesus’ followers.

 

“Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

 

Then again…

 

“Man, I am not (one of his disciples)!” Peter replied.

 

And again…

 

“Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

 

And just as the third denial slipped off Peter’s lips, the roster crowed to remind him of Jesus’ words, “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”

 

Peter went outside and wept bitterly.

 

Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny him, and yet, before he even fell from grace, Jesus was picking him up. Yes, Peter was absolutely crushed at his weakness in denying Jesus three times. But then, the ray of God’s love reminded him of Jesus’ words…”When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

 

After Jesus’ resurrection, he reminded Peter to invest what he had learned in other people. Three times Jesus asked, “Do you love me?” After each of Peter’s affirmations, Jesus said, “Feed my lambs…take care of my sheep…feed my sheep.” Peter did exactly what Jesus asked and spent the rest of his life investing in other people. Rather then wallowing in shame and guilt, Peter spent the rest of his life in ministry.

 

Maybe you, like Peter, have had a time when you felt you failed God. Do you know that Satan wants you to feel so guilty that you feel disqualified from ministry? But not God! He dusts off a repentant heart and puts us right back in the game. Don’t believe the enemy’s lies. Do you love Jesus? Then take care of His sheep.

 

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving me of all my shortcomings. Thank you for allowing me to be your chosen servant even though I make so many mistakes. Help me not to believe the enemy’s lies that tell me I am disqualified after a failure, but to believe You when you tell me that all is forgiven.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

 

Now It’s Your Turn

Today, have you asked God to forgive you of your mistakes?

Today, do you believe that God has forgiven you?

Today, do you believe that God has a plan for you life?

Today, do you believe that there is no place so far away from God that His grace cannot forgive you, cleanse you, and use you for His purposes?

 

If you can answer “Yes” to those questions, I want you to write down on a piece of paper… “God, I believe that you have forgiven me and can use me. Show me where You want me to serve You today.”

 

Hang on to your hat! If you really believe what you just wrote, you’re in for an exciting day!

 

More from the Girlfriends

Peter is one of my best friends. I’m sure if we were walking the earth at the same time, we’d be neck-and-neck in the “Who can put their foot in their mouth first” contest. But God took this man with many scars and named him Rock. If you would like to know more about how God can transform a life littered with faults and turn them into a life filled with faith, see Your Scars are Beautiful to God by Sharon Jaynes

 

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