Living in Grace - Wholly Loved - December 31
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- 2021 Dec 31
Living in Grace
By Jennifer Slattery
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said. ‘You know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed My lambs.’” John 21:15
I know what it’s like to betray the one I love. I also know how humbling, how convicting and inspiring, it is to receive freely given love in return.
When I first began dating my husband, I was a deeply wounded, distrustful woman who expected rejection and abandonment. While I longed to believe Steve was different, the type of man who could see the worst of me and still choose to stay, past hurts left me cynical. I was certain, once he saw who I really was—all my sins and flaws—he’d leave.
So I left him first. I took off and moved in with another man. My husband should’ve closed his heart to me completely. But he didn’t. Instead, in a pure display of unconditional love, he gave the man cash to provide for my needs and left. Weeks later, he sent me a card that so clearly revealed his heart and his grace, I called him and asked him to take me back.
He did, without a word of my betrayal, not then or ever. His grace changed me, changed us, and purchased my loyalty in a way his words never could.
I suspect this was how Peter, Jesus’s disciple felt, on that quiet morning he encountered the risen Savior. The man He’d betrayed during His darkest hour, and after such a confident proclamation. The night before Jesus’s death, Peter declared he’d stand by Jesus, even if this cost him his life. Once that risk became reality, he denied knowing his beloved Rabbi. The guilt that followed must’ve been crippling, as crippling as Christ’s grace was freeing.
Jesus didn’t hold Peter’s sin against him. Instead, He invited him close. He restored the relationship and clarified his call. This is how Christ responds to our sin as well—with grace, forgiveness, love, and always the invitation to begin again. Then, He commands us to feed His sheep—to show others the same love and forgiveness.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, iBelieve is a multi-published author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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