Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Peter and I have a lot in common

Don't you love Simon Peter. Big heart. Big mouth. Impulsive, easily discouraged.

I can relate, Pete.

But I've learned what NOT to do by studying his life as much as what TO do.

On walking on water

Peter had enough faith to ask the Lord to call him out on the water. But not enough to keep him from the discouragement of his surroundings.

Lesson to self: Be bold enough to ask the Lord to "call you out onto the water." But then keep your gaze fixed on Him, not the circumstances.

On denying

Peter knew the power of fear. So much so, he denied Jesus three times in the most critical hour of his Lord's life. But he recognized his weakness and wept in repentence.

Lesson to self: You are going to fail. Weep in repentence.

On discouragement

Even after the Lord rose from the dead and apeared to the disciples, Peter gave in to discouragement. He said to James and John, and the others, "I'm going fishing."

Bascially, he concluded, "Jesus is gone. It's over. I'm going back to my old way of life."

Lesson to self: The temptation to go back to the way things used to be might lure me to give up the calling God has put on my heart. Don't surrender.

On love

Peter broke the bonds of his discouragement, the chains of his denial by responding to the Lord's call of love. Three times Jesus asked, "Do you love me?"

Odd that Jesus would ask, "Do you love me?" instead of saying, "Peter, I love you."

Because Peter needed to hear his own confession of love and Jesus' response, "Feed my sheep."

Jesus didn't challenge him, "Why did you deny Me? I told you, I told you." No, Jesus affirmed Peter's love by restating his call. Peter's weakness didn't disqualify him.

Lesson to self: Confess my love for the Lord in hard times, then listen for His confirming, affirming call to my heart.

Grace and Peace.

3 comments:

Tracy said...

I can sooooo relate to this. Very powerful post, Rachel. Thank you for reaching deep and taking me - us - with you.

Kristy Dykes said...

Man, Rachel! You are a preacher woman! What a great sermon! I just read your entire post to Milton (him being a pastor) then said that's a sermon! He said it was great too.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

oh man, see, this is why I am behind on your blog! I needed this post tonight. wow. wow. wow. To quote Tracy up there, I can sooooooo relate! That was too cool. I'm going to have to reread that one!