This is the day that the Lord has made...

This is the day that the Lord has made...

Friday, December 10, 2010

If I Were Named Peter

How great is our God who can use men and women, of any walk of life or background, to fulfill his mighty purposes!  Reading the end of the Gospel of John we learn about Peter and his denial of being one of Jesus disciples.  Earlier in the text Jesus predicts that one of his followers will deny him 3 times and Peter is appalled by such prophesy.  Yet, in the end, it is Peter who denies Christ 3 times.  It would be a tragic story if it ended there, however, it doesn't.

Like many of us who stray from Jesus, or deny his role in our life, Peter came back to Christ.  After the death of Jesus and he appeared to the apostles, Jesus asked Peter three times, just as Peter had denied him three times, if he loved Jesus.  His answer was yes and the Lord said, Follow me!

How loving and forgiving is our Lord to accept such a man back into his inner circle.  I tell you this, too, friends, that he will accept you back into his family when you, too, get your heart right with him.  The curse, or beauty, of being human since the fall of man is that we shall all fail or fall short at times, sometimes many times.  Because of the love of the Father, though, we are forgiven now and will be forgiven in the future if we are willing to be with Jesus and to repent of our sins.

And, when we are accepted back into the kingdom of God through the forgiveness of our sins, the Holy Spirit can work mighty miracles in our lives in the name of the Father. In Peter, whom many miracles were manifest, the Holy Spirit was strong and mighty, even though he had denied Jesus in the past.  We must understand that living by the Holy Spirit requires a higher level of devotion of our part.

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.  Acts 2:42-43

Peter, once an outcast to Jesus, gave his life to Jesus and became a powerful leader of men.  He brought thousands of people to the family of believers.  It is also written in Acts that people would lie the sick and lame on mats along the streets hoping that even the shadow of Peter would fall on them.  The Holy Spirit was able to do mighty things through and in Peter.  Scripture says that people came from towns all around Jerusalem to be in the presence of Peter, and ALL were healed.

It doesn't say some or a few, or even most.  Acts 5 verse 16 says, " Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and ALL of them were healed."  Oh how the Holy Spirit can work in and through those with a heart for the Lord!

I get such peace from learning about Peter.  I am a sinner.  I make mistakes, continuously.  Thank God that we have a forgiving and loving Jesus to worship.  Praise God that we aren't expected to be perfect!  It is my fervent prayer that the Holy Spirit may do mighty and powerful things in and through you and I for the glory of God and the kingdom he has set aside for us.

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