Monday, March 25, 2013

do you love me? part I

Read John 21 and Genesis 44

He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”  Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” John 21:17
“Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad a slave to my Lord, and let the lad go with his brothers. For how shall I go back to my father if the lad is not with me.  I fear to see the evil that would find my father.” Genesis 44:33 & 34

Matt Lange wrote in yesterday’s devotional about how we are not bound by our past bad behavior. Peter is a beautiful example of this. Much to Peter’s surprise (and to his despair) when he had a chance to make good on his claim, (“Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.”) he utterly failed again and again and again.

Peter picked himself up by his bootstraps (or sandle straps) and got on with his life. “I’m going fishing,” he told the other disciples.

Then all night long he and his buddies fished. And pulled in nothing. “Should I have expected otherwise?” Peter may have thought to himself.

But Jesus thought otherwise. He met Peter on the shore and asked Peter something that He knew the answer to: “Do you love me?” Peter did love Him. That was what counted. Had Peter been a blowhard? Obviously. Had he been a coward? Clearly. Did he fall way below his own expectations? To say the least. But did he love his Lord and Savior? “Lord,” said Peter. “You know all things. You know that I love you.”

That one great quality of Peter’s trumped all his failures. Since Peter loved the Lord, the Lord would use him in a mighty way to lead and feed that brand new flock of His, the Church.

I’ve listened to many conversations at work of women talking about their husbands or their live-in boyfriends. Invariably, at one time or other, these men have betrayed them. Generally these women have stuck with their men, but with the understanding that they have disqualified themselves for any responsibility, and the woman is now in charge of everything, except the remote on the TV.

Way back in Genesis we read of Judah, a son of Jacob, who was a law unto himself. He had pulled away from the family estate and lived a careless and thoughtless life among the Canaanites. Later we read how Judah took responsibility for the family during their time of great duress. Jacob put his trust in Judah, and his trust was well founded. Of all the twelve sons of Jacob, Judah received his greatest blessing. What was it that made the great change in Judah? At some point in his life he returned to his father, for he came to have great compassion and love for his father. Genesis 44: 33 & 34

Twice in the Epistles we read, “Love covers a multitude of sins.”  Once in James 5:20 and once in I Peter 4:8. The love of the Lord Jesus has covered all of my sins. So instead of being defeated, I am encouraged, and I press on in the work that the Lord has set before me.

No comments:

Post a Comment