Saturday, March 21, 2015

Down but Not Out - Martin Wiles

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. John 21:15 NLT

Failure can be a dark cloud that arches continually over our heads. 

When Charles Allen, author of God’s Psychiatry, started in the ministry, he didn’t have a car. He would often walk to the churches where he preached—sometimes borrowing the horse and buggy of an old physician acquaintance. One cold and rainy Sunday morning, he told the doctor he wasn’t going to the little church out in the country. He doubted anyone would show up anyway. The doctor said with a stern voice, “It is your duty to be there. Get the horse and go.”

Peter’s duty was to serve the Christ he had followed for three years. Fishing was no longer in God’s plan—at least not to make a living. With so many failures under his belt, he must have questioned his usability. Jesus reminded him he was still in the game by telling him to get busy feeding his sheep. 

Peter may have been down on himself, but he wasn’t out. God has work for his people to accomplish. Bad decisions may result in consequences that make it impossible to do God’s work the way I may have, but these poor decisions don’t eliminate me all together. My failure is never permanent unless I choose to let it be by refusing to confess my sin or by wallowing in self pity. 

Satan enjoys convincing believers that God can’t use them any longer because of their past sins or current missteps. If he can keep me on the sidelines with depression and discouragement, I’ll not do anything for God—or at least very little. Since he can’t steal my salvation, he’ll work on my effectiveness.

Jesus re-commissioned Peter. Though he had failed miserably, there was still work for him to complete. Jesus told him to get busy doing it. His previous lifestyle wasn’t the present one, and his failures were immaterial. Don’t allow failures and sins you’ve confessed to dictate your future service to Christ.

Prayer: Thank You merciful and eternal God for giving numerous second chances when we fail You.

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