Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 7, 2019
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
One of the more meaningful moments in my life with God came recently when I prayed and sat in silence along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. More specifically, I was visiting a church called Peter’s Primacy, also known as the “Place of the Coals,” believed to be where Jesus cooked breakfast for his disciples and restored Peter to faith and mission.
As I looked out across the waters, I thought of my own failures and shortcomings in faith. The times I’ve chosen, like Peter, to deny my Lord out of self-love or fear of the other. I felt the weight of my sin and the deep longing to be restored to Jesus, to throw on my cloak, leap out of the boat and rush to him. Peter is bold in his brokenness and bold in his belief in the forgiveness of God. I believe Jesus invites the same from us.
Jesus does not ignore Peter’s failures or act like nothing happened. Yet Peter’s sin is not a barrier to the Lord’s purposes in his life. Jesus shows Peter that his mercy will always have the final word. Similarly, it does us no good to draw near to the Lord on the beach pretending all is well. He knows us better than we know ourselves. And to Peter and each one of us, he looks us in the eyes with a heart filled with compassion and asks, “Do you love me?”
In the same breath Jesus poses both a question and an invitation; a question that acknowledges our failures to love and our need to be restored, an invitation to love again, to desire his love and kingdom above all else. For every time Peter denied Jesus and failed to remember the Lord, Jesus offers him forgiveness for past sins and an invitation into future ministry.
The forgiveness of God not only heals past transgressions but restores us to usefulness in his Kingdom. Do you love me? Feed my lambs. Restoration and commissioning go hand in hand. The Lord does not simply heal you to give you right standing – he heals you so you can be an agent of healing to others!
Father, thank you for the incredible mercy we encounter in your Son, Jesus Christ. May we, like Peter, be healed and sent out on mission for you. Amen.
Can you see the Lord on the shore, fully aware of your sin and shame, yet waiting for you and calling you to him to come and dine with him?
The Lord does not simply heal you to give you right standing – he heals you so you can be an agent of healing to others! #WisdomHunters #love #Jesus
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