Thursday, January 19, 2012

Poor Peter: A Life Lesson

We are all confronted by our sins daily. Even as Christians, we still sin everyday. It is not something that we can help, because it is the nature of who we are. To me, I feel like a failure a lot of the times when I think back on some of the things that I have done, and think how in the world God could use me or even want me. Because there is nothing about me that will ever be good enough for Him that I could do on my own. This makes the awesomeness of His grace take so much meaning in my heart and mind. Yet, I still struggle and make mistakes.

This reminds me of a sermon that I was blessed to be able to give a year or two ago. I was asked to fill in for my pastor while he was on vacation. I love the opportunity to share with my church from the pulpit on such occasions, and it is a great honor that my pastor trusts me enough to do so. I gave a sermon on the life of Peter, which I believe we all have a connection with in the way we live our lives. So I am going to give a brief synopsis here of that life lesson and how it may give some encouragement in times when we feel like we just mess up too much.

1. The Call of Peter
Luke 5:1-8
"Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!""

I believe that Christ will call every man and woman in the right time. And He usually does it in a way that is up close and personal to that person. Many people will tell you that Christ got in the boat just to distance Himself from the crowd. That is probably true, and I have no issue with that, but I believe there was another reason also. I believe He wanted to be up close and personal with Peter. Peter was right there in the front row, so to speak, for the sermon. And then, Christ performed a miracle right there for Peter to get his attention. To show Peter who He was, and that He wanted Peter to follow. Christ does the same with us. When He calls us to be saved, it is a personal event. We sometimes feel like a sermon was meant solely for us, and no one else seems to be in the room. At least that is how it felt for me when I surrendered to Christ almost 15 years ago.

2. Making the Mistakes
Matthew 14:28-31
"Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”"

Matthew 18:21-22
"Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven."

Mark 8:31-33
"And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and *said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”"

Mark 14:37-38
"And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”"

Mark 14:71-72
"But he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this man you are talking about!” Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he began to weep."

After Peter's acceptance of Christ and the beginning of his walk with Christ, we see that Peter made a lot of mistakes. The examples above are but a few of them. Peter was always known to be the one to ask why about every situation as well. Sometimes we feel this way. We always want answers, we always make those mistakes just like Peter. The great thing though, is the love and patience that Christ had for Peter. Even with all the problems that Peter had, God still had a plan to use Peter.

Peter's Commissioning
John 21:14-18
"So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He *said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He *said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the 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."

It is here that we see that Jesus was not done with Peter. After all he had done wrong, after denying Christ, Christ still wanted him. He still wanted to use Peter for great things. And Peter became the leader of the church after the resurrection. Peter became a great man for God. We can see this all through the book of Acts. Did he still mess up? Yes, lets not forget the incident with Paul rebuking him with separating himself from the gentile believers. But, God still had a plan for Peter.

The same is true for us. We are going to make mistakes every day. We are going to fail occasionally. But, that does not mean that God is not still in control of our lives. He can still use us inspite of all that if we will surrender ourselves to Him. His grace is greater than all yours and my sins.

Thanks for reading, and God bless you all this week!


  1. This is a great post. Peter is my favorite apostle because he's so easy to relate to. I believe I've made just as many mistakes as he did, some probably more wrong than I realize. But Jesus doesn't give up. God bless I enjoyed this quite a bit!

  2. Thank you Karen. And God bless you too.

  3. I too, love the encouragement we find in Peter. When He walks on water with Jesus and then goes on to deny Him three times I think this shows just how much he is like us. How often do we see God do incredible things in our life and then quickly forget. We let fear take over and deny Him in our actions and with our words. Great encouragement, Derrick