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You’ve Met Peter

May 12, 2011

Take just a moment and read through Acts 9:32-43 today.

 Can we just agree that Peter walks in a different level of faith than we do…or at least, I do?  Because listen, I’ve prayed for family members who have lost loved ones, but I’ve never prayed that the one who has died would get up and walk around…much less, knelt down and commanded them to get up.  That’s just…different.

 So how did Peter come to this place?  Do you know what I mean?  How did he come to be this man who grabs a paralyzed guy by the hand and heals him?  How did he come to be a guy who would bring a dead lady back to life?  Seriously, how does that happen?

 You know his back story…he was a fisherman.  That means that there was a point in his childhood when the religious leaders assessed him and basically said, “This one isn’t cut out for the ministry…go home and learn a trade.”  And this is where we’re introduced to Peter…he is on a boat fishing and Matthew 4:19 says Jesus cruised up onto the beach and said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  And that’s where it starts for him…humble beginnings.  And listen, Luke includes in his Gospel, the story of the miraculous catch of fish and Peter basically says to Jesus, “You don’t want me…I’m a sinner.”

 Matthew records another story where Jesus is walking with the disciples, in chapter 16, and asks them, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  Peter, ever aggressive, and always the first to jump, says, in what might be the greatest confession of Jesus in the Bible, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus blesses him and Peter has to be thinking, “Nailed it.”  But in just a few verses, Peter rebukes Jesus for saying that He was going to be killed, and Jesus’ response to this is simple, “Get behind me, Satan!”  One moment and confession, the next he has seemingly forgotten who the Lord is, and is walking in darkness.

 There is always the story of Peter’s denial of Christ.  In Mark 14, we see Peter cut off the guys ear (Jesus slaps it back on the side of his face), and then the servant girl asks if he is a follower of Jesus and without hesitation, Peter’s response is, “No”…cue the rooster.

 It might be hard to believe, but this is exactly who God calls to do His work.  Now some of us are like Peter, the fisherman.  We’ve been marginalized, rejected, even despised…and despite our fears and hesitations, Jesus comes along and chooses us for His work.  Some of us are like Peter, the confessor.  We draw close to Christ and we understand who He is and confess Him as Lord, only to fall away into our sin a moment later.  Some of us are like Peter, the one who denies.  We pray to God in the morning, asking for help, and for blessings, only to deny Him and live how we choose, making ourselves Lord of our lives before we even get to lunch.  Now listen to this…because it’s important; this is who God chooses to do His work.  You, as ignored as you are, as messed up as you are, and as scared as you are, are just the type of person that God uses for His Kingdom.  Just before Jesus ascends into heaven, he tells Peter something unique.  He doesn’t say, “Okay, get it together, I’m counting on you.”  No, in John 21:17, Jesus tells him, “Feed my sheep.”  This man, who has managed to stumble so many times, just like we do, is commissioned to the ministry of Christ…and if you are a believer, so are you.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. brian eckstrom permalink
    May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

    in regards to that introduction, i think a great problem with our faith today is that we tend to put “realistic limits” on the power of God. i know we’ve talked about that before, but it wasn’t until recently that i finally understood it. just last night i had one of the most humbling prayer experiences in my life. i was literally brought to my knees with tears in my eyes before God, praying as if God really was God, the one who spoke the universe into existence; the one who has complete control over all aspects of life; the one who can not be limited by anything. i’ll be honest and say i’ve never prayed with that much will power, and it was the most incredible feeling. it isn’t enough to just pray, we must pray as if we are being heard by the King of kings. the more i’ve began to understand that, the more i’ve continued to see Him in every aspect of my life. i was about to call you last night adam, but then i realized it was 3:30. i was so eager to share this with you, and i’d still like to go into more detail with you at some point.

    in closing, i guess what i’d like to just sum this whole thing up on is this: putting limitations on the power of God and praying for him to work in ‘realistic’ ways is completely contradictory to His nature, so we must pray – pray with the strength we so often neglect – pray as if we are being heard the Lord God Almighty.

    adam, you always tell us how you’re going to be praying for us throughout the week, so i’ll follow that example and let you know now that this is how i’m praying for our group, as well as others.

    • December 27, 2011 8:47 am

      There is more to praying than a conversation. One of the things you said in here is terribly important…”pray as if we are being heard by the Lord God Almighty.” There’s no greater privilege for the people of Christ than an audience with the Author of creation.

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