Day 29

15 When they finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 He asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was sad that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He replied, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 I assure you that when you were younger you tied your own belt and walked around wherever you wanted. When you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and another will tie your belt and lead you where you don’t want to go.” 19 He said this to show the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. After saying this, Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me.”  John 21:15-19 CEB

 

One Sunday during worship our friend Maurice said, “Scott, I hear what you’re saying, but lately, I’ve just done so many things wrong, I just don’t know what God thinks of me.”

I doubt many of us will remember exactly what Scott was preaching that day, but no one will soon forget the heartbreak in Maurice’s voice.  Sometimes all of us wonder what God REALLY thinks of us.

One of the reasons I love the study of scripture so much is because it keeps reminding my small, insecure self exactly what God does think of his people.

Remember Peter?  This guy was always at the front of the line when it came to the disciples.  He walked on water, he promised loyalty to Jesus, he was a leader, and ultimately  some of his writing makes it into the bible.  But along the way he also denied Jesus three times – during Jesus’ time of greatest need as a matter of fact.

Jesus remembers Peter.  After his death and resurrection, he appears again to his disciples.  He seeks Peter out.  Jesus doesn’t ignore Peter’s failure, but he does ask Peter if he loves him enough to try again.  And Peter does.

We’re getting ready to begin a new year, which in many ways is an artificial but potentially helpful turning point in time.  It could even be a time for all of us to ask ourselves the same question:  no matter where 2014 took us, do we love Jesus enough to start 2015 with a renewed heart for loving God, others and respecting ourselves?

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