Good evening New Harvest family. My apologies for the late blog post. For whatever reason I thought I was on ‘blog duty’ tomorrow and so merrily carried on through my busy day, oblivious to the fact that you’re all waiting for my message. Sorry about that.
The question I feel prompted to ask this evening is whether or not you truly believe that there is a way back to God after failure? And the answer is ABSOLUTELY! In Psalm 103, King David reminds that:
“8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. 13 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. 14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” (Psalm 103: 8 – 14NLT)
Perhaps no story in the Bible illustrates this blessed truth better than the story of Peter’s fall and the way Jesus recommissioned him to service in what was without a doubt one of the most notable post resurrection appearances.
Jesus had been deserted by His followers at the time of His deepest trial. How easily Jesus could have written them all off, but no, that’s not the Lord we serve! As always, He sought to restore them.
After His resurrection we see our risen Lord seeking out these disheartened, discouraged disciples in order to revive them, to reignite their spiritual fire and give them another chance. Peter needed encouragement. After all, he had denied and deserted the Lord, something he swore he would never do, and he was devastated. His mind must have been tormented with pictures of Jesus hanging on the cross. There hung his precious Lord, the One he had pledged to stand by through thick and thin, and yet when push came to shove he’d abandoned Him in His hour of need.
It’s so encouraging to know that when Jesus handpicked Peter to be one of His disciples in the first place, He knew exactly what He was doing. He knew this salty fisherman was made of tough stuff. He even knew that Peter would eventually fail. But Jesus loved this man, just like He loves you and me.
And perhaps like Peter, you’re in need of a second chance today. Maybe there was a time when you had a vibrant faith, but other things have crowded Jesus out. Maybe through bad choices the things of this world have entangled you, you’re no longer in a living, thriving relationship with Jesus. Well I’m here to tell you that the same God who gave out second chances to His disciples, is still giving them out today.
Scripture makes it very evident that Peter was not only forgiven, He was recommissioned, and a stumbling block in his path became a stepping stone. In other words Jesus said, “Peter I am not finished with you, I still want to use you to fulfill my plan and purpose for your life.” And if this message speaks to your heart this evening, then I want you to hear Jesus inviting you to take this opportunity He’s presenting with both hands and to walk with Him as He uses you for the furtherance of His Kingdom on earth.
And so no matter how unworthy you may be feeling, I want you to know that Jesus is far from finished with you. He loves you, and He knows the plans He has for you. Please take hold of Jesus’ gracious offer of a fresh start and another chance.
God bless you,