Peter being the disciple more close than the others to Jesus would have been the last one that you would think would not reject the Lord, but he did.
73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit uses our greatest failures to the glory of God if WE allow ourselves to overcome our failure. Just because sometimes we fail doesn’t mean we are failures. Many of our harshest critics are more than happy to point at our failure and use harsh words to keep us down, to keep us ineffective for God. God’s power is greater than any critic. After Jesus arose from the dead He was already planning to use Peter as the foundation for the church of the most high.
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
I believe the reason Peter was singled out in that statement is because Peter feeling he had failed the Lord he wouldn’t have felt himself worthy to be included with the disciples. So, the Lord made SURE that Peter, the one with a head like a rock, came with the REST of the disciples when they came to Galilee. I have heard it preached before the reason for this was because Peter had denied Jesus and it was necessary for Christ to receive him again as a disciple, but was it really? When Jesus walked with Peter and “restored” him what happened? Jesus walked and asked Peter “Do you love me?” He didn’t ask Peter, “Do I love you?” Jesus’ love had never been damaged even when Peter denied Christ. God’s love doesn’t change. He has given us a love letter in His Holy word. The ONLY thing we CAN do to gain our salvation is to ACCEPT the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.
It is when we fail that Satan tries to make us TOTALLY ineffective for God. Just because we fail doesn’t make us a failure. Satan tries to make you believe you have “dropped the ball” and you aren’t WORTHY to pick it back up telling us you aren’t WORTHY! A liar and the father of lies is what Satan is. If someone that loves the Lord waited to do ANYTHING until he or she is worthy. Then only one person in all of history would have done anything for God.
God uses the “tax collectors” that won’t even raise their eyes to heaven as he pleads “have mercy on me a sinner”. If the servants were perfect then to whom would go the glory, God or the perfect servants? God allows us to be part owners in the building of His kingdom, heirs you could say. Our Father that loves us and accepts us JUST AS WE ARE and has allowed us to share in the work, allowed us to show our love for God by our ACCEPTANCE of His love, and sacrifice that JUSTIFIES us back to our Father.
Here is a real mind bender for you, Paul/Saul before his conversion was killing believers because he thought he KNEW what God expected and wanted. After his conversion in one of his later letters he writes that he is “guilty of no man’s blood”. How could he write that? A friend of mine said it was because he forgave himself, and God forgave him too. Actually he was ALREADY forgiven even while he was killing people and the only thing he HAD to DO was to accept the gift of the forgiveness. In fact if we think we CAN do anything to gain our salvation we are saying, “ What Jesus did on the cross wasn’t enough. What God did for us wasn’t good enough without MY help. I have to do something else.” My God is MORE than enough! He can move mountains, in fact He MADE the mountains and He can move them anywhere He wants them. God loves you, and me, it is time to let God know you love Him in return. How can we show God our love? That one is simple, not easy but it is simple, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul. Also, love your neighbor as you love yourself.” If you have the love of God in your heart give it away, but don’t worry. God will give you an abundance of love so you never run out. Let’s push ourselves aside and live our lives for God. AMEN.