I don’t know about any of you, but I have a habit of looking at my past, and when I do, I admit that I often see my failures far more often than I see my successes. Ask me how I’ve failed, about my short comings, my temptations, my lack of confidence, and I can tell you all of them. Seeing myself and all the bad things about me has never been my problem, but seeing the good things about myself has been, and quite truthfully still is.
I don’t like admitting this, but it is what it is. Tonight I was reading about the apostle Peter. There are times when I see a lot of myself in Peter. I can look at his life with Christ, and I can see many of his failures in myself. Peter denied Christ three times. He told Christ Jesus he would never deny Him. He did. I have too.
I don’t like admitting this either, but it’s true. Like Peter, I didn’t and don’t intend to, but it’s happened, and happens. Do I go around telling people I don’t believe in Jesus. No. Maybe not with my voice, but in so many ways. There are as many ways to deny love as to accept it, and there are as many ways to express hate, prejudice, bigotry, selfishness, and disdain and intolerance as there are ways to express the opposite.
Peter knew these things, felt these things, showed them in his life-even as He walked with Jesus. Peter knew his failures. Jesus knew them, too, and forgave them. Peter was transformed by the love of Jesus. Peter in the beginning was as we all are…an enemy…and yet through the love of Jesus became a pillar of the early church, and was so steady and brave in his devotion and love of Christ that he helped to change the world he lived in for Christ. He lived and died loving Christ Jesus because He had experienced grace in His presence.
In the beginning Peter knew failure…In the end He knew success…in the middle grace had its affect, and it’s effect, and it still does…