In the message “At The Lord’s Command” we saw how, for forty years in the desert, the Israelites moved or stayed based on the movement of God’s cloud. Being able to recognize God’s “cloud” and sense its movement is one of our great challenges. For this challenge there is no answer but to draw closer to God through prayer, study, and worship. He will reveal Himself if we will wait and place all our hope and trust in Him. But when we hear Him call, we must be prepared to look beyond our ability and trust He knows our strengths…and our weaknesses.
After His death and resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and many others. He called them to believe and tell the world of the truth. But with Peter, Jesus took time to speak directly and personally.
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love Me more than these?'”
Jesus used the word “agape,” meaning absolute, unconditional love. With one simple question, Jesus was forcing Peter to analyze his faith. Peter had previously stated; “Even if all fall away, I will not” (Mark 14:29). And even more boldly, he said; “Even if I have to die with You, I will never disown You” (Mark 14:31).
And yet, Peter failed Jesus in the garden: “Are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?” (Mark 14:37). Peter failed again when he denied Jesus three times – the third denial being violent: “Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know the man!'” (Matthew 26:74). Peter knew how his actions had fallen tragically short, so he answered Jesus using the word “fileo” to say his love was more of a deep affection – a brotherly kind of love – not “agape.”
Jesus continued His questioning until Peter finally replied; “You know all things, You know that I love You” (John 21:17b). In this statement, Peter was humbly saying that Jesus knew from experience his level of love…or his lack! But even with a complete understanding of Peter’s weaknesses, Jesus still called: “Follow Me!” (John 21:19). Jesus had a plan for Peter that would not be hindered by Peter’s failures.
As we grow to a better understanding of God’s love, we will ultimately face how small our love is by comparison. But let’s take comfort that God knew our weaknesses when He called us into His Kingdom. He has a wonderful plan and will always provide what we lack in order to accomplish all He desires. There is nothing hidden from God. He knows everyone He calls; so let’s boldly follow, in spite of our weaknesses!
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Jul 3 2 Kings 22:3-23:30; Acts 21:37-22:16; Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 18:11-12