Sermon Notes

March 25, 2016

The Man Who Meant Well

Have you ever made a promise to God, only to find yourself coming up short? Not fulfilling your end of the bargain? Maybe you’ve made a statement similar to, “Oh, I would never…” only to do the very thing you intended not to? Is there a time in your life you wish you could go back and re-do?  I would imagine no one understood this personal conflict quite like the apostle Peter.

Though he had a heart set on doing good and being loyal, he didn’t always come through. At the last supper, we see the disciples gathered around Jesus. It was here Jesus announced his imminent death, and it was here Peter boldly proclaimed, “I will never deny you!”

The very thing he vowed not to do, he ended up doing (and did it big)! Three times Peter said He was not associated with Christ. Three times, he passed up opportunity to be bold for the Savior he had followed so closely.

Even Jesus-loving, church-going, tithe-giving people mess up. No one is exempt from the deep need for God’s grace and forgiveness. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. But if we are not careful, the enemy will use these feelings of failure to distance us further and further from God’s purpose for our lives.

Known as the accuser of the brethren, Satan specializes in throwing believers off course through his ugly condemnation.  But the next time he taunts you with lies saying, “You are a nobody, going nowhere, headed to no place,” you remind him of the fact Peter’s story didn’t end there!

When Jesus resurrected from the grave, he went to meet Peter on the seashore. There, he asked Peter, “Do you love me?” three times. The exact amount of times Peter had betrayed him. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” The condition of his heart was clear. He was completely in love with Jesus. And that was enough!

It was Peter who later went on to be the original church planter! It was Peter in Acts who converted thousands of new believers, boldly preaching in the city streets. Few men in history have made such a tremendous impact on the kingdom.

What a wonderful reminder! No matter how many times we disappoint our Savior, there are endless second chances. He is not one to hold past regrets over our head, but rather leads us beside still waters to restore our souls. God does not expect perfection; He only desires our love.

Whatever failure seems to be playing on repeat in your mind, release it today. God works all things together for good—even those times we really drop the ball. The key is to keep pressing forward. Paul says it best in Philippians 3:13-14:

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (NKJV).