Failing Doesn’t Make You a Failure
Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers (Luke 22:31-32 NIV emphasis added).
Friend To Friend
I’m so glad Jesus picked Peter to be one of His disciples. Time and time again we see him with his foot in his mouth, his pride in his pocket, and his temper on his sleeve. Satan knew Peter was going to have a big impact on the formation of the Christian Church, and he tried many times to get him off course. During the last supper, Jesus warned Peter that he was about to be tested…”Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers,” (Luke 22:31-32 emphasis added).
Peter puffed out his chest, lifted his head and said, “I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
I imagine Jesus thought, Sure you are, buddy.
Just a few hours later, the sifting began. As Peter stood by the fire just outside where Jesus was being beaten and tried, a little servant girl asked if he was one of Jesus’ followers.
“Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
“Man, I am not (one of his disciples)!” Peter replied.
“Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
And just as the third denial slipped past Peter’s lips, the rooster crowed to remind him of Jesus’ words, “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”
Peter went outside and wept bitterly.
Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny him, and yet, before he even fell from grace, Jesus was picking him up. Yes, Peter was absolutely crushed at his weakness in denying Jesus three times. But then, the ray of God’s love reminded him of Jesus’ words… “When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
After Jesus’ resurrection, three times Jesus asked, “Peter, do you love me?” After each of Peter’s affirmations, Jesus said, “Feed my lambs…take care of my sheep…feed my sheep.” Peter did exactly what Jesus asked and spent the rest of his life doing just that.
Have you made some mistakes that left you feeling disqualified from serving God? Do you feel like you have been sitting on the bench because of too many technical fouls? Oh dear friend, you are not disqualified. Jesus has not put you on the bench. Just as we have seen with Peter, when we fall, Jesus calls us to repent, reassure Him of our love, and get back in the game to strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ. Listen closely. Can you hear it? Jesus is whispering…Do you love me…take care of my sheep.
Dear Lord, I am so thankful that you loved Peter…and that You love me. I don’t want to sit on the bench when it comes to the game of life. Thank you for forgiving me and putting me back in the game. Help me to have the courage to get back on my feet when I fall, dust the shame off my face, and join the team on the field! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What came to your mind when you read … And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32)?
Do you think Jesus knows when, where, and how you are going to fail?
What did he want Peter to do after he had repented?
What does God want you to do after you have repented?
Let’s get real. Were you convicted or motivated by the words of today’s devotion? Let’s chat. www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes.
More From The Girlfriends
We all make mistakes … just different ones. If you would like to learn how to turn your mistakes into ministry, then you’ll want to read Sharon’s book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding peace and purpose in the hurts of your past. It’s time to get off the bench and back in the game!
To Know My Ways
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
"That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.' So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest'" (Heb 3:10-11).
Technology is supposed to make our ability to accomplish things easier and make us more productive. I love the technology gadgets available to us today. In twenty years these will seem as old and archaic as the eight track player. (See, some of you don't know what that is.)
Research reveals that the average person is working much longer hours today because we literally can work from anywhere. Our technology allows us to stay in constant contact with others, which means we are always on call. Unless we intentionally set boundaries, we will never rest from our work.
God got angry with the people of Israel because they did not know His ways. They failed to recognize the boundaries He had set for them that would ensure a spiritual and physically successful life. They chose to disregard His ways. This disobedience led to their inability to enter God's rest.
God's rest means that we can actually do our work and still be refreshed through His Spirit in our inner man. It is the opposite of sweat and toil. It means that the fruit of our work comes as a result of abiding in the vine of His grace and power. Jesus said you can do nothing (worthwhile) unless you are connected to the vine.
In order to do this you and I must do two things. We must understand His ways and we must do His ways. When we follow these two things, we will begin to experience His supernatural rest in all of our endeavors.
Dear God, I pray for all those who are reading this devotional e-mail, that You will touch their lives in great and mighty ways. Please draw them closer to You and provide: Comfort on difficult days, Smiles when sadness intrudes, Rainbows to follow the clouds, Laughter to kiss their lips, Sunsets to warm their hearts, Gentle hugs when spirits sag, Friendships to brighten their being, Beauty for their eyes to see, Confidence for when they doubt, Faith so that they can believe, Courage to know themselves, Patience to accept the truth, And love to complete their lives. Thank You God for Your blessings. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders
Come As You Are
By Pocket Full Of Rocks
Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.