Links Daily Devotional

Used Through Our Struggles

Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33, ESV)

Most of us know the story from here. While Peter makes this claim that he’ll follow Jesus to death, we know he ultimately denies knowing him three times, as Jesus predicted. So what can we make of this story? What can we learn from it, as eager to get to the core of God’s Word as we are to find a solution for our twitchy short game?

When God looks at me, his son, he sees his very own Son, Jesus, who took my place on Calvary.During Jesus’ entire ministry life, he absolutely knew what Peter would ultimately do when the hardest of times came. He knew that Peter would abandon him when it came time for him to die for all. He knew that Peter would tell three random people that he had no clue who this Jesus was. Jesus knew all along that Peter would explicitly deny him.

“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” These words, found in Matthew, are the very words of Jesus, and he was speaking to Peter after the disciple confessed that Jesus was truly the Son of God.

Read these words again in the understanding that Jesus knew Peter would eventually deny him three times. Still Jesus built his church on Peter. Incredible! You almost want to question Jesus, asking, “Lord, you know what Peter is going to do. Are you really sure you want to build your church on him?”

Jesus knew what he was doing. He knew when he entered this world exactly what he was doing. He came to save humanity from their sins. He knew what he was getting himself into. He knew he was dying for the past, present, and future sins of all God’s people.

Brothers and sisters, this is the good news we read about, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even back when God created the world, knowing one day it would be corrupt of sin, he knew what he was doing. While he hates sin, he poured grace, mercy, and forgiveness on those he calls sons and daughters. And he will continually lavish this beautiful love and grace on us.

You see, like Peter, I gave God thousands of reasons not to save me and to just move on to a “better, more pious person.” However, because of his great love, he looked past those reasons and decided to save me. Even now, as days go on, I continually give him reasons to stop loving me and to move on from me. Once again, however, it’s not about my works or deeds. When God looks at me, his son, he sees his very own Son, Jesus, who took my place on Calvary. That should have been me on the cross. I gave him every reason to nail me there.

Brother and sisters, I am thankful for stories like Peter’s. Through his struggles, through his denial, and through his sin, God chose to love him and allow him to be the church’s first “pastor.” He loved Peter despite what Peter did or didn’t do. And that’s true for me and you, believer. In spite of us, God pursues us with his mighty grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love. Now, go live in this truth today, brothers and sisters, with a grateful heart. What a God we get to serve and live with daily!

Rosson Anderson
April 26, 2017
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