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Apr 08, 2018

Go into the World

Go into the World

Passage: Psalms 98

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Category: Hope, Love, Joy

Keywords: faith, joy, love

We are the church. We are led to go out into the world to heal and to preach the good news of Jesus Christ.

Devotional

 

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

 

— John 21:15-19 (NIV)

In thinking about the Resurrection stories, I wanted to write about the road to Emmaus. How amazing would that have been, to have your heart burning while the risen Savior explained all the Scriptures to you, and then running to tell the others?

But Peter’s story is the one I relate to the most.

Our study Bibles and commentaries tell us Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” because it references the three denials. I imagine the symbolism was lost on Peter. For him, it was probably just a lost list of failures, and wondering, “Can the Messiah forgive me for these sins?”

We may not explicitly deny Jesus, but we know the pain and failure of a thousand denials. We sleep in a little longer rather than spend devotional time with God. We don’t make the phone call to a hurting friend because we don’t think we have the words, and we’re not really close enough to speak into that pain anyway. We decidedly do not treat our fellow drivers as neighbors and love them as ourselves.

Is anyone else 0-for-3 with me before we’ve even gotten to work?

In that questioning if Jesus really forgives us, He says — to Peter and to us — “Follow me.” Yes, Peter is the Rock on which Jesus said He would build His church. We are too. The incredible mystery of the Resurrection is that Jesus comes to us and if we confess that we love Him, He announces our sins are forgiven and invites us to follow Him, living lives that are changed because of Him.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, may we know the truth of Your love that surpasses our sin, and calls us to serve You and Your people. Strengthen us by the power of Your Spirit to be Your church, loving our neighbors and sharing the joy we have in knowing You. In Your name we pray. Amen.

Written by Jon McHenry. Jon leads our devotional team, is a council member, worship speaker and part of the men's ministry at Arcola Church. He is a devoted husband and father.