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Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Morning Devo--Beyond the Tomb, Part 6

Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.
This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. [Note: He appeared twice otherwise, once to Mary Magdalene and once to the two men on the walk to Emmaus.]
So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep."
(John 21:12-17)

If you remember the story of the crucifixion, you might remember that three times Simon Peter, son of Jonah, denied that he knew Jesus. I don't know about you, but in these three times Jesus asked Simon if he loved Him, I can see Simon's last shred of pride crumbling. I'm sure that by the time Jesus gave that third iteration of the same question, Simon Peter had oceans of tears flowing down his face.

In Bible study yesterday morning, we talked about how Jesus meets us when we reach what is our particular rock bottom. With an addict, we can easily feature where that is. For many others, it might just be reaching the point where we realize we need a power, a wisdom, a grace bigger than our own.

For Simon Peter, maybe his rock bottom was hit when the Lord let him know He knew about those three denials. Once Peter's blustering self-sufficiency was broken, he was willing to go where Jesus led. Even to the death.

A few years ago I read a book called Red Ink by Kathi Macias. In that book, a young woman in China risked everything to meet with other Christians in a house church--against the law in China. In addition, she did something else against the law--she distributed Christian materials to children in the neighborhood. She went to prison. Not one like ours--air conditioned, plenty of food, a bed to sleep on--but one with deplorable, inhumane conditions.

It got me thinking. What am I willing to risk to go with Jesus? Will I go no matter what? How strong is my faith? Is it as strong as Peter's became?

Lord, I pray I won't ever deny You and have to go through what Simon Peter did on his way to become the person you needed: A man strong enough to die for You. Father, whatever You give me to do, please help me find the courage and wisdom to do all that You ask of me. Amen

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