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June 17, 2017, 5:00 AM

Where are you with Christ these days?

Peter was the overzealous one of the bunch.  Out of the 12 apostles, Peter was on multiple occasions the one speaking for their cause, as well as taking on important responsibilities Jesus delegated such as preparing the Last Supper with John. Although Peter was a disciple in Jesus’ inner circle, his audacity at times cast him out into the confinement of his own emotions.  Peter, originally Simon but called Simon Peter or Cephas by Christ, is a figure in Scripture who frequently found himself having to be put in his place by Christ. He is well-known for his rash behavior.


When Peter, James and John witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration in the presence of Moses and Elijah, it was Peter who giddily blurted out he would build three temples honoring each of them. Immediately God said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Put in his place. Peter cowered in silence. He realized it was not elaborate constructs that mattered to God. Like Peter, some of us warp God’s will for us. We grasp at ways to serve or just act somehow. We worry we are not doing enough. And although doing works can be a good thing, it is not exactly what God wants from us.


We all at times confuse God’s purpose for how to serve in His kingdom. But just like Peter at the transfiguration, God says listen to Jesus. That’s it. Peter appeared the overachiever in some cases, but he also had his fails. It was Peter who famously denied knowing Christ three times. It was Peter who Jesus told to sheath his sword when he attempted to defend the Christ by attacking the servant of the high priest. His brashness was his downfall.  Peter was the one attempting to meet Jesus when he walked on water. When he did, he let fear cause him to take his eyes off Jesus, and he began to sink. Of course Jesus saved him then chastised him for his lack of faith. Put in his place again. 


Ever feel like Peter? God, from time to time, puts us in our place. Maybe you are someone reaching for ways to serve. Maybe you are simply looking to find your niche in some circle. Perhaps you are searching for identity. By walking in a relationship with Christ, it is certain He will use you specifically. As Scripture reveals to us, Christ appeared to Peter and others after His resurrection. He reassured Peter of His mission and His presence, sending Peter to preach this to the people.   It was Peter who later spoke at a Pentecost gathering. He made known to those in attendance who were hearing the tongues of many languages that this was indeed the Holy Spirit (not drunken behavior or something else). Shortly after, he and John healed a lame beggar, saying “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have, I give to you.” He had the Holy Spirit.

And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’ And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, ‘I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!’ Acts 3:4-6


Christ used Peter for some big things. Recall however that Peter was just an ordinary fisherman with no real claim to high society. When Jesus called Peter, which means “rock,” He said He would make Peter a fisher of men. Imagine the discomfort followed by a long strand of burning questions! Yet, Peter dropped everything and followed Him still. As an apostle, Peter had his ups and downs. As human beings, we have our ups and downs. We do too much sometimes, and it causes us to question our place with God. Jesus Christ redeemed Peter from his fumblings. He became a key voice for Christ simply because he was with Christ.  Where are you with Christ these days? What is a pressing need for you? How are you interfacing with God?


This is my Prayer: Father God, thank You for who You are and how You are. Lord You are steady and unchanging and I know You are at work in my life. Show me how You might use me for Your will. Jesus I give to You my longings and worries.  Strengthen me to follow You further. In your name, Jesus, amen. 

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