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making the connection | May 28, 2018

May 23, 2018

Peter is one of those guys I would have wanted as a friend. I picture him as full of energy and always up for doing something crazy. As we examine Peter’s life before and after meeting Jesus, the changes are incredible and enduring. We have been looking at the impact we can have as we allow the Lord to guide us. The life of Peter should give us great encouragement.

To start, Jesus sees beyond a guy making a living as a fisherman. Jesus offers Peter an opportunity to join Him and learn what it means to seek out men, instead of finding where the fish are. So, Peter takes a chance and trusts Jesus enough to go with Him and leave the life he knows so well. Another reason I enjoy Peter’s life is because I can so identify with the mistakes he makes because of his eagerness. You can also see Jesus’ training methods as He responds to Peter’s miscues – instead of getting frustrated and kicking him out of the group, Jesus redirects him and gives him another chance to make a difference with his life.

As Jesus is nearing the time of His death, He shares some important things with those closest to Him. To Peter, He says that when the pressure is on you will deny even knowing me. Peter is outraged and defends himself saying that will never happen. And yet, when Jesus is taken away to be crucified, Peter is asked by a servant girl about being with Jesus, Peter chokes and denies Him.

But, this is not the end of Peter’s story. Because of the time and the truth that Jesus poured into Peter, we see him stand up and provide leadership for a scared group of Christ-followers in the book of Acts. Peter goes on to preach the Good News in spite of being imprisoned and multiple threats of being beaten.

So what was it about Peter that empowered him to keep moving forward and hang in there? We could easily say that he had the right personality or personal confidence. However, I would like to suggest something else that made the difference. It was because he had been with Jesus. This should give us all great hope, because if we can realize that it’s way more about what Jesus does through us, as we spend time with Him than what we bring. When we put ourselves in Jesus’ presence by focusing our time and thoughts on Him – we are changed. Jesus transforms ordinary people into ones that can be used to have an impact in other people’s lives. God doesn’t want us bringing big ministry plans to Him. Instead, He wants us to be willing to surrender our time, our abilities, and resources to Him for His purposes. To the extent that you do this, you will experience the greatest impact for the Lord with your life.                    – Scott Nieveen

  • How are you doing in spending time with Jesus? What changes do you need to make to create more space in your life for the Lord?
  • People who have followed Christ longer than you can be a real encouragement and help. Consider asking someone if they would be willing to meet with you, in order to help you grow and become more like Jesus.
  • And always keep in mind this truth about God’s work in our lives, He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
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