Wednesday, February 2, 2022

             The life of Peter is a fascinating one to study.  When we first meet him in Scripture, he is a fisherman.  He is working the nets to make a living.  One day, his life changed forever when a carpenter from Nazareth named Jesus gave a call to Peter to drop everything and follow Him. This call would be like you leaving your job, home, income, savings, investments and everything else to take up with someone you have never met.  But Peter heard Jesus and responded.  We know he was prone to over-statements and promises that he could not keep or deliver.  He had some battles with anger.  But the Lord loved him and used him.  Later in life, the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write two letters that bear his name.  I Peter 2:25 says, “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”   Peter would certainly know something about roaming from the Lord and going astray.  He had his moments and we all do.  If we are honest and confessional, we have to acknowledge that we too have roamed away from the One who made us, loves us and forgave us.  We have chased other things and turned our heads and hearts away from Him.  We have looked away from the loveliest face of all—the face of Jesus.
            Perhaps, like Peter, you have known the joy of returning to the Lord and walking with Him again after a dry season or a season of absence.  Like the loving father in the Prodigal Son story, God waits with open arms to receive back those who have wandered away.  Like the shepherd of Psalm 23, God anoints our head with oil and prepares a table before us.  God is most assuredly in the business of restoration, renewal and receiving those who come back to Him.  Like the woman who lost a coin, God seeks and searches for those who are missing.    
            As you think about your life, maybe you can easily identify some places, ways and areas where you have roamed from the Lord.  Most likely, they stand out.  You know what they are.  Come back to Him.  The invitation stands.  The Lord promised through Peter to be the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls.  We are under His protection and provision.  He bestows sufficient and plentiful grace upon us always.  A little later in I Peter 5:6 we read, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time” (I Peter 5:6).  To come back to the Lord means we must humble ourselves and trust that He will lift us up in a way of His choosing.  When we return to the Lord, He often has a way to put us to service and use immediately.  Like an injured player who returns to his team, God sends us back into service to be salt and light and witnesses for the gospel message. 
            Perhaps time, circumstances or the way your life has been has left you feeling injured and aimless.  Like a ship without a sail, you are at the mercy of wherever the winds of life may blow.  Feelings of discontent, confusion or sorrow are all the more reason to return to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul.  Our first and greatest identity is to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  This identification matters more than our job, citizenship, place of residence or titles.  God is working across the world today to build up His family and calling people from every tribe, language and nation.  There is a spot for you.  Come back to the One who calls you home.  Have a great Wednesday!

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