Wednesday, December 7, 2022

            We know Peter as a fisherman turned disciple.  We know him as an apostle and a missionary of the gospel message in the early church of the first century.  We know him as one who cut off the ear of Malchus who was the servant of the high priest at the time of Jesus’ arrest.  We know him as the disciple who swore that he would never abandon Jesus only to deny Him not once or twice but three times. 
            Peter was one of the better-known figures of the New Testament and early Christianity.  Two letters in the Bible bear his name.  He wrote a combined eight chapters about Christian living and the hope that we possess in Christ.  While we can identify and define Peter in a variety of ways, it might be best to let him speak for himself and identify himself as he chooses.  Well, the old fisherman did that in I Peter 1:1.  He gave the following personal introduction, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:1).  He connected his identity to Jesus. 
            How would you define yourself today?  Husband, wife, father, mother, grandparent, child?  Maybe you would open by identifying your current vocation or what you once did for a living.  Some people might choose a title by which to identify themselves.  But Peter chose Jesus.  The Lord cast such a large shadow over Peter’s life that there was no way he could choose anyone else.  Now that says much about Peter’s walk with Jesus!  Does the Lord cast a greater shadow over your life than anyone else?  To be sure, Peter was not perfect.  He was impulsive, quick to anger, unreliable and his mouth tended to make claims that his life could not back up.  He did not always stand up for Christ as he could or should have.  If I am honest, I can say that I have a lot in common with Peter.  There’s evidence of Peter’s faults that can be found in me every day.
            One good way we can be like Peter is to identify with Christ.  We can see ourselves first off as followers of Jesus.  We may not be perfect and we may fall down a lot in our walk but we can still say we are unapologetically followers of Jesus.  There may be times when it does not look as solid or as shiny as we would like but we still cling to the Lord.  Near the end of his first letter, Peter gave a message that should remain with us forever.  His words are a great comfort in those moments where we struggle and fail in our walk with the Lord.  We read, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:6-7).  The cares, burdens and even anxiety that may cause us to fall can be cast upon Him and released to Him.  Indeed, we may stand for Christ in direct proportion to how much we cast upon Him.
            To be a follower of Jesus means that we are casters of cares—casted not to the wind but to Christ.  You may feel like you fall down and fail more than you succeed in your walk with Christ. I know that feeling too.  The more glorious vision that I have of Jesus often leads to an incredibly sober and humble vision of who and what I am.  But we can take joy in knowing that just as Jesus was not finished with Peter even after Peter denied Him our Lord is not finished with us yet either.  There is still work to be done.  And our Lord graciously does that work as we turn to Him. 
            This Christmas we can give thanks for an amazing gift—a Lord who is still not finished with us even though we have given Him every reason to turn us away.  Christmas is about Immanuel—God with us!  A disciple of Christ is not perfect but persevering, not finished but following and not stubborn but surrendered.  Have a wonderful Wednesday!  Merry Christmas as you celebrate the amazing gift of Christ Jesus!  Remember you can worship with us every day at  

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