Sunday Devotional: John 21:15-23

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, 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 a second time, “Simon, son of John, 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 John, 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 everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.  Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”  (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”  Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”  When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”  Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”  So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”  (John 21:15-23)

These verses are some of the more well known verses.  It is the story of Peter and Jesus talking after the resurrection and Jesus forgiving Peter and giving him a mission.  We all fail.  We all mess up.  But the great thing is Jesus forgives us when we repent.  And what’s even better is He still wants to use us for His kingdom.  He had a plan and purpose for Peter: “feed my lambs”, “tend my sheep”, “feed my sheep”.  He has a plan and purpose for your life too.  You just have to be open and ready to receive it.

The other big thing from this story is to focus on one’s own mission.  We sometimes get caught up in what other people are doing or how God is using them.  We have to be responsible for what God has called us to do and not worry about what others have in store.  Peter got caught up in worrying what would happen with John.  Jesus reminded him that it wasn’t Peter’s place to focus on John.  Peter was to focus on following Jesus.

This week, let us repent, let us accept forgiveness, let us be ready to follow Jesus and serve Him in whatever roles He has called us to do.

Sunday Devotional: 1 John 2:1-2

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)

Jesus died for our sins.  All of our sins.  He paid the penalty for our sins which is death and separation from God.  If we repent of our sins and confess Jesus is Lord and begin following Him, we have a restored relationship with God.  We also have an advocate in Jesus with the Father.

Everyone has the opportunity to have their sins forgiven, if they repent and turn to Jesus.  Let us this week remember that we are not alone if we are followers of Jesus.  We have an advocate for us in Jesus.  And for those that don’t know Jesus, let them know who He is and what he’s done.

Sunday Devotional: Matthew 4:12-17

“Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee.  And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
    the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
 the people dwelling in darkness
    have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
    on them a light has dawned.”

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:12-17)

This was Jesus’ first message that he preached as he began his earthly ministry.  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  His message was a message of repentance.  He wants us to repent because He loves us and wants us to turn to Him.  God has come near to us.  We are able to be forgiven through Jesus.  We just have to repent and turn back to Him.  This week, remember this message of repentance.  Share this message as a reminder that we all need to repent and that we can be forgiven.  There is hope in Christ.

Being Thankful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and throughout all this month I’ve seen friends post things they have been thankful for throughout the month.  It is good to be reminded of the things God has blessed us with, not just this month but throughout the year.  Here are a few things that I am thankful for:

*Jesus Christ.  This has to be number one.  I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without Him.  I was reminded again today how thankful I am for Him and what he has done.  That Jesus, fully God and fully man, came to Earth lived a perfect life, was tempted yet never sinned, died on the Cross to pay the penalty for my sins, rose from the grave three days later and is alive and well.  I’m not always the best follower of Jesus but I’m grateful that he forgives me when I repent of my sins and has changed me and continues to work in my life (through the Holy Spirit).

*Family and friends.  In good times and rough times, it’s good to rely on family and friends.  It is such a blessing to have those people in your life who love you and care about you.  Life is not meant to be lived alone but in community.  This is a great reminder of that.

*Church.  Ties right into family and friends and community.  We all need that that community of believers to encourage, exhort, spur one another in our walks with Christ.  It is important to be connected to a local body of believers and that’s key to be a part of a church.

*Fun activities.  I enjoy sports and video games, movies and TV shows, reading and writing.  There’s lots of cool things that are fun and entertaining and I enjoy doing.  And the cool thing is getting to enjoy that with others.

I hope that all of you have a great Thanksgiving and that as you celebrate with food and family (and football) that you take time to remember the blessings that God has provided and be thankful.