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 Thessalonians 1:2-5

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”  (1 Thessalonians 1:2-5)

We as believers are called to live in community with other believers.  To love and to worship God together, to encourage and build one another up and to share Christ with others.  The Thessalonians were known for this.  Paul in his letter to that church opens with sharing about how he and his co workers give thanks to God for them.  He is encouraged by the word he hears of those believers and how their work and love has spread throughout the area.  It is an encouragement to Paul just as Paul has been an encouragement to the Thessalonians.

Let us be like that in our communities.  Let us labor and love for Christ this week and let us remember and encourage fellow believers to do that as well.