Second Chances

John 21:15 – 19
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry [thee] whither thou wouldest not.
19 This spake He, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He saith unto him, Follow me.

I love The Word Of God for many reasons, one of which is when He points you to a certain scripture. you may have read it time and time again, only for Him to reveal something that you’ve never even thought of before. Today I was reading John 21.

This part of John has always confused me a little. I’ve heard great Men Of God open up so much from these passages. What blessed me today though, was something very simple, but extremely powerful. Before I even knew it, God was turning on the lights in the corridor of my understanding.

The first five words of John 21:15 hold a revelation, “So when they had dined . . .” He reminded me of another time, not too long before, where they had dinner. It was called The Last Supper, and during it there was this conversation.

Luke 22:33 – 34
33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

The Lord Jesus said Peter, you will deny three times. Here is where I rejoiced, how many times did Peter declare his love for God in John 21? Three times! The Lord asked, and three times, Peter answered the way he had wished he would have a short time before.

At the previous meal, Jesus said, where I’m going you can’t follow right now, but you will follow later. At the end of this meal, Jesus told Peter “Follow Me“. In between those two things though, He told Peter how He would die. That might seem morbid to you, but if I were Simon Peter, it would reassure me.

In other words, “You don’t have to worry about fear the next time, I will give you the strength to stand at that day.” Aren’t you glad that He reassures us that we don’t have to worry about failing through fear. He was essentially telling Simon, “This is a do over! I’ve given you the opportunity to do what you said in the previous book, to go both to prison and to death for me.”

History records that not only did the Apostle Peter follow The Lord willingly as a martyr, but his wife did also. The man who had refused to be associated with Jesus, now gave his all. He instilled his love for God, first in his own family, and then the world. Peter had learned his lesson, and summed it up in 1 Peter 4:19.

19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Pre Calvary, Simon Peter thought he could be brave on his own. Post Calvary, He knew that true bravery comes through God. He also knew, from past experience, that His Creator would create another opportunity for you to do the right thing.

If you’re reading this today, and you feel broken, incomplete, or damaged beyond repair, remember the fisherman. The same man who once declared I don’t know the man, stood outside of an Upper Room and proclaimed Him. He would publish the name of Jesus from Jerusalem to Rome. The good news is, so can you and I.

If you’re in need of a second chance, God is still in the business of giving them, and it all starts with a conversation. We call it prayer, but it’s talking to Him. It’s the beginning of a process that can take you from denying you have a problem, to proclaiming His transforming power. He did this for Simon Peter, He did this for me, and He can do this for you too!

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