A short devotion for 5th July

Call to worship

The steadfast love of the Lord is established forever. His faithfulness is as firm as the heavens. The Lord invites us and welcomes us. Let us worship the Lord.

Let us Pray

Gracious Father, your might is beyond measure, your wisdom beyond knowledge, your love beyond all telling. You have put eternity into our hearts and made us hunger and thirst for you. Satisfy the longings you have implanted that we may find you in life and find life in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Merciful God, you made us in your image, with a mind to know you, and a heart to love you. But our knowledge is imperfect, our love inconstant our obedience incomplete. Day by day we fail to grow into your likeness; you are always slow to be angry with your children. For the sake of Jesus Christ do not hold our sins against us, but in your tender love forgive. Amen

Bible Reading

  • Psalm 103:1-18
  • John 21:1-19

Message: Peter’s Second Chance

Text

John 21:1-19

Introduction

How often have we looked back and said to ourselves, if only?

I am sure Peter must have asked himself that question; if only I had been brave enough I would not have let my Lord down when He needed me the most.

Michael Fish was a great weatherman but will always be remembered as the man who got it all wrong when he told us that there was no storm and yet history records the worst one in living memory at that time.

Peter is known as the disciple who denied his Lord. Jesus Himself warned him that it was going to happen when they celebrated the Passover. “I tell you the truth”, Jesus answered, “Today – yes, tonight – before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” Mark 14:30

The Old Testament records men like Samson in Judges 14, King David 2nd Samuel 11-12, both these giants of history repented of their sin and were restored to fellowship with God.

When we get to the New Testament and are introduced to Jesus and His 12 disciples of which 2 would fail their Lord. Here were men who walked and talked with Jesus day by day, enjoyed fellowship with Him, seen the miraculous, sat at His feet as He taught the multitudes and witnessed the raising of Lazarus from the dead.

All but one of those mentioned repented; Judas did not, but instead committed suicide. He was seized with remorse … So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. Matthew 27:5. Here was a man who could not live with himself so took his own life, which is never the answer as it leaves family and friends with so much pain and never solves anything.

Luke 22:61-62 records for us, The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the words the Lord had spoken to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

When the all searching eye of God is looking into our souls, what does He see?
He sees the real you and me. You can’t hide from God. Peter experienced those powerful eyes. Jesus looked into Peter’s soul and saw that he had repented that morning hour.

After a hard nights fishing, a hard night out in the cold on the lake when he and his shipmates caught nothing, what started out with so much promise of a good catch ended with an empty boat, and empty wallets. After a very dark night comes the dawn and a meeting with the Master, their lives would never be the same again.

  • Firstly, Jesus was waiting for them on the shore and He was cooking breakfast. What a welcome after a long hungry night!
  • Secondly, Jesus commanded the fishermen to cast their nets on the right side of the boat which they did and the reward for their obedience to the Lord was an abundance of fish. Jesus filled their stomachs and their wallets.
  • Thirdly, Jesus knew that Peter was ready to repent and return. Three times Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Dr William Barclay points out that there was a reason why Jesus asked Peter three times, ‘It was three times that Peter denied his Lord, and it was three times that his Lord gave him a chance to affirm his love.’ Jesus in His mercy gave Peter the opportunity to wipe out his past denial by affirming his love for his lord. Twice Peter declared his friendship of Jesus but the third time Peter declares his love. Peter could not hide his love for Jesus. Christ already knew that Peter loved Him for He looked into his soul.
  • Fourthly, love demands a response. Love is not just a word, it is active, it is full of you, it puts others first, it turns it’s back on self and seeks the good of others. What a change in Peter’s life when he surrendered to Christ. It was Peter who stood up in the Day of Pentecost after being filled with the Holy Spirit and was used by God when 3000 souls put their faith in Christ Acts 2:41. Peter went on to experience a martyr’s death.
  • Fifthly, love cost. It cost Christ in giving His life on the cross, for you and me John 3:16. In the margin of Mary Slessor Bible, that great Scottish missionary, there is a definitive of love: Love = is to live for. The late Revd George Duncan points out, “There is always a note of extravagance about love, extravagance in the giving of its time, the spending of its money, the use of its strength. Love never asks, how little may I give but always how much? We might do well to pause and ask ourselves how far our love for Christ and His Church bears this authentic mark today.

Let us say with Charles Wesley, ”Finish then Thy new creation, pure and spotless let us be; let us see Thy great salvation, perfectly restored in thee.”

Prayers of Intercession

We pray for you servant our Queen and all the royal family and our government that they may fulfil their duty to the glory of your name.

We pray for our nation as we come out of lock down that we will be wise and seek the well being of others.

We pray for those still in isolation, give them strength and courage and to those who care for them.

We pray for our Church Family who are ill at this time that they with those suffering from the virus may experience your healing touch.

In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Blessing

May the Father shower his love upon you.
May the Son strengthen you in your faith.
May the Holy Spirit breathe his life afresh in you and give you peace.
May God bless you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Amen