Jesus said of Peter - "Upon this ROCK I will build my church" what ROCK was this? The very rock when Peter declared - "You (Jesus) are the Messiah - My Lord and My God".
This was the same Peter who went on the deny Jesus three times - the same Peter who saw Jesus' look as the rooster crowed three times - the same Peter who went out weeping uncontrollably because of his denial - the same Peter who almost broke a speed record getting to the tomb to see if Jesus had indeed risen - the same Peter who was interrogated by Jesus three times with the question "Do you love me Peter?"
One time you denied me Peter - Two times you denied me Peter - Three times you denied me Peter.
One time do you love me Peter? - Two times do you love me Peter? - Three times do you love me Peter?
Can you just imagine Peter:-
Don't count me out just yet Lord - I Love you Lord - I know I denied you but please don't count me out - I know I am weak - I know I have failed in some pretty spectacular ways - I know you gave everything for me - I know I let you down horribly.
Jesus came back each time with "feed my sheep - feed my lambs" - Peter was forgiven - as we can be too.
THREE was a pretty big number for Jesus and Peter - Three times Jesus prayed in that garden - three times he found His disciples sleeping - three times Peter denied his Lord - three times the rooster crowed - after three days Jesus rose again.
Friday they hung Him on the cross - Saturday a strange silence must have filled Jerusalem and so much more than just the passover festival - Sunday AMAZING Sunday when he rose from the dead and conquered the grave - killed death in one awesome blow that blew Peter sideways with confusion, love and gratitude.
Never again would Jerusalem be the same and never again would Peter deny His Lord. Yes! he may have taken a sword in that garden and mutilated the high priest servant's ear - he may have been sleeping on the job and yes! he may have gone fishing to try to come to terms with what had just happening in that empty tomb but now? Now he saw the real JESUS - he saw what it was all about - he saw himself and Jesus saw him and Yes! he would never be the same Peter again.
So Peter - the denier became the preacher extraordinaire - the encourager - the humble servant. Peter wasn't worried about succeeding although he did succeed - he wasn't worried about security although through Jesus, that was just what he received.
No! through all of this Jesus' example to Peter was submission - Just as Jesus submitted to the will of God so should we and so did Peter.
We are not called ever to submit to our sin - our struggles - often our overwhelming doubt or our insecurities but we are called to submission - submission to our Lord. Peter saw how Jesus suffered in submission to the will of God. JESUS our perfect example!
Jesus example of total submission to God is truly the only example we should follow - He can't use us when we are consumed with our own lives when we walk with a worldly swagger knowing our lives are pretty good - NO! he can only use us when we are broken down - when we can see where we have failed - when we are broken and pliable.
Will you follow Jesus today? - Are you ready to give Him all? Are you ready to put denials behind you and follow His amazing example of total submission to your Heavenly father?
What Jesus did for us on that cross enabled us to live our lives in complete surrender to Him. Will you trust Him to take your life in submission to Him?
My prayer for us this week is that each of us will come to a point in our lives where we are ready and willing to submit to the will of Jesus to give Him complete and utter control of our lives so that we can be an example as He was an example for us.
God bless you as you step out with Jesus this week.