He Won't Simply Throw Us Away!
Read: Luke 22:31-34; Luke 22:54-62; John 21:15-17; Acts 2:14-41
The coffee maker began acting kind of funny on Thursday. I poured in the water, but at first, it didn't drip through the grounds. I checked to see if I needed to hit the reset button on the outlet, but it wasn't sticking out. Perhaps I needed to press the button on the coffee maker again or unplug it and begin again. Unplugging things often works quite well, and it is my go-to fix for almost everything. Thankfully, my "incredible skill" resulted in a fresh pot of coffee. However, that was not the case this morning. There would be no CPR, Coffee Pot Revival. Guess what you can do with a coffee maker when it no longer makes your delicious morning brew? That's right. Nothing at all. It's fit only for the trash, and its replacement is already in place and has successfully brewed its first pot of coffee.
How thankful I am that Almighty God does not treat His people the same way we treated our unwanted and non-productive coffee pot. Even when we fail, He does not discard us. After all, we are so precious to Him that He had a plan to redeem us, even before He created the heavens and the earth, 1 Peter 1:18-20. The reason for this plan? God's unfathomable love for fallen humanity, John 3:16. Since He knew that Adam and Eve would choose to disobey Him, there was a plan of redemption already in place so that they would not have to be separated from His presence forever, Genesis 3:15; Genesis 3:21-24. If that weren't true, when Adam and Eve hid from God, He could have simply let them be. If the Lord had abandoned them in Eden, they would have lived with no hope. May He be praised because rather than considering them to be not worth pursuing and redeeming, their Creator called out to them. He would not throw away those upon whom He had set His love. He could have left them to their own devices and made a new couple, but He did not do that.
There are so many examples throughout the scriptures of those whom God could have discarded because they failed to honor Him even after He had blessed them in myriads of ways. Think of David and how the Lord made him king and how the Lord gave him victory after victory over his enemies. In spite of God's kindness, David's sin with Bathsheba and his hypocrisy gave occasion for the Lord's enemies to blaspheme God, 2 Samuel 12:14. How did David learn this fact? It was because God sent Nathan the prophet to confront him, 2 Samuel 12:1. It was God's desire that His king would see his need of repentance. What a kindness God showed David. When David didn't acknowledge his sins, the Lord pursued him through Nathan. His Savior displayed His love for him in the same way that He had demonstrated it to Adam and Eve. Although God spoke to David concerning painful consequences that would be a part of his life because of his sin, the Lord never abandoned him, nor did He withdraw the unconditional promises He had given His king, Psalm 89:34-37.
Let's finish by looking into the New Testament. That is where we are reminded of Peter. Let's glimpse his story in four acts and be reminded of God's wondrous grace, not only as it is poured out on Peter but how we can be recipients of that same unmerited favor. Act 1. Peter's promise of faithfulness. In Luke 22:31-34, we read that Jesus told Peter that Satan desired his destruction. Very bad news. Yet, there was good news too. Jesus had prayed for him, and after Peter repented, he was to strengthen his brothers. Peter's reaction? The apostle was certain that he would never deny Jesus. even though Jesus told him that it would occur. The apostle was certain that he was ready to go to prison and even die with his Master.
Act 2. Peter's failure. In Luke 22:54-62, we watch as things unfold just as the Savior said they would. Can you imagine what it was like for Peter to see his lord and remember what He had said? Did he remember how self-assured he was? We don't know Peter's thoughts, but we know that he went away weeping bitterly, Luke 22:62. Did he remember Jesus' command to strengthen his brothers after he had turned back? Did he wonder during those dark hours if he would be discarded? Again, we don't know.
Act 3. Jesus' grace poured out upon Peter. In John 20:15-17, Jesus asked Peter to affirm his love for Him three times. After each occurrence of Peter's words, Jesus spoke to him about caring for and feeding His sheep. Peter was given a specific ministry right from the lips of the Savior. There was work for him, in spite of his failure. Jesus said it. Peter wasn't discarded.
Act 4. Peter's fruitful work begins. In Acts 2:14-41, we see the new Spirit-indwelt church on the march with Peter being the first one to speak out boldly for His Lord. What a beautiful message Peter was privileged to give. What a joyful thing it must have been for him to quote from the psalms and the prophets. Telling his hearers how Jesus was the One of Whom they spoke. Can you imagine Peter's joy when 3,000 were added to the church as a result of the message he was privileged to preach? Peter wasn't set aside. Far from it. He was repentant, restored and revived. Useful to the Master in spite of his failure.
That's wonderful news for us because God calls us to do the same thing when we sin. We turn from our wrong having admitted it to the Lord, receive His sweet restoration and then we are revived so that we can serve as the Lord directs. Praise the Lord Who does not abandon His children.