"God loves affirming His purpose and, even more so, His people when they embrace His purpose." ~ Erwin McManus; Seizing Your Divine Moment
There are times in our lives when it is difficult to believe that we can do anything that will benefit God's kingdom. We may think past sin disqualifies us from taking a lead role in advancing the Kingdom of God or we may believe we do not have the ability it takes to make a difference in the community we live in.
I am often overwhelmed with such feelings of unworthiness or inadequateness. These feelings have a way of paralyzing us which results in our missing out on experiencing the life God wants us to have. The good news is that we are not the only ones that have struggled with these feelings of inadequacy, failure, and worthlessness. Consider Peter. While there may have been a time when we he thought he had it all together, there came a point when Jesus had to encourage him to return to his true calling
Peter, if you are familiar with the Bible, was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. Not only was he one of the 12, but we was part of 3, along with James and John, who were Jesus' inner circle. Now there is a debate whether Peter or John was the man who was actually the closest to Jesus, but that really doesn't matter. What matter is on the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested Peter followed after Jesus. He stood out in the courtyard as a night session of the Sanhedrin went on to convict Jesus. When Peter was recognized as one of Jesus‚Äô disciples Peter denied knowing Jesus, even cursing to try to convince the people around him that he didn't know Jesus. A few hours earlier Peter boasted that he would go with Jesus to the death, but when the time came Peter turned his back on Jesus.
After seeing and talking with the resurrected Jesus, Peter went back to fishing. There was a part of him which believed that he was no longer worthy of following Jesus. Then one day Jesus shows up on the shore and invites his former disciples to have breakfast with him. After eating Jesus looks at Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" I find it interesting that Jesus uses the name Simon rather than Peter. Jesus is the one who changed Simon's name to Peter. I think Jesus does that to show Peter that He understands what Peter is feeling. Peter isn't feeling like the rock, but instead he sees himself as Simon the fisherman.
"Yes, Lord," Peter replied, "you know I love you."
"Then feed my lambs," Jesus told him. (John 21:15; NLT).
Jesus asks this question three times of Peter, and when Peter answers that he does love Jesus, Jesus gives him the responsibility of taking care of Jesus' followers. Peter felt unworthy of any task Jesus had for him to do, after all he was the one who denied knowing Jesus. Yet, Jesus comes to Peter and gives Peter a task, and the only prerequisite for the task is Peter's love for Jesus.
Yes, we have sin in our lives which we are truly sorry about, and there are times in our lives when we feel inadequate for the task at hand, but that doesn't matter to Jesus. What matters to Jesus is our love for Him. Jesus is anxious about working through us to impact the world, but the only way He can work through us is if we love Him. If we don't love Jesus then He will not be able to use us to make a difference in the world.
We may not believe we have what it takes, but if we take time to listen to what Jesus is saying He is affirming that we have what it takes. It isn't about the perfect life or tons of talent, it is about our love for Jesus. It is our love for Jesus which makes us usable in His Kingdom.
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