Luke 22:31-32 (NLT)
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
I identify Simon Peter! I believe that there are many that can or do as well.
In my youth Jesus called me to Himself. I responded and for a time all was right between the Lord and I.
Peter had that milestone in his relationship with Jesus. Here Jesus asks him…
Matthew 16:15-18 (CSB)
“But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
But then, I allowed things to draw my focus away from the path He had put me on, I took my eyes off of Jesus and as a result I wandered aimlessly in what the world dangled before my eyes.
Jesus told Peter later that he would deny Christ. Peter protested but the fact of the matter is…
John 18:17 (CSB)
Then the servant girl who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?”
“I am not.” he said.
John 18:25-27 (CSB)
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”
He denied it and said, “I am not.”
One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Peter denied it again. Immediately a rooster crowed.
Years lost! Excuses made to myself and God. Every lie Satan fed me I swallowed up and it seemed like I would do anything but face the God that had called to me earlier. I had become my own god. Swallowed up in self-worship and distraction.
It left me hollow. Empty and tormented, attempting at every turn to deny just as Peter did the same Christ Jesus that had called me to His side years before.
Hitting bottom was where my rooster crowd.
I could run no more. He does pursue those He has called out to. There is no peace and contentment to be found while separated from He who beacons you to His side. The risen Christ sought out Simon Peter the denier as one of the very first of the 11 that he revealed himself to.
Luke 24:34 (CSB)
who said, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
His love is unyielding and with nothing more than a thread holding me I stretched my hand out to Him and He caught me! He pulled me back to Himself. My repentance and surrender was rewarded with a flood of Joy and Peace beyond description.
I was home again in the arms of my Savior!
Peter the rededicated wrote these words and they reflect the journey he traversed to be where the Lord wanted him. The rock on which Christ would build His Church!
1 Peter 2:1-5 (CSB)
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone—rejected by people but chosen and honored by God— you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood[e] to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
So yes, I identify with Peter. As a result, it are these words of Jesus that resounds with clarity and purpose.
Luke 22:31-32 (CSB)
“Simon, Simon, look out. Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
So it is for me, the mission, along with sharing His Gospel, The Good News; with others, till He takes me to live with Him ever more!
How many others can identify with Peter?