TOPIC: Peter: An Apostle of Love with Great Inspiration (2)
Opening Prayer: Open my eyes Oh Lord, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Word in Jesus name, I pray Amen!
KEY VERSE: “And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:” Ruth 1:16
Unfeigned love is measured in the time of crisis. Very few people survive this love test. Ruth, a gentile woman and of the descendants of Moab a cursed nation, dropped all that identified her with her people and embraced all that identified her with God’s people. She was resolute, poised and determined to hold unto her marital vows despite the dreary nights and gloomy days that were all indicators of doom.
Circumstances, tribal inclinations, dark moments and the death of her husband couldn’t influence her decision. Many waters indeed cannot quench love. Today, we shall look at Peter at the crisis period of his life.
- THE CRISIS: Mark 14:66-72; John 18:15-22, 24-27; 21:1-3, 15-17.
Peter began well like we all do. He had vowed never to forsake the Master. No doubt, there were trying times when he proved his absolute love, care and commitment to Jesus. However, at a time when his support and ability to rise to the defense of the master was most needed, he became self-protective unlike Ruth who fought vigorously and rigorously choosing to suffer persecution, humiliation, hardship and was ready to die with her mother in law. What a rekindled love even after the demise of her husband!
When Jesus was brought under the worst humiliation and at a time when all his disciples should rally round Him.
Peter suffered the worst setback. He openly rejected the same Jesus he vowed never to abandon telling his investigators that he does not understand what they are talking about.
He wept bitterly but it cannot be traced to a rekindled love because at the end of the weeping, we do not see any meaningful action taken by him.
He went back to pick up HIS NET which he had abandoned when he met Jesus. Matt 4:20. In the same way, there are so many people in the church today who have taken back the nets they once abandoned.
His backsliding was whole sale as he led a crack team of the disciples along with him back to the fishing business.
All the years and investments achieved in three and a half years of daily toiling with Jesus was thrown into the sea of fear, shame and backsliding.
- THE CONFIDENCE: John 21:15-17; Acts 2:14-19; 3:1-6; 4:13-15, 18-21; 5:38-42.
Like Peter, we have at one time or the other had our love for Christ come under attack and sometimes degenerates to the point of quitting the church. Despite the fall, Christ still had confidence in Peter. The encounter in John 21 and subsequent ones in Acts built an indispensable confidence in him with a unique rekindled love that no threat to life, amount of intimidation and even beating could stop. In his words of confidence reposed on Christ, his ideals and mission, he had this to say.
“And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted WORTHY TO SUFFER shame for his name.” Act 5:4.
When a man is truly in love he is ready to go to any extent just to see that the will of his master is done.
Have you sacrificed for Him?
What have you dropped, rejected or denounced as a result of your love for Him?
A story is told of a young Jehovah Witness university graduate who applied for a teaching job in a Christian school and made all the criteria required for employment. The employer was happy that his search criteria was met with excellence. However and very sadly, in the course of the oral interview, this young prospective teacher was told that he will have to comply with Pentecostal worship approach during staff and students’ devotion where we clap and dance. The young man proudly DECLINED THE JOB OFFER ON GROUNDS THAT HE CANNOT COMPROMISE HIS FAITH. Reflect on this and probably measure your love for Christ on this basis! What have you rejected because of your faith?
Thank you and God bless for joining Today’s Bible Study: Rekindle Your First Love (Pt. 3)