04-01-07

It seems to me that we are pretty quick to give up on people.  As long as the ballplayer hits homers, we cheer.  But the moment he goes into a batting slump, the cheers turn to jeers.  TV shows like “American Idol” and “Survivor” hone our skills of dumping losers and voting them off the island.  It creeps into relationships as friends part ways or marriages dissolve.  And I’m afraid that for some of us, we think this same mentality must exist in our relationship with God.  We’re just waiting for Him to give us the big cosmic boot for that last stupid thing we did. Beloved, God is not like us. The God who is full of mercy and slow to anger is the God that loves each of us.  And He doesn’t give up too quickly.

Here’s a case in point.  Jesus warned Peter that Peter was going to deny Jesus.  And even though Peter promised that he would never stumble, Peter turned around and denied Jesus not once, but three times.  And to make things worse, Jesus was right there when Peter did it.  We might expect Jesus to proclaim Donald Trump’s famous words, “You’re fired”, but Jesus makes no such pronouncement.  In fact, after the resurrection, Jesus tracks down Peter to make sure that Peter knows that he is not only still employed by Jesus, but loved as well.  Three times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him.    “Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep” (John 21:17 NKJV).  Yes, you might have failed Him, but He’s not giving up on you.  He still loves you.  And He wants you to follow and serve Him.