18th July 2017

Forgiveness and Restoration

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1 (NKJV)

“I’ve really blown it now! I was chosen for a good job. I know I didn’t deserve it but He seemed to know better. And probably He did. There were twelve of us and we all came from different backgrounds. You would wonder how we all got on with each other but somehow we did.

Then what. He made me leader of this motley crew (Matthew 16:17-20). Why me? After all, I was the one who always put his foot in it. When Jesus came to us on the water I was the one who thought I could do the same. ‘O.K.,’ He said, ‘Come and join Me.’ But you can guess what happened next. I started to sink and He had to save me. ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ (Matthew 14:28-31). Still, He left me in charge of them.

Then I really blew it. They arrested Him and I got the chance to see what would happen. I managed to get in. It was cold so I warmed myself by the brazier. I’m not going to deny knowing You. But I did (Matthew 26:69-75).

I didn’t feel I could face Him now. On some occasions I had to, but what about the time when, after His resurrection, the angel said to Mary Magdalene, ‘Go and tell His disciples and Peter that He is going ahead of you to Galilee’ (Mark 16:7). I was mentioned separately. I felt no longer one of them. I decided to go back to my old job – fishing (John 21:3).

Then, guess what. He was on the beach, cooking breakfast. I jumped into the water and swam to shore. I wanted to heal the breach that I thought had opened up between us. But I didn’t need to. It was obvious that He had already forgiven me – He had already healed it.

But the best is yet to come. After breakfast He took me on one side and said, ‘Feed My lambs.’ Then, ‘Feed my sheep.’ And a third time, ‘Feed My sheep’ (John 21:15-17). I couldn’t contain myself any longer. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I realised that He was restoring my primacy.”

The above paraphrased telling of Peter’s story shows us that there’s so much we can learn from Peter and his relationship with Jesus. Especially the example of Jesus forgiving us before we have even sought His forgiveness. What a better world it would be if everyone realised that.

Prayer
Dear Lord and Father of mankind, thank you for having forgiven all my foolish ways. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Christopher Reeve

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About the Author:
Chris Reeve is assistant pastor of the Invicta (Blean) Congregation near Canterbury, which is part of Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God UK, where his wife, Hilary accompanies him.

Local Congregation:
Invicta Fellowship
Blean Village Hall
School Lane
Blean
CANTERBURY CT2 9JA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11.30 a.m.

Local Congregational Contact:
Mrs Annette Woods
Phone: 07473 188326
Email: annettewoods2@nhs.net

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