All Posts Tagged: Peter

The Vineyard – Peter, A Pruned Branch

 

Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret,
teaching the people as they crowded around him to hear God’s message.

Near the shore he saw two boats left there by some fishermen
who had gone to wash their nets.
Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon
and asked him to row it out a little way from the shore.
When Jesus had finished speaking, he told Simon,
“Row the boat out into the deep water and let your nets down to catch some fish.”
“Master,” Simon answered, “we have worked hard all night long and have not caught a thing.
But if you tell me to, I will let the nets down.”

They did it and caught so many fish that their nets began ripping apart.
Then they signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them.
The men came, and together they filled the two boats so full that they both began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this happen, he knelt down in front of Jesus and said,
“Lord, don’t come near me! I am a sinner.”

Peter and everyone with him were completely surprised at all the fish they had caught.
Jesus told Simon, “Don’t be afraid!
From now on you will bring in people instead of fish.

The men pulled their boats up on the shore.
Then they left everything and went with Jesus.
Luke 5:1-12



And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock.
This is the rock on which I will put together my church,
a church so expansive with energy
that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.

Matthew 16:17-19

 

Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples
that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem,
submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed,
and then on the third day be raised up alive.
Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!
Matthew 16:20-22

 

 Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me,
like chaff from wheat. Simon,
I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out.
When you have come through the time of testing,
turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.”
Luke 22:31-32

 

 Peter told Him, “Even if everyone runs away, I will certainly not!”
“I assure you,” Jesus said to him, “today, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times!”
But he kept insisting, “If I have to die with You, I will never deny You!”
And they all said the same thing.
Mark 14:29-31

 

They seized Him, led Him away, and brought Him into the high priest’s house.
Meanwhile Peter was following at a distance.

They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together,
and Peter sat among them.
When a servant saw him sitting in the firelight,
and looked closely at him, she said, “This man was with Him too.”
But he denied it: “Woman, I don’t know Him!
After a little while, someone else saw him and said, “You’re one of them too!”
Man, I am not!” Peter said. About an hour later, another kept insisting,
“This man was certainly with Him, since he’s also a Galilean.”
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed.
Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter.
So Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him,
“Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.”
And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Luke 22:54-62

 
 
When Jesus and his disciples had finished eating, he asked,
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than the others do?”
Simon Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I do!”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus said.
Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”
“Then take care of my sheep,”
Jesus told him.Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him three times if he loved him.
So he told Jesus, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”
John 21:15-18
 

Monster of Life – The enemy of Jesus

 

 

The thief’s purpose is to steal, destroy and kill.
My purpose is to give abundant life.

John 10:10

Watch one evening of local, national and international news. EVIL is on the move before our eyes!

The Manual identifies the source of evil: “Jesus turned to Peter and said, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You’re in My way!’” (Matthew 16:23) Even Wikipedia says, “Satan is … an angel (spirit being) who rebelled against God. His goal is to lead people away from (backwards) the love of God; i.e., to lead them to evil.”

The word ‘evil’ is the word ‘live’ spelled backwards” (The Way, E. Stanley Jones, p25) Though possessing a reverse gear, an automobile is designed to move forward. Imagine a person, ignoring a car’s design, driving down the expressway in reverse! Destruction guaranteed!

 

Jesus came to give you “abundant life” … ultimate satisfaction, fulfillment and happiness! On the other hand Satan tempts you 24/7 to choose REVERSE. His “purpose is to steal, destroy and kill” (John 10:10) every feature of Father’s design for your life.

Satan has many strategies, so “put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11)  However, his primary tool is deception: Your father, the devil, is the father of lies.” (John 8:44)  “The ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth …(Revelation 12:9)

ISIS confronts people with a choice: “follow us or die!” Satan is no less atrocious with his demands! But remember; he’s a liar! Only Jesus is “the Way to the Truth about Life!” (John 14:6).

Have you become attached to him yet? “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.”(John 3:16)

The Vineyard – The Master’s Business

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.
Instead, I have called you friends, for everything
that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
  I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—
and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
John 15:15-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the beginning …” (Genesis 1:1) Father started a manufacturing business (for those into theology it’s called “the Kingdom”!). Every manufacturer has the same MO: MULTIPLICATION. For example, in 2016 Apple sold its one billionth iPhone. McDonald’s sells“more than 75 hamburgers per second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day of the year.” That’s multiplication!

“‘Then God said, ‘Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then PRODUCE the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.’ And that is what happened.'” (Genesis 1:11-12Then God said, ‘Let the earth PRODUCE every sort of animal, each PRODUCING offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened.(Genesis 1:24-25)  Finally, humankind is created. “So God created human beings in his own image, male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, ‘BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY. ‘” (Genesis 1:28)

 

Sometime later a deadly virus caused a massive product defect. (Genesis 3:1-7) The Creator quickly responded with a product recall. (Genesis 3:8-13) To fix the problem Father chose an antiviral drug called GRACE! (Ephesians 2:8) Due to its exorbitant cost, humankind was unable to pay a dime for the medication So, the Father flipped the bill (1 Peter:1:18-20). That’s why John Newton, the hymn composer, wrote:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.

To commence the therapeutic process God began with a trial group, the Jewish race. Nothing special about this group except that Jesus was to come through that hereditary line. Similar to many medications Father began with a small, test dose to prepare for that which was to come. Finally, the Great Physician (Mark 2:17) arrived to deliver the requisite dose.

But it was our sins that ripped and tore and crushed him!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get
healed.
Isaiah 53:4-6

 

It may appear that I got sidetracked from the subject of multiplication. Not so! “The Gospel is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ.” (Bonhoeffer) Here’s Jesus’ grace-filled call to the disciples to become his business partners! 

“When Jesus finished teaching, he said to Peter,
‘Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.’
Peter said, ‘Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow.
But if you say so, I’ll let o
ut the nets.’
It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity.
They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them.
They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch.
When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Peter and everyone with him. 
Jesus said to Peter ‘There is nothing to fear.
From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.'”
They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him.
LUKE 5:1-11


 

Faith and facts

Abraham went on hoping in faith, relying on the promise of God that he would become “the father of many nations”.  With undaunted faith he looked at the facts: his own impotence and his Sarah’s barrenness. Yet he refused to allow any distrust of God to make him waver. He drew strength from his faith, absolutely convinced that God was able to implement His own promise.  Romans 4:18-21

Many suppose that belief is contrary to reason, that to believe one must bury one’s head in the sand; you know, blind faith. After all, faith and facts don’t mix. Well, the story of Abraham and Sarah indicates otherwise (cf. Mechanics of Life). Note the words—“he looked at the facts.” The Greek word means: 1) to consider from the bottom to the top; 2) to concentrate by fixing one’s thinking; 3) to perceive clearly; and 4) to understand fully and closely. So, at least in the Manual faith looks facts squarely in the eyes; BUT ….

Consider the Law of Gravity, simplified. There’s a force that draws objects to the center of the earth … unless another object of equal or greater force intervenes to inhibit the downward thrust. If you throw a ball in the air, it will drop to the earth unless you catch it in your hands. Your hands act as a greater force than the downward thrust of gravity. Similarly, faith confronts facts with greater potency, rendering the facts weak, comparatively speaking.

These were the indisputable facts: Abraham was impotent and Sarah was barren. According to the laws of physiology the odds of having a child were ABSOLUTELY ZERO! “Yet Abraham drew strength from his faith, absolutely convinced that God was able to implement His own promise.” When Old Abe was confronted by the downward thrust of the facts (impotence and barrenness), he injected the promise of Father that “he would become the father of many nations.” The power of faith trumps the laws of nature (review Peter’s water-walking.) Please don’t think this vulgar or crude—it’s reality according to the Manual!—Abraham’s insertion of faith produced physical insertions for twenty five years!

As is often the case, if the facts of your life are exceedingly downward, please consider: “Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company… You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope!” (John Piper)

Troubleshooting

My wife’s sewing machine Instruction Booklet has a Troubleshooting section: condition, cause, reference page. For example, “the needle thread breaks.” Six possible causes along with reference pages are listed. The manufacturer assumes two facts: minor glitches may happen and the consumer can be guided to and through a solution.

Here’s a classic troubleshooting section of the Bible: “If we admit our sins, He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.” Notice—our Father assumes that we’ll screw up. “The Lord is as kind to His followers as a father is to his children. He knows we are made of dust.”[1] Case in point: Peter. In the Upper Room Peter said, “Master, I’m ready for anything with You. I’d go to jail for You. I’d die for You!” However, in the Courtyard a few hours later he crumbled: “I don’t even know the Man!”

If we admit our sins….” The first step in problem solving is identifying and admitting the problem. Step One of Alcoholics Anonymous is: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol…” If the problem is objective, acknowledgment is rather easy. However, it’s a different story if the malfunction is personal. Did you ever watch a young child in the throes of owning a failure? It can be rather humorous.

“He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.” The Screw-Up in Luke 15 experienced this firsthand. “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned ….’ But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. We’re going to celebrate!’”