Pastor Jim Alblas
Pioneer Christian Reformed Church
Cedarfield Community Center • 3592 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs
Cedarfield Community room
On a few occasions in my life I’ve made the mistake of forgetting to roll up my car windows before a rainstorm. It’s always a terrible feeling to get ready to go somewhere only to realize that your seat is soaked! But sometimes in life the mistakes we make are much more serious. I’d like to share with you an example of a regrettable matter that came from Peter, one of Jesus disciples.
When Jesus had been arrested and led on a series of early morning trials, Peter followed from a distance to see what would happen to his master. Peter saw Jesus beaten, slapped, spit on, insulted and told that He was worthy of death. Soon after, someone noticed Peter watching all of this and questioned whether or not he was one of Jesus disciples, but Peter said no. A little while later another person questioned him about this and again he denied any connection to Jesus. A third time Peter was accused in this way and a third time he disassociated himself from Jesus. Peter’s disowning of Jesus was very sad, especially when we consider how well he did know Jesus and how much Jesus had done with and for Peter. It’s no surprise, then, that immediately afterwards Peter went out and wept bitterly in regret.
For many of us, we can identify with Peter’s experience. Certainly, we have all done things to hurt others, even people that we love. And perhaps, like with Peter, we feel very guilty about it. Maybe it’s hard for us to enjoy these nice sunny days we’ve had because we still dwell on our mistake. Is there any hope for mistake-prone people who do regrettable things? The answer is yes.
After His trials, death upon the cross and eventual resurrection from the dead, Jesus made it a point to talk with Peter knowing what he had done. Three times Jesus asked the question “Peter, do you love me?” Perhaps Jesus asked him three times as a reminder of how Peter had denied Him three times. When Peter answered yes, Jesus told him to Feed His Sheep and take Care of His Lambs. Jesus probably didn’t have any real sheep or lambs, but he was speaking figuratively. What Jesus was communicating to Peter was that He wanted him to work as a shepherd, caring for the spiritual and material needs of people. That Jesus offers Peter this job showed that Peter was forgiven and there was still a future for him. As it turned out, Peter’s regrettable actions were not the end of him, but rather a turning point for something special heading forward.
In the same way, our mistakes don’t have to be the end of us. When we confess our sins to God, when we repent of our regrettable ways, The Lord offers His forgiveness to us, and, a bright outlook for future service to Him. Don’t dwell on your mistakes and stay trapped; instead, dwell on The Lord’s grace and use that as a springboard to do better and brighter things for Him moving forward.