Do you remember when you first gave your heart to Jesus? You gave him it all even though you most likely did not know what that meant at the time. Maybe you followed him for a couple of years learning what He was all about, but one day it just felt like he left you, or something you heard made you question why you were even involved with him. You are not alone in this, almost all believers have this time in their lives. It was the same for the disciples.
“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting their nets into the sea; for they were fisherman. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ The immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Matt 4:18-20
We see here the moment Peter and Andrew left their lively hood. The reason the word their is italicized I believe is to emphasise the fact that these men owned the nets, they were not just some workers who left their job owned by someone else. They left everything they owned behind to follow this man who, like most new believers, didn’t know a lot about. Over the next three years they learned much about who Jesus was, they say incredible miracles and were personally taught by Him. Peter even confessed Jesus to be the Son of God; “He said to them ’But who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” Matt 16:15-16. So here we see that Peter knew who Jesus was and loved Him, yet when things got tough Peter like all the other disciples ran away from God. When Jesus was arrested in the garden we read that they fled and we hear nothing more from them until after the resurrection. We, however, hear of Peter who denies Jesus three times when asked if he knew or was an associate of Jesus.
As we read about what happened to Peter we see that he like many believers went back to his old way of living. He returned back to what he thought he knew which was fishing, defeated and wonder why he had wasted his last three years. Jesus found Peter here in John 21, I encourage you to read the full story. In this second experience Peter became a different man then He was the first time he met Jesus. His confidence and knowledge of Jesus had changed. He was ready to become the man who God was calling Him to be, he was ready to change.
So today Jesus wants to invite you to see Him for who he truly is. The resurrected saviour who love you no matter if you decide that you no longer believe in Him. He is calling you back to do amazing things, you are important to God. If God can change a fisherman into a founder of the church what does He have in store for you? I can tell you from experience that God has called me from serving my country to serving as a Pastor, and it is scary the amount of work involved in this transition yet each step forward I fell confident in the calling. Not everyone is called to this path but you are called to something. Have you taken the time to ask him what it is? If not lets change that and ask him today.
Father, Peter is a beautiful example of your love and grace. He could have been easily dismissed for his actions yet you used him to build the early church. We cannot ignore that you use people to do amazing things if they would only submit to you and trust that your ways are much better then our ideas. I pray that if anyone reading this today asks for the direction that you will guide them to your plan for them. I know it may not be the full plan but get them started on a journey where they feel purpose and hope. Use your people to reach the lost, Holy Spirit provide us with the wisdom that only comes from you. We trust you, God, that you are in control so it is time for a change where your faithful step up to their callings. Use us. Amen