Thomasville Times Enterprise

Faith & values

March 15, 2014

God can use us despite our weaknesses

Do you have a favorite Bible character (besides Jesus!)? Is there one particular person you relate to perhaps more than others?

I can certainly relate to several very well.  Although David was called “a man after God's own heart” and he did many wonderful things, he also had a darker side that manifested itself on a regular basis throughout much of his life. Although he pursued God with relentless passion, writing many of the Psalms we read and sing, he also had times of self-centeredness.  He committed adultery with another man's wife, then had him killed so he could marry her. I see in my own life times of passionate devotion, but there are other times I don't even act like a Christian!

The person I can personally relate to the most is Peter. He was such a dichotomy. This was a man who was led by his passions and, as we observe him in action throughout the gospels and the book of Acts, we see a man who fell head over heels in love with Jesus and was willing to follow him wherever that might lead. Although Peter was a simple fisherman with little education, on the day of Pentecost, it was him that delivered such a powerful sermon to the crowd that gathered, that more than 3,000 souls were saved.

However, Peter was constantly finding himself in situations where that darker side manifested. He was one of three privileged to be in Jesus’ “inner circle” and experienced some things the others did not.  On the mountain of transfiguration, it was Peter who ignorantly said, “Let’s build three tabernacles” — always opening his mouth at the wrong time. He bragged that he was willing to die for Jesus, yet denied Him three times before the next morning had fully arrived. It was Peter who was in the boat in the storm, terrified like the rest of the disciples, but when Jesus came to them, said,”Lord, if it is You, bid me come.” He was the only one, other than Jesus, that ever walked on water, even though he allowed his fears to take his eyes off of Him long enough to begin to sink. 

Peter and a few of the other disciples were so discouraged after Jesus' death that they went back to fishing (at Peter's suggestion).  Then Jesus came to the shore line and spoke to them and it was Peter who recognized, “It is the Lord.” He immediately jumped into the water, not willing to wait until they brought the boat to shore!  Jesus personally met with Peter privately, after His resurrection, to restore him. By this time, Peter's arrogance had turned to remorse, as he realized what a weak person he really was. 

A man with enough passion for Jesus to wield a sword and cut off someone's ear, but within hours was denying that he even knew Jesus. However, unlike Judas, who also betrayed his Master, Peter repented and became one of the main instruments the Lord used in the forming of the early church.  What a dichotomy!

I can relate. It seems like my whole life, since I realized my need of a Savior at the age of 17 – has been like that.  Fervently in love with Him, yet succumbing to peer pressure and even doing things that would bring dishonor to Him.  Thank goodness for His grace and mercy.  Thank goodness He is a God who restores us when we “mess up.”

Thank God He can use us to do mighty things for Him in spite of our weaknesses and carnal tendencies. Never quit, never give up. He is not finished with you yet!!

 

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