"There is no fear in love; but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment; and the one fearing has not been perfected in love." John 4:18
One of the most meaningful accounts just after Jesus is crucified and has risen from the dead is when Jesus appears to the disciples on the beach after fishing all night and catching nothing. Peter, as we know has denied Him not once, but three times as Jesus told him he would. The agony this disciple must have felt, because if there is one thing you cannot doubt is that Peter loved Jesus. His actions spoke louder than his words.
"Therefore the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." So when Simon Peter heard it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on and threw himself into the sea." John 21:7
Clearly, Peter had been perfected in the love of Jesus, because even with his bitter failures he jumped out of the boat into the water to swim to His Lord and Savior–not away from Him. His love for Jesus was greater than his fear of failure.
Oh that we might learn from Peter what to do in our failures and sins. Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection has everything to do with forgiveness. Not only does He enable us to be forgiven and cleansed from all our failures and unrighteousness, but we are empowered to forgive others through the Holy Spirit.
"And when He had said this, He breathed upon them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they will be forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any they will be retained."
What a penetrating, profound statement! As we celebrate the greatest sacrificial act of love ever performed let us remember our responsibility to Him. This is the last verse prayed in John 17 by Jesus to His Father just before His arrest as He was interceding for us:
"And I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which you loved Me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:21
May we carry these truths with us not only this time of year, but on a daily basis. We all fail. We all are hurt and hurt others at times. But let us run to our Savior for healing and forgiveness. Then let us release others from their sins as we have been forgiven. Then let us fulfill Jesus prayer to the Father:
"So that the love with which Your loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
In His love.
A lovely view outside my bedroom window this morning. After multiple storms, high winds and rain the calm was welcomed and the patch of blue sky was savored before before more clouds moved in an covered it. It reminded me in the storms of life the darkness cannot overtake the light and love of God any more than the dark clouds can eliminate the beautiful blue just above them. We shall always triumph through Christ Jesus. Truth shall always prevail no matter the temporal circumstances in our lives.