Where’s Our Focus: Past Mistakes or Future Promises?
Delivered By
Pastor David Bauknight
Delivered On
April 27, 2017
Central Passage
2 Corinthians 5:17

     In John 21, we read the story about Jesus appearing to the disciples early one morning. It was just days after the Resurrection. They were out fishing and hadn't caught a thing. Though they didn’t recognize Him, He called to them from the shore, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." (Verse 6) So they did, and a miracle happened. They caught fish. So many infact, that they were "unable to haul the net in because of the large number..."Our God is The God of miracles. It was this miracle that enabled Peter to recognize the person on the beach was Jesus. The best part is that Jesus had gone before them, and He'd already prepared a fire with fish and bread for them. He'd been there waiting. He invited them to bring some of their fish and "come and have breakfast" (Verses 10-12). Over a fire and some food, He had a heart to heart talk with Peter. Three times He asked Peter if he “really” loved Him. He was referring to the kind of love that involves self-sacrifice and the willingness to give all. This kind of love also involves deep faithfulness, commitment, strong character, and active expression.

     Remember, Jesus had previously called Peter “the rock." Peter was the one who had claimed he would never deny Christ, yet denied him three times in the courtyard before Jesus’ journey to the cross. We know him as impulsive or fearful at times, yet strong and bold at other times. That morning Peter was probably not feeling much like a "rock" as he sat with Jesus, defeated and guilt- ridden. He likely had a sense of failure hanging over his head as he rehearsed what he'd done, beating himself up, and possibly living under the weight of the "what if's." Now once again, Peter finds himself by a fire. I wonder if he was reminded about the other fire that warmed him as he had denied Christ? This time, however, Jesus pulled up a seat, sat with him, ate with him, talked with him, and got right to the heart of the matter.

    Three times Peter had denied Him, and now three times Jesus asked Peter of his love before recommissioning him into a life of service and purpose. Jesus forgave. He instilled hope and gave Peter instructions to follow, serve, love, tend to, and care for believers. Jesus gave him a renewed purpose and vision in the midst of deep regret, guilt, and shame. WOW! Peter’s slate was wiped clean. He was given a fresh start. Jesus gave a deeper purpose and calling to press on, leaving the past behind and walking more faithfully in the future. 

     My dear friends, this is who our GOD is! He’s the One who is Mighty in miracles, loving, forgiving and kind. He’s the One who waits for us and speaks to our hearts. He gives us a calling and never allows our defeat and failures to have the final word in this life. It doesn’t matter where we’ve walked, what we've been through, or where we find ourselves today. We are assured that He is ALWAYS ABLE. He can turn around every wrong road we've taken and get us back on course, making us stronger than before. He can use every failure or defeat, and turn it around for good. You see, all this takes place because that's God’s nature.

     With God’s encouragement we can press forward. He has great opportunities ahead that offer great blessing and purpose. He makes all things new! In our Savior, Jesus, we are more than any mistake of our past. Christ calls us out, and He wants us to move forward. He redeems and sets us free. We can let go of the guilt and hurt that hovers close and start spending our time on the "right side of the boat," where there is blessing and goodness still in store. He waits for us every morning, offering food for our spirits from His Word and calling us to a life of love. Thank Him today for the fresh start He offers.

Praising Jesus for “all things,"

Pastor David.