Our Failures Are Not Fatal
October 21, 2008, 9:09 pm
Filed under: life, love, ministry, people, religion, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Man, that sure is good to know! I have definitely had my fair shares of failures and mistakes.  There have even been times when I have literally asked God, “Why haven’t you given up on me yet?” It is then that He reminds me of His love and grace and that in Him my failures are not fatal.

An awesome picture of this is seen in John 21. We’ll quickly go through a synopsis of the story and look at some really cool things Jesus does here; things that are easily missed if we’re not careful. For a deeper look at it and to hear a really awesome podcast out Ben Stuart‘s “On The Shore” on itunes.

Peter had denied Christ 3 times and at the 3rd time not only did the rooster crow but Jesus looked right at him dead in the eye. Can you imagine the gut punch that landed on Peter? He had failed. He did exactly what he said he would never do. He was a failure! He had blown it! What kind of disciple was he?

So what did he do? He went back to his old lifestyle. He returned back to his old career. After all he failed at being a disciple and this was the only other thing he knew. That is where these verses pick up.

The disciples are having no luck, they caught no fish, and here comes Jesus (they didn’t realize it was him though) and he tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. They do it and catch more fish than they know what to do with. The disciples realize that it is Jesus and without even waiting to row the boat in Peter dives into the water and swims to shore. He can’t wait to get to Jesus. Jesus is there by a charcoal fire cooking some fish and invites them to eat breakfast.

After they ate Jesus asks Peter the question most of us have heard about before. “Simon, Son of John, do you love me?” He asks Peter this 3 times and responds by saying, “Then feed my sheep!”

Things to notice:

This is the second time Peter was fishing and catching nothing and Jesus tells him to cast on the other side. The first time? When Jesus originally called Peter to follow Him.

Jesus was cooking on a charcoal fire when he invited them to eat. The only other time that a fire was specified as being a charcoal fire? When Peter was sitting around one when he denied Jesus.

Jesus asked Peter if He loved Him 3 times. Peter denied Christ 3 times.

Then as Peter was ready to give up and go back to fishing Jesus says, “Feed my sheep!” “Don’t go back to fishing, you have other things to be doing. Remember, I made you a fisher of men, not of fish! Feed my sheep!”

Peter had failed and failed big. He blew it and he knew it! It was over. He would just go back to his old life. But Jesus would have none of that. Peter went on to be the key figure in the birth of the early church. He made stands for Christ that are unnatural. When he thought he was finished, Jesus said, “It hasn’t even really started!” His failure was not fatal and neither are ours.

Have you failed lately? Have you been struggling with a failure or failures? Has that little voice in your head said, “it’s over, you screwed it up! Just give up and go back!”? If so, listen as God says “It’s not over. I love you. I forgive you. I want to use you! I am not giving up on you so you don’t give up!”


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