Session 1 – Week 2 – Day 3

26 07 2006

John 21

Why was this conversation between Jesus and Peter so crucially important? What does it suggest about Jesus’ attitude to failure and the way in which Peter himself responded to his failure? Is there any sense in which you have failed God and need to assure him of your love for him and willingness to serve him despite your failures? (Don’t manufacture a failure for the sake of it!)

I see a couple of things in this conversation. First, I see that Jesus explains to Peter that God will use each person for their own unique and specific purpose. We are not to worry about other people’s purpose in life but to focus on ours. The second thing that stood out to me is that once Peter told Jesus that he loved him, Jesus told him to care for his sheep. In fact, Jesus did this three times in this passage. Jesus was explaining to Peter that as a person who loved Jesus and was willing to follow him, he must care for others. He must put others before himself.

Jesus knew that Peter was a sinner and would fail. As an example. he knew that Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. Peter did not fully understand this concept at this time, would be my thought. This means that Jesus was forgiving of failures but wanted people to learn and to grow. He wanted people to learn from their mistakes. He was giving Peter instructions because he knew that Peter was going to be instrumental in sharing the good news.

Again, Peter was a sinner. As I recall the previous day’s quiet time where Peter denies Christ three times after telling him that he would rather die than deny him even once, I think about Peter’s mouth seemingly moving faster than his brain (hey, I can relate to that…). In this situation, he has just been given instructions/commands from Jesus and then turns and asks “Hey, Jesus… what about this guy? Does he have to do the same thing?” What in the world was he thinking?!

From a personal failure perspective, a few things come to my mind again. 1) Prayer time with the Lord — I don’t think I spend enough time talking with the Lord and this is a huge failure on my part; 2) Family time in the Word — I don’t spend enough time with my family reading, studying and talking about the Word; 3) My witness when around non-Christian friends/co-workers is suboptimal. Instead of showing others love, I gossip and talk bad about people. I have conversations that are nothing more than idle chit-chat. This is not rewarding to the Lord and is a failure on my part to give God the glory He deserves.


Have you known a time of uncertainty and waiting, possibly following a time of humiliation or emotional turmoil? Have you anguished over the need to make a decision about the future? What reassurance can you find from Jesus’ conversation with Peter than God does not abandon those whom he loves, whom he intends to use in the future? If you are in such a period at the moment, pray for yourself in the light of what you have read, and for any others that you know in such a situation.

As my family searches for a new house so we can help with a new church plant, I think the uncertainty and stress around selling, and buying, a home is difficult. It is hard to remember to go before the Lord for direction and wisdom. While I will do this for “big” decisions, I struggle with the minor details and making sure I am bringing these things before the Lord. Luckily, the struggle we were having, as a family, around going to this church plant was a prayer answered by the Lord in quiet time. Praise God for that!

Jesus made it clear to Peter that he still had things to do for the Lord. This is reassuring as I think about some of the mistakes Peter made. I am sure I would have done exactly what Peter did, if not worse. I am so appreciative of the fact that the Lord knows everything and is able to compensate for my inabilities. In fact, God has a plan for me in this world to do something for Him. While that is hard at times to swallow because of my sin nature, I know that God is great and He can work miracles — even through me.

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Session 1 – Week 2 – Day 3

26 07 2006

Reading: John 21


More characteristics of Peter:

  • Excited to see the Lord (jumped out of the boat – v.7)
  • Strong (drug the net full of fish ashore – v.11)
  • Loves the Lord (vv.15-17)
  • Will die a martyrs death (v.18-19)
  • Curious** (v.21)

** how I am like Peter


Why was this conversation between Jesus and Peter so crucially important? What does it suggest about Jesus’ attitude to failure and the way in which Peter himself responded to his failure? Is there any sense in which you have failed God and need to assure him of your love for him and willingness to serve him despite your failures? (Don’t manufacture a failure for the sake of it!)

The thing that struck me about this conversation, as opposed to the last one that we studied was that this time, Peter claimed his love for Jesus three times, rather than deny him three times. What I found odd, however, is that Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him so many times. Mind you, I’m sure that I would have felt the exact same way. (after all, I don’t like it when someone asks me the same question twice, much less three times! Chances are, the answer isn’t going to change!) But, that’s really not the point – the point that I saw was that even though Peter had denied him previously, Jesus still loves Peter and wants him to take care of his sheep (believers). Despite Peter’s failure, Jesus love for him never changed, and he wanted to make sure that Peter understood that.

I can (unfortunately) think of many times when I have failed God and honestly felt unworthy of the love that he gives me. Love can be one-sided, and I want God to know that even though I fail him, I love him more than I can possibly put into words. The problem is, I know how I am when I fail someone that I love. I am ashamed; I cannot look them in the eye. Peter felt that shame as soon as he realized what he had done in denying Jesus. I can only imagine the magnitude of that shame. I have felt that shame and desire for God to know how much I love him a few times… certain situations that have happened in my life that, if the same situations arose, I am certain that my choices would have been different. But I came to the Lord with my shame long ago and told him how much I love him and want to be used by him. Maybe someday in the future, he’ll turn that shame into His glory. I can only hope!!


Have you known a time of uncertainty and waiting, possibly following a time of humiliation or emotional turmoil? Have you anguished over the need to make a decision about the future? What reassurance can you find from Jesus’ conversation with Peter than God does not abandon those whom he loves, whom he intends to use in the future? If you are in such a period at the moment, pray for yourself in the light of what you have read, and for any others that you know in such a situation.

I’m in one right now! I’m so ashamed of an honest, overlooked mistake that could be potentially costing our family thousands of dollars and because of it, we’re in a state of uncertainty as to what the outcome will be. The wonderful thing about the whole situation is that, despite my huge mistake, those who are affected haven’t put the blame on me or made me feel like I’m stupid for having done this. The even better thing is that it has really opened my eyes to how the enemy works, too. We’re in the middle of situating ourselves to move and help start up a new church, so we’re in the cross-hair’s of the enemy’s rifle. He’s been shooting at us left and right, hitting us from every angle (primarily monetarily, because he knows that is where we’re trying to focus our efforts to support the new church and our current church’s final fruits offering right now!). The thing that gets me is that this mistake actually happened over a year ago (long before we even knew about the church plant that we are involved in), yet the issue didn’t surface until just after we had committed ourselves to the new church. Coincidence?? I should think NOT! The enemy wants to use these times of humiliation and turmoil to turn away from God, for us to question why God would do this to us. Yes, God allows it, I have no doubt in my mind. But I know that God is using this to show us that He is here for us, that we can always lean upon Him, to remind us of our dependence upon Him. I love it when He reminds me of that, because it takes the burden off of me!!

Peter’s conversation is so uplifting because even during these times, when I mess up and get mad at myself and entertain that thought to wonder why God lets it happen when I’m trying to do good… I still love Jesus. And Jesus still loves me. He has big plans for me and He wants me to remember that.





Session 1 – Week 2 – Day 1

24 07 2006

Luke 5:1-11 and John 1:3-42


List biographical details of Peter. In what ways do you see yourself in Peter?

Biographical details:

  • Fisherman (vv. 2,3)
  • Trusting (v.5)**
  • Willing to depend on others for help (v.7)
  • Sinful (v.8)**
  • Aware of the Lord’s presence (v.8)
  • Willing to leave everything to follow the Lord (v.11)
  • Brother of Andrew (v.40)
  • Simon, Son of John (v.42)

** Ways that I am like Peter


Peter followed Jesus voluntarily. But how had Jesus demonstrated that he was greater than Peter and worth following? In your own words, how did Peter respond to Jesus’s authority?

After a long night of fishing and catching nothing, Jesus took them out to cast their nets once more, and they hauled in so many fish that it was causing the nets to rip and their boats to sink!! Jesus demonstrated to them that he was Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Provides), and told them that he would make them fishers of men.

Peter recognized Jesus for who He was and responded to His authority by falling to his knees and declaring himself not worthy to be in the Lord’s presence because he was such a sinful man. But that was the beauty of the Messiah – men like Peter were exactly why He was sent!!


Can you think of any who have such a limited view of Jesus, that they don’t see the point in following him? How can you help them to see Jesus as he really is? (It may be that that they are so proud and so blind that they are unable to recognize something of this greatness). Pause to pray for them now.

So many…! I always tend to think of people who don’t view the Bible as accurate and historical, so they don’t believe that most of the Gospel written about him is actually true. They see him as just a good teacher, a moral person, someone to model ourselves after. The one common thread that that I’ve noticed in these situations (true or not) is that they have either been so turned off by “Bible thumpers” trying to cram righteousness down their throats that they’ve turned-heal and headed in the exact opposite direction, or that they’re very scientific people who need to see cold, hard fact and mathematical certainty to accept something as truth.

The only way that I know to help those kinds of people see Jesus as he really is is by living my life for Him, by turning to Jesus during times of struggle and letting others know that no matter what happens in my life, I know that Jesus is my rock and my salvation. On the outside looking into our lives right now, I can see how someone might think that things are pretty bleak right now (with some of the ways that the enemy has attacked us in the past few months), but I only count these things as blessings from the Lord!! God has been continually blessing us in so many ways, and changing our hearts to see the good in a bleak situation. And I praise Him for that, and hope that others can see God’s glory shine through us during these kinds of times. That is how I try to help people see Jesus for who he really is!!





Session 1 – Week 2 – Day 1

24 07 2006

Luke 5:1-11; John 1:35-42

List biographical details of Peter. In what ways do you see yourself in Peter?

  • Fisherman
  • Trusted the Lord
  • Humble
  • Recognized his sinful nature
  • Feared the Lord
  • Known and loved by Jesus

Like Peter, I recognize my sin nature. I realize that I am evil and, separate from Jesus, there is nothing I do that pleases the Lord. As I think about Peter and how he feared the Lord, I am not sure if we are alike in this or not. I am certainly aware of God’s mighty and power but I am not convinced that in my daily walk I am truly fearful of the Lord. Too often, I am caught up in my own priorities and issues to worry about fearing Him. Obviously, this is a very bad habit I am going to have to work on. Luckily, the Lord is with me and will help me. I am still working on the humility aspects of my life, as well.


Peter followed Jesus voluntarily. But how had Jesus demonstrated that he was greater than Peter and worth following? In your own words, how did Peter respond to Jesus’s authority?

Peter had been fishing all night but was unable to catch any fish. Jesus tells them to go back out and put out their nets. After obeying, they catch so many fish that they begin to break their nets. Then, with two boats, the Word tells us that their boats began to sink from the load of carrying so many fish. Jesus also spoke with authority. He knew Peter by name (Simon) when he first met him. Peter was humble with respect to Jesus’s authority. He referred to Jesus as “master”. He also left his job as a fisherman to follow Jesus the rest of his days.


Can you think of any who have such a limited view of Jesus, that they don’t see the point in following him? How can you help them to see Jesus as he really is? (It may be that that they are so proud and so blind that they are unable to recognize something of this greatness). Pause to pray for them now.

There are lots of people in modern day that do not know Jesus. They think of Jesus as a good man or a good teacher. While these things were true, these people are limiting Jesus Christ. While you can follow the teachings of one person, it is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and only believe that he was a prophet or a morally strog man. He preached that he was the son of God. That makes it pretty difficult to trust in him if you don’t believe that he was truly the Savior. A key way for me to help others see Jesus is by my own life. I can’t force anyone to believe that Jesus was the Savior by simply reading the Bible — only God can do that. I can live my life in a way that others want to know what is going on in my life that allows me to have the hope that I have or to act the way I do. In this way, I can show others Christ and then let the Lord do the real work.