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He Looked Beyond My Fault And Saw My Need

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He Looked Beyond My Fault And Saw My Need

The Apostle Peter is one of my favorite characters in the Bible.

Fishermen – rough – ready-aim-fire type of a guy.

            I see him as a man’s man

            He would have had the coolest and fastest car

            The police would have known Peter and his car

Jesus called him to be a Fisher of men – and he left everything to follow.

During his years with Jesus:

He was the leader of the Disciples.

He was part of the inner core of disciples:  Peter, James, John

He spoke when no one else would

            Sometimes He spoke words that could only be given by God

  • Mat 16:13  When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
  • Mat 16:14  They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
  • Mat 16:15  "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
  • Mat 16:16  Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
  • Mat 16:17  Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
  • Mat 16:18  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
  • Mat 16:19  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

            Sometimes He spoke before he thought

  • Mat 16:21  From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
  • Mat 16:22  Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"
  • Mat 16:23  Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
  • Mat 16:24  Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
  • Mat 16:25  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
  • Mat 16:26  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

Yet sometimes what we remember Peter for is what he did on the night Jesus was betrayed. 

            He denied Jesus three times.

            The Last time Jesus looked him straight in the eyes.

                        Could you imagine how Peter must have felt?

                        Could you imagine the hopelessness that must have overshadowed Peter?

I want to pick up the story of Peter in John 21

           

John 21:1  Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way:

John 21:2  Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.

John 21:3  "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

John 21:4  Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

John 21:5  He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered.

John 21:6  He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

John 21:7  Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.

John 21:8  The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.

John 21:9  When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

John 21:10  Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."

John 21:11  Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.

John 21:12  Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord.

John 21:13  Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.

I love it:  This is Peter at his best –

            He couldn’t wait to get to shore – so he jumped out of the boat and swam

            The last time he had seen Jesus – he had denied him

            Now he couldn’t deny that Jesus was risen.

Bring some fish – Peter was the one who ran to the boat to get the fish – 153 – he carried the net himself – Can you see Peter sitting there counting them out – laughing –

How could he be laughing after what he had done.

He knew there was hope!!  - Jesus was alive!!

           

After they ate – Jesus speaks to Peter directly

            Do you love me – feed my sheep

            3 times Peter denied Jesus – three times Jesus re-enforces that He could still use Peter.

Peter needed to be forgiven

Peter needed something to live for

            He held the keys to the kingdom

            First to Preach the resurrected Lord on the Day of Pentecost

            First to preach to the Gentiles

Peter needed sacrifice for

John 21:18  I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."

John 21:19  Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

This was a prophecy of the way in which Peter would die.

Peter was eventually crucified in Rome under Nero around the same time Paul was.

At his own request he was crucified upside down because he considered himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus.

We are all like Peter in some ways aren’t we.

  • We need to be forgiven
  • We need a Purpose in life beyond the routine of life
  • We need something we can sacrifice for.

As we begin our Anniversary Celebration

I want to tell you about our forefathers.

They sacrificed a lot to start a church in Malaga.

            Read from the life of Brother Dell’Aringa

When they started the church in Malaga it was not popular for Italians to be anything other than Roman Catholic.

They were considered a cult – often they would leave church to find their cars or church vandalized in the most vile of ways.

But they would not give up or give in even though Brother Dell’Aringa has stated that his most difficult experience in ministry was discouragement and the temptation to quit.

These men and women who founded our church were men and women of God who had found forgiveness and purpose and someone they were willing to sacrifice for.

Where would we be if they had not sacrificed?

What about us?

Should the Lord tarry what will our children and grandchildren say about us.

Will they say we had everything we ever wanted but not what we really needed.

            We love baby dedications and baby blessings

            But there is no magic that happens

            You want to bless your children – bring them to church – teach them about Jesus by how you live your life – Give them a heritage and history of faithfulness to the things of God. 

May they on the 100th – 110th – 120th – 170th – see us as people who carried on the work that was established long ago. 

People who were forgiven

People of purpose

People who were willing to sacrifice

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