Tag Archives: Peter

Why Me Lord?

For the record, I’ve never ask that about the heart attack. I know full well why that happened. I like bacon. And all the other things in life that taste oh so good, but are the world’s worst choice. But I do quite often question God as to why He chooses me to be a part of His plan, why He tolerates my disobedience and stupidity and allows me to have such a wonderful life. Yes, heart attack and all, it’s wonderful. There are countless other people He could choose, and yet I’m among the 1 out of 12 that He chooses to use.

I don’t know if that’s a correct percentage but it sounded good. It’s not the 1 in 12 of humankind, it’s the 1 in 12 of the church. Which as I can see in previous experience is the bulk of most church people who serve. Although my home church Victory Baptist probably is blessed with a higher percentage than that. Studies show it’s 10% of the church that does 90% of the work. And there’s an abundance of work that nobody is doing at all. But off of that bad news let’s talk about why me, why you? Why does God continue to tolerate us?

Matthew 16:13-20 is where I got the 1 in 12 analogy.

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Emanuel’s eleven

When Jesus asked the question of the 12, “Who do men say that I am?” Eleven of His own men, who believed He was God, gave the world’s reasoning. “Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.” But when it came down to the question of who they say Christ is, none of the eleven responded. It wasn’t that God wasn’t using them in the ministry, that He didn’t have a plan for them. And this is only one glimpse of their story which is far greater than any story I’ll likely have. But I believe it is a glimpse of the church.

In most cases 11 out of 12 in any given congregation are willing to repeat what they’re told, but few are willing to go out on the limb and experience Christ for themselves. They love being spoon fed the word on Sunday morning, but few pick it up any other time throughout the week to experience the power of God in their life and hear what truth He would reveal if they’d but just step out of their comfort zone.

The disciples knew Jesus was God. Emanuel. In the flesh. They were saved! But Jesus, in the person of Christ is a depth of knowledge that can only be known by those willing to search past the world’s reasoning of faith. That’s where it often stops for me too at times, if I’m honest. I love the miracles! Shoot fire, I am one! But when it comes to the true life that Christ lived, His reasoning for coming; I’d rather go back and talk about the fun stuff. The disciples knew that the world didn’t get who Jesus was, but they hadn’t gotten it either. God’s plan was so much bigger than what the disciples had understood thus far.

Christ’s One

Peter. Oh I can relate with him on so many levels. Mainly just his failures. But I can also relate with his zeal. He was the one that when Christ ask “Who He was,” Peter quickly answered “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Whew and Glory! That ought to make you shout. Peter got it. He was Jesus’ star student for the day.

When I first got saved, and still yet today, I would seek men of God to listen and study and try to find the unmeasurable, unattainable depth of Jesus. He’s fun! I think of Peter like that. He wanted to experience all he could with his time with Christ. When God said get out of the boat, Peter jumped, and it was Peter who said “I’ll never deny you!” and I’m sure he meant it, but he did. Just like I do. I fail miserably. But this day Peter didn’t fail, and God gave Peter the most incredible gifts because he was willing to search deeper. He gave him a ministry, and He gave him the power to bind on earth and loose in Heaven!

We too can have that. But not without searching for the wisdom of Christ to go with it.

I can’t look at a Krispy Kreme donut and bind its power on earth without understanding that God’s got a sweeter treat for me in Heaven. Silly analogy but truth none the less. I have to look past the world’s reasoning and get a hold of Heaven. You do too. I’m glad you’re along for the journey, else you’d not take the time to read this chick’s blog.

I’m on the mend and hope to be on the road soon, singing and speaking for the cause of Christ. If you’d like me to come and share the Lord’s word, hit the message button and let’s talk!

Jesus Loves Us Anyway

Nobody is any more shocked than myself when I realize how God is using me for the Kingdom. I know me. I wouldn’t trust me with such a task as presenting the gospel! I’m sure there are times that I fail to remember what it is I’m doing when I write in this space in the name of Jesus. It is my goal to present my words in such a way that anyone who would stumble upon this blog would see the saving grace of Jesus Christ for whatever season of life they happen to be in. We just changed seasons a few weeks ago. What a welcome site the season of spring is to our weary cabin fevered souls, who long to be outside experiencing the sights, sounds and aromas of nature. Well, maybe not all aroma’s… skunks are a questionable creation. But had they not been created we’d never have grown up with the animated character of Pepé Le Pew. The French debonair lover who mistook a feminine feline for one of his own. The cat knew Pepé was a skunk because of his odiferous ways. But to Pepé, he smelled just fine! And such is man…

Most days, I think I’m just fine. And then I realize how very much I stink. I’m not at all who I want to be. I want to be that cool cat, well-seasoned Christian whose walk of faith is a light for all to see the pathway to salvation. But God knows me. I am not that cool cat. His word once again pierced my heart today as I read the last words of John 2:25 – for He knew what was in man.

My mind went immediately to the failures, the stinky moments in my life.  Why does God tolerate me?! Why did He allow me to be set before people as an illustration of what not to do? I don’t understand that any more than I understand why God made skunks. What role in life do they play? Well, it turns out, they serve many.

Skunks eat whatever they can scrounge, which includes insects, plant materials such as wild fruits, mice, and the eggs of birds that nest on the ground. Things that can damage our lawns and damage our homes. I’m sure there are other “non-googled” purposes that I am unaware of. That was just a few. But God gave me to know this morning there was a purpose in the skunk and there was a purpose in me.

As Jesus began His earthly ministry and began selecting His team, we discover that He knew them too. As Andrew brought his brother Simon Peter to Jesus, Jesus’ first words to Him in John 1:42 were Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”

Jesus not only called Peter by his present name, but tells him what his future name will be as well (referring to Matthew 16:18). Peter, a man of certain purpose, but he also had some pretty stinky times in his life.

  • He and the other disciples prevent children from coming to Jesus (Mark 10:17)
  • In selfish ambition he and the other disciples argued about who would be the greatest in Heaven (Mark 9:33)
  • Peter rebukes the Lord about His foretelling of death (Matthew 16:22)
  • Peter fell asleep as Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion (Matthew 26:40-45)
  • Peter publically denies being associated with Christ and cusses to those who accuse him (Matthew 26:69-75)
  • Peter leaves his apostleship and goes back to fishing (John 21:3)

Yet before and during all that Jesus refers to him as the rock. It is Peter that Christ comes to following His resurrection and instructs him three times “feed my lambs, feed my sheep, feed my sheep (John 21:15-17)

God knew that Simon would have some stinky moments in his life, but yet here I am in the year of 2017, almost 2,000 years later and I’m still talking about Peter and using him as an illustration of the love, patience and purpose of Christ Jesus in His life. Christ knew that too. I wonder if today Jesus and Peter are setting in Heaven and He says to Peter. “You thought you were messed up? Look at the life of Shari! And yet still I have purposes in her life that she’s about to discover!”

I wish I was better. I’m sure you wish you were too. But what you and I have to get a hold of is that even in the stinky times of life, Christ will be glorified if we allow the world to see that He loves the broken, stinky people. So like Peter, I will feed the lambs and the sheep in this place, in this season, till I am perfected in Him in Heaven.  

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. ~ John 2:23-25

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I’ll not complain when the power and blessings of the Holy Spirit bring unexplainable and unspeakable joys in my life for my service. But through the coercing of others in the ministry, who see my work as worthy, and the coercing of the Holy Spirit Who says “Through His blood I am worthy,” I have added a ministry donation button to this site. If you do not have, or do not feel inclined to give, then please don’t feel obligated. But if I have encouraged you and the Spirit speaks, your gift of any amount would be appreciated and honored by God.

I do what I do because I’m gifted and afforded the opportunity by grace and feel that I am accountable for the ministry that God has given. God has been enlarging my territory. For that I am grateful. But for that, there are expenses. Thank you for reading my blog. It encourages my soul, I pray I’ve encouraged yours!

What Prompted that?

The memory is a funny thing, not funny haha but in the peculiar sense of the word. Out of the blue I’ll have a crazy thought come into my mind, a blast from the past so to speak, and I’ll wonder what on earth prompted that thought. A flood of emotions often comes along with it and a renewed sense of happiness, sadness or fear depending upon the memory. Spiritually I do the same. Sometimes it’s a scripture I’ve read, or sermon I’ve heard; other times it’s a failure that I’ve committed and my heart twists and breaks again as if I’d just done it again. Other times I’ll grapple with remembering even the smallest of things and think I’ve lost my mind all together. That’s a pretty frequent occurrence.

One of my favorite bible characters that I identify with on so many levels (mostly of failure) is Peter. I “get” his “leap and the net will appear, speak before you think, I’ll never forsake you Lord” attitude. It really does define me.

Matthew 26:75 ~ And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Peter remembered his promise; he remembered the friend he said he’d be. And now look….what a mess he was in. What a failure. What a friend? Why could not his memory have failed him this time? Why did he have to recall that day when he had so boldly proclaimed his dedication to the Lord? Peter failed Christ just as we all do and God brings it to mind not to reprimand us again, He forgave it when it occurred; but more as a catapult to launch us forward and to keep us from a repeat performance. Peter wept bitterly that night, but later Peter won thousands to the Lord!

My Dad went home to be with Jesus several years ago, and just weeks before he did I was visiting him in his hospital room with my Mother. Dad’s memory never failed him, God was so gracious with us on that. He sat on the side of his bed and recalled being five years old and sitting beneath an apple tree looking down on his parents who were working in a field. As a five year old he told God, “If you let me keep my parents until they’re old, I’ll serve you.” With tears in his eyes he told us of how God reminded him of his childhood prayer when he was 30 years old and he heard the words of God prompt his memory by saying “You promised.” Dad gave his life to Christ and began serving the Lord and what a servant he was! That memory launched him. Yes he had failed God. He’d not lived for Him as he’d promised, but he would then.

Peter failed. Dad failed. I’ve failed and you’ve failed. It’s a fact of life. Use that error in judgment as a catapult to service. God knows you’re better than that because it is He created you better than that. Peter continued on, still making mistakes because he was human, but God used him to win thousands to the Lord and we’re still talking about him today. Satan will take a failure and remind you again and again of who you were; remind him of who he is. A fallen angel with a future in hell. You are child of God with a future in Heaven.

Memories are sometimes painful. Make them purposeful.