Simon Peter was supremely confident, pledging his loyalty to the Lord. But during the arrest of Jesus, Peter failed miserably, denying Christ three times; and, during the crucifixion of Jesus Peter was noticably absent. Approximately six weeks later, Peter went fishing and failed at that also (John 21). Imagine how horrible Peter must have felt.
How did the Lord reinstate Peter? More importantly, when we falter how does the Lord restore us? Here are three aspects of spiritual renewal.
First, we must SPEND TIME WITH JESUS. Simon enjoyed a nice breakfast of fish and bread with Jesus. In a similar way, we enjoy time with God through prayer and scripture. The resurrected Lord met with Peter at sunrise. I find the Lord most often meets me in the early morning hours also. It is amazing how "a little talk with Jesus makes things right."
Second we must SERVE GOD'S PEOPLE. Three times Jesus asked, "Simon do love Me?" Each time Peter declared his love for the Lord, Jesus told him to feed His lambs and tend His sheep. In other words, "Peter if you really love Me, take care of my people!" The way we show our love for God is through service to others. God then blesses us when we bless others.
Finally, to be brought back into fellowship with God we must SURRENDER TO THE CROSS. Jesus told Peter to expect suffering. He also told Peter not to worry about other people. Likewise we are to focus on the Lord and follow Him. As we follow Jesus we can expect to be treated like He was and that of course means the cross. Practically this means that we give up living for ourselves and die to our preferences in order to submit to God's will.
When we drift away from God He wants to bring us back into fellowship with Himself. Simon Peter's experience shows us the way to renewal.
- Spend time with Jesus
- Serve God's people
- Surrender to the cross