Picking Up the Pieces


After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these? ” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. 

~John 21:15, NLT


There is more grace in God’s heart than there is sin in your past.

~Erwin Lutzer

Today’s LIFE CHANGING BIBLE STUDY lesson is outstanding. Daniel Im begins with a thought provoking analogy: Making a mess in the kitchen is one thing; making a mess of your life is another. You can clean up a kitchen to the point no one will ever know it was in a mess but a life is much more complicated. Consequences can’t be wiped away with a dish towel. When it comes to cleaning up a mess, no one is better than Jesus. Peter, the elder statement of the disciples [probably early 20’s] made an embarrassing mess; after arrogantly boasting that he would never deny Jesus, he denied Him three times in a very short period of time. When Peter realized what he had done, he was deeply ashamed, very disappointed in himself and defeated in his attitude.

John 21 gives us the details to Peter’s restoration. Peter denied Jesus three times and now Jesus ask Peter three questions. The first question: “Simon son of John, do you agape me more than these {other disciples}? Peter’s response was, “Yes LORD, You know I phileo You.” Both are translated love in English versions because we have only one word for love. Agape is divine love, unconditional love, perfect love, love from above, love that never fails where as phileo is very human and subject to failure. In most cases phileo is very conditional. We tend to love our friends so long as they love us in return. No one loves like Jesus. We do not have the capacity to love like He loves. In this story, who loves who the most? The answer is Jesus. If you said Peter, you would be wrong. Can we love in kind as Jesus loved? Yes, agape can be imputed to us but even so, our love will never be greater than His.

But the question is the lesson that I want to address is: What happens after we make a mess? What happens after we fail? I’m not thinking about our emotional response, I am sure Peter got angry with himself and a bit depressed but beyond our emotions, what do we do?

  1. We admit we failed. We take ownership of the mess we made. We cannot get victory over sin by playing games: call it what it is and confess your guilt. This is the first step to recovery and it cannot be by-passed.
  2. Confess it to Jesus and asks for forgiveness. Since He alone is truly holy, all sin is primarily against Him so confess it to Him. Confession is simply taking His point of view about sin.
  3. Learn from it. No one wants to fail but we all do. Failure is not final unless we quit, so don’t quit. Ask you self this question: “What can I learn from this experience? What is God showing me about sin, self and His character? What did Peter learn? He learned not to trust the flesh, not to overload his wagon. If we learn something from our failure then our failure is not total or absolute. You see this whole sorted mess taught Peter a valuable lesson: you can always depend on Jesus but you cannot depend on yourself.

Jesus loves to forgive and to restore but we have to admit our guilt and come to Him. Jeremiah said, The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. He is the God of the fresh start.

I normally do not do a Sunday Blog but when the sparks start flying, I have this overwhelming urge to share. Abba Father, I asked you to forgive me of my sins and to deliver me from their power; especially those that I tend to hide. I pray for our Pastor. I asks that you anoint him with the Holy Spirit. Use him to lead us. Use him to convict us. As always Father, I beg You to let the fire fall on us in worship today. May your Spirit of Holiness, the might Ruwach Ha-Kodesh consume everything in us that is not like Jesus. Take us deeper than our faith would ever wander, so deep that all we desire is for You to get glory. It is Your Kingdom and You have the power to make it happen and we will give You all the glory. In Jesus name, Amen!

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