I know that no matter how often I let God down, he
won’t give up on me.
the time we were kids, we’ve been told: three strikes and you’re
In life, we get only so many opportunities to blow it. In many competitive
situations, no wonder our first reaction is to tense up. It seems as if
everyone struggles with the fear of failure, at least occasionally. Every
time we hear about another friend or colleague losing his job, we automatically
wonder, “Will I be next?”
Thankfully, God’s kingdom operates on an entirely different basis.
We can never let God down one too many times. If we love Him and own up
to our sins, confessing them and asking for His forgiveness, God keeps
right on forgiving us and putting us back in the game.
If anyone has ever understood the marvel of God’s goodness to keep
giving us second chances, it was the apostle Peter (aka Simon). In the
course of a single evening, Peter denied Jesus Christ three times: first
to a maid, then in front of a couple of her friends, then before an entire
group of bystanders.
Yet after his resurrection, Jesus made a point of repeatedly reassuring
Peter that he still had great things in store for this very human, less
than perfect disciple.
Later in life, Peter looked back on this experience and reminded his fellow
Christians that Jesus “personally carried away our sins in his own
body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.
You have been healed by his wounds! Once you were wandering like lost
sheep. But now you have turned to your shepherd, the Guardian of your
souls” (1 Peter 2:24-25).
As Peter discovered, it’s not too late to you and I to return to
Jesus Christ today, confess our sins, ask for his forgiveness, and receive
a second chance. The Lord hasn’t given up on anyone yet.
To read the other Gospel accounts about Peter’s three denials, see
Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; and John 18:15-18, 25-27.
STUDY: The reading takes place in the twenty-sixth chapter of Matthew's
gospel, verses 20-75.
Detail from painting by Girolamo Savolodo, c. 1535
excerpt is from the Living Faith™ Bible (Tyndale House Publishers)
Copyright © 2003, 2000 David and Renée Sanford
you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd
and Bishop of your souls.."
I Peter 2:25