In my life, God has given some things away. He is making room for other things to grow. I was talking to someone just yesterday morning about all the ideas I am having right now. I am so excited about this book, Fifty Sermons for Children, that is is coming up. And God is blessing me with other ideas for teaching, blogging, and blogging.
It has not been easy to get here. There has been much to get through. And it reminds me of Jesus' response to Peter after Peter denied him three times.
"When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John do you love me more than these?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.'" He said to him, 'Feed my lambs.'"
"He said to him a second time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' He said to him, 'Tend my sheep.'"
"He said to him a third time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?' Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, 'Do you love me?' and he said to him, 'Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my sheep. Truly, truly I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.' (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said, 'Follow me.'
John 21: 15-19
If there is someone on whom you would expect Jesus to turn his back to forever, it would be Peter. How could he deny Jesus, even after being warned? Wasn't that unforgivable? Apparently not.
What Peter did was not a picture of the defeat of the cross. The opposite is true.
Peter's denial is a shocking concrete picture of the essentiality of the cross of Christ.
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus were necessary because we are people like Peter.
We have no power in ourselves to be faithful, wise, good, or righteous. We cannot save ourselves, We are people in need of rescue, grace. Without the rescue of grace, we are a danger to ourselves and to others, without hope and without God.
In amazing condescending grace, God meets us where we are, just as he did with Peter.
He comes to us in our fear.
He draws near to us when we are separated.
He meets us in our doubt.
He pursues us when we wander.
When we sin, he comes to us with conviction and forgiveness.
There is no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about anymore than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.
He empowers us when we are weak.
He restores us when we are unfaithful.
When we deny him, he does not deny us.
He comes to us at the moment of our salvation, and comes to us again and again as we journey from the "already" to the "not yet".
He sits down with us, assuring us again of his love, drawing out from us his love for him, and sending us on our way to do the work he has chosen us to do.
He does not wait for us to come to him; he comes to us.
It is the way of grace.
A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams.
Most tears are grace.
The smell of rain is grace.
Somebody loving you is grace. Loving somebody is grace.
Like the many leaves that adorn the ground, so are the bits and pieces of grace.
How much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Romans 5: 15
God's grace says, "Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are. The party is not complete without your. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you."