Today’s Bible Reading: Acts 2
Have you ever heard the saying that “the comeback is always greater than the setback”? I’m not sure where that saying originated, but it sums up Peter’s life story in a nutshell! Just last week, we were reading in the book of Mark that Peter, one of those in Jesus’ inner circle, let Jesus down when Jesus had asked him to “stay here and keep watch with me” (14:34). Peter literally fell asleep as his friend was “deeply troubled and distressed” and “crushed with grief to the point of death” (v. 34). To top it off, Peter blatantly denied even knowing Jesus, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about” (v. 68).
But that is not the end of Peter’s story.
Fast forward to the book of Acts where Peter is seen BOLDLY proclaiming the gospel—that Jesus was “nailed to a cross and killed” and that God “raised him back to life” (Acts 2:23-24). He ties in Old Testament Scripture with the truth of the present gospel as he quotes Psalm 16 in Acts 2:26: “My flesh will rest in hope” (HCSB). I find this choice of wording interesting because just a short time ago, Peter’s flesh caused him to stumble in his walk with Christ. But here, Peter is filled with the Spirit, proclaiming that the only way to conquer flesh is through the HOPE that we have in Christ. He’s applying the truth of the Psalms when he quotes, “You have shown me the way of life, and you fill me with joy of your presence” (Acts 2:28). Peter turned back to following and being faithful to Christ and was filled with joy once more because he was again walking with him. He returned to fulfilling his purpose and sharing his all-important message to “repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (v. 38). His message reminds us that this promise and hope is for each one of us, even those who may be “far away” (v. 39).
Did Peter mess up? Yes, he sure did. But that was not the end of his story. That was not the end of his ministry. God went on to use Peter’s boldness to spread the great news of the hope we can have in Christ. Many people accepted Christ and “were added to the church that day” (v. 41), and even more were added as Peter continued faithfully serving God and proclaiming Christ.
Have you ever felt like you have “failed” Jesus, let him down, or even denied him? Have you ever felt that your “mess up” has blown your potential future purpose or ministry? Does looking at Peter’s life give you hope that God still has a plan for you?
Reflect on the hope that we have in the gospel, as it is for all of us. If you’re walking in a season where you, through your life, actions, thoughts, etc., are denying Christ, repent, ask for forgiveness, and turn back to God. He still has a great plan for your life and can use you for his purposes.
Lord, sometimes the many ways I have failed you overshadow the hope that I have in you. Help me to be faithful to you and to trust in the hope that I have in you, namely that you died and rose again for my sins, knowing that my flesh would fail. May my flesh and my soul rest in you. Thank you that you still have a purpose and a plan for my life despite how I have denied you in the past.
This post was written by Kendra Grubinski. Kendra is passionate about her relationship with Jesus and loves studying and sharing God’s Word. During the week, she is a Spanish Teacher at Findlay High School. She also enjoys spending time with her family and pups, reading, traveling, drinking good coffee and being active outdoors.
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