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April 16 – Confidence in Peter?

“He said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’” – John 21:17

Scripture reading: Matt 16:13-23 

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs”, “Tend my sheep”, and “Feed my sheep”. Jesus once praised Peter’s confession of Who He was and promised Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven. But Peter, in turn, denied Jesus; Satan came and Peter gave in. How can the church be built on the ministry of one who falters so easily? Peter is not a rock; he is crumbling sandstone. Perhaps you have wondered how you can be useful to the Lord when you have failed in the past and continue to fail.

It is no small matter to feed the precious sheep of Christ. Peter is going to be looked up to. If the shepherd does wrong, the sheep suffer. We are tempted to say that Peter cannot be trusted. And we might suspect the same of ourselves, thinking we should not try to be a blessing to others or are not fit to lead our family because we have failed in the past.

But Jesus knows how to build His church; it is not built on man’s power, but on God’s grace. Remember what Jesus said to Peter before? “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32).

Peter will lead the way in calling sinners to believe in the Lord Jesus. Peter knows what grace is, and Peter knows how a wretch can be saved. Salvation is not by man’s doing, but by the grace of God. Do you rest in this grace?

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God for His grace given to you. Ask God to keep you humble and firm in your faith so that you may be a blessing to those around you.

Rev. Simon Lievaart is a pastor for Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. He and his wife Jodi have four children. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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