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April 17 – To glorify God

“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.” – John 21:18b

Scripture reading: John 21:15-25

Does this sound like happy news? To go where you do not want to go? Peter is told he will walk down a path of suffering and die a terrible death. The Bible does not give us the account of Peter’s death, but historians tell us that after preaching in many places, Peter went to Rome. Nero was the emperor and the common story is that Peter was crucified upside down. What we know for sure is that Peter would die as a martyr. Now, how is that comforting?

It is good news to hear that Peter will not be led by his selfish desires, but by his commitment to Christ. It would be hugely comforting for Peter to know that in his death he would glorify God. Peter once claimed he would die with Jesus, but he ended up being afraid of a servant girl. Thanks be to God, Peter will not go down in history as a coward, but as a faithful servant.

We will all face trials and some of us might face persecution; our faith is tested when hardships from disease or loss come to our lives. How can we glorify God in life and in death? Only when we stop looking to ourselves. Like Peter, we learn how weak we are and this must, like Peter, direct our gaze, not to ourselves and our cares, but every single day to Christ Who gives us what we need so we can be faithful unto death. By His grace and mercy, we wretches can glorify God.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord that you do not need to have a meaningless life. Ask God to give you faith and humility in all circumstances to live a life which glorifies Him.

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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