I'm Not Easy To Love But Jesus Loves Me Anyway - A Brief Study On Peter
God came to earth as a man and chose for Himself a small group of men to be His followers. Among these men was the man Peter, a stubborn, tough, gruff fisherman with a propensity to speak and act before thinking. He was much like so many of us in being so sure of ourselves that we do not draw from the wisdom of God but on our own experiences and our fleshly wisdom. So we have to go through what Peter went through as the Lord straightened him out time after time. Jesus loved Peter and knew that once he learned to listen to the small, still voice inside him that He would be a strength to the new church Jesus was founding upon Himself - the Rock.
The tongue is a fire, I know it is true
No one falls prey to it, as much as I do,
My daddy was like that, but that's no excuse
To speak without thinking, tongue flapping loose,
All through my life, it's caused most of my shame
I'm not at all innocent, and much to be blamed,
Like the time when the Lord said, He was to die
And I opened my mouth, I don't even know why,
I said, "Not so Lord, far be it from thee!"
But instead of a smile, His look frightened me,
I'll always remember, that look on His face
"Get thee behind me Satan! Get in your place!"
I was crushed in my Spirit, cut to the heart
And vowed to guard my speech as soon as it starts,
But before I knew it, I'd be sinning again
Both speaking and acting, before thinking begins,
"I'll never leave you," I once vowed with pride
Though everyone else, may leave you to hide."
My Lord looked at me then, with His all-knowing eyes
"I know this will shock you, and be a surprise,
But before the cock, crows but twice
You will deny knowing Me, and then pay a price."
I was shocked, dismayed, I stood aghast
What could He be thinking? I'd overcome my past!
But sure as the day, dissolved into night
When I saw His cross looming, large in my sight
Then I felt my fear, grow higher and higher
And I denied I knew Him, as I warmed by the fire,
As I heard the rooster, crow the second time
I'd realized my sin, and the depth of my crime,
And I remember the tears, as I ran away to hide
Because of sin in my life, and the depth of my pride,
Then they crucified Him, nailed His feet and His hands
He suffered more pain, then did any man,
He took on my sin, and He gladly died
Because He loved me so much, and that's why I cried,
They buried my Lord, and three days He lay still
And on the third day He rose, because of God's will,
But I carried my shame, and still ran away
And went back to work, a-fishin' all day.
Then Jesus appeared, to the disciples and me
I was driven by shame, so I dove in the sea,
When at last to the shore, I finally came
The Lord was there cooking, and called me by name,
He said, "Peter, Peter, do you really love me?"
I knew that my love, was not what it should be,
Then He asked me again, then He asked me once more
If it really was He, whom I truly adored,
"You know that I love you," was all I could say
Even now the pain of the question, won't go away,
I know the Lord loves me, just as I am
I seem to be flawed, more than the next man,
And since that time, I've served my Lord
And I know in heaven, I'll find a reward,
But the image of Him cooking, still stays in my mind
And the questions He asked me, in a voice that was kind,
My Lord said I'd drink, from the same cup as He
It wasn't that long, 'til His enemies seized me,
When they offered a cross, on which to die
I thought myself unworthy, for this manner and I
Asked that they turn, my cross upside down
And it gave me some peace, to stare at the ground,
So I've considered all my life, since my own birth
As I hung like my Lord, between heaven and earth,
My wounds gladly borne, my blood I do give
It's the least I can do, for the life I have lived,
I reviewed all my memories, reviewed every one
And did not stop, until I was done,
As I felt my blood flow, and my life ebb away,
I rehearsed in my mind, what I would say
To my Lord Jesus, when I see His face
And opened my eyes, at His Throne of Grace,
The words would not come, none could I find
But seemed to be smoke, on the edge of my mind,
The pain was intense, but just at the start
Then Jesus was there, at the last beat of my heart,
"My son and my servant, my apostle and friend
You loved me with everything, right to the end."
"But how can you say that?" I said, tears streaming down
You know I denied you, and with sin I am bound."
But Jesus then gave me, that all-knowing look
He said, "Peter, my son, your name's in the Book.
With my blood I have washed you, so you're every whit clean
Your sin never happened, because you're redeemed."
I knew then, it would take me forever to know
The depths of Christ's love, that He was willing to show.
This poem was about Peter an apostle chosen to be one of Jesus' inner circle of three (Peter, James, and John). Peter was impulsive and often did things before he understood all of the implications. What always struck me about Peter is that his love of the Lord was undeniable to any who read the account. His faith enormous but he needed one thing and that was to come to the end of himself and realize he needed a Savior. After Jesus died and he understood what was done for him (and for every person). He was able to grow into the giant he became to all of us who know him through the writings of the Holy Word of God.
Like Peter, we all need to come to the end of ourselves and realize we are sinners incapable to saving ourselves. No matter how good we are, we will never be good enough to get into heaven. We can never be holy on our own. Jesus is the only one that can wash us like Peter was washed, so that in God's sight it is as if the sin never happened. It is wiped from our account, paid for by the blood of Jesus.
How did this happen to Peter? Well, the first thing that Peter had to do is to realize that he was a sinner. In Peter's case, I think that was not a hard thing to see in himself. He was always making mistakes and blurting out inaccuracies. This is what we must see too. We are sinners in need of a Savior. The next thing the apostle had to see was that Jesus was That Sacrifice sent to pay for his sin and that of the whole world. He witnessed the death and burial and resurrection of Jesus so he thoroughly believed that. All that was left was calling out, crying out to Jesus to forgive him and save him. We are not given a complete account of every word people spoke so we are not "witnesses" to this conversion between him and God but it had to be something like this- (Pray this if you are have not already done so):
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I cannot be holy on my own. I will not make it to heaven without my sin paid for by You, Lord. Please forgive me of my sin and save me. I believe in your death on the cross, your burial in the grave, and your resurrection to heaven. I turn from the way I was living and I promise to follow You for the rest of my life. Thank You Lord for saving me. In Jesus' holy name. Amen.