Wednesday, April 13, 2011

He Was Showing Off

Mark 16:7, "But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'"

There is so much to grasp from this verse. And today I actually grasped the message of grace that can be found in this verse. All in these two short words ...and Peter.

"and Peter", God is so into the details.
"and Peter", God knows our needs.
"and Peter", God meets us right where we are.
"and Peter", God's mercy is ever flowing.
"and Peter", God's grace overwhelms us.

Here's what's interesting about those two little words. You see, Peter had just recently (3 days prior to be exact) betrayed Jesus. Peter had turned his back on his very own best friend. Peter had failed to keep his word. On the very same day that he so valiantly wanted to cut off the ear of those who apprehended Jesus, Peter cowardly denied he even knew the self-proclaimed king of Jews.

Now... before we judge him, let's try some empathy. Peter did love Jesus, and he had been a faithful follower for quite some time. He had openly volunteered himself to doing anything for Jesus because he loved him so. But on the day it mattered most, Peter failed miserably.
Makes me wonder what could have been going through this man's mind. Could the turmoil have possibly been that bad, that Peter lost his courage under fire?

We'll never really know in this lifetime what moved Peter to let down his guard and betray his dearest friend. And as horrible as his act was, this was probably the one time that we can truly identify with Peter most personally.
Peter showing his human weakness. Messing up...

And just imagine the aftermath for Peter.
I know I'd want to hide far away where I'd never be found.
My shame would have drawn me to despair.
Can you imagine his guilt?
In essence, Peter went from almost feeling a sense of glory and pride, as he shared day in and day out with the Messiah and savior of the world, to feeling like the scum of the earth; unworthy of being called a disciple of Christ.

And then he hears, "and Peter".
Share with Peter the good news.
Bring Peter this message of hope.
Tell Peter that I love him still.
Give Peter this gift of grace.

Wow! It's amazing to me! That in Christ's most glorious moment--His resurrection from the dead-- God did not forget Peter.
That in all of this wondrous event, God goes out of His way to bless that one in need.

This is what God's love is in action. This is the message of grace.
That in spite of His majesty and power, God remembers us.
And He sends the message of hope to all of us,
and Lucy
and Nancy
and Yolanda
and Andy
and Ana
and Daniela
and Pete
and Dave
and Josh
and Doris
and ..... (you fill in the blank)

Lastly, whenever she'd witness God's unfailing grace in her life, my friend Yolanda used to say, "He's showing off".
That's exactly what He was doing when He sent this message out to Peter on resurrection day.
He was showing off.

Monday, April 11, 2011


"Humility is not thinking less of yourself
Humility is thinking less often of yourself"

Those were the words I shared with the 7th grade Bible class today.
I didn't think of the words myself. I simply shared what the book said.
This was after we spent some time bouncing the word around in search of its true definition.

Humility... the opposite of Pride
Humility.... meekness
Humility... the state of being humble
Humility... thinking of others before yourself
Humility... putting the interest of others before yours

And then I came across the following words written by my soon to be 6 year old daughter.

From CC to Mama
I love you mama
I love you more than me!
do you love more than you?
I love you so much.

And then I thought to myself, "Could this be a clear definition for humility?"
Yes, I believe so!

And here's the translation:
Humility... loving someone (or others) more than you love yourself.
Humility... Love

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life."