Support For Our Rwanda Trip

Greetings folks!

We’ve been grateful for the support we’ve received so far for our trip to Rwanda. Please remember that the most important gift you can give to speed us on our way is your prayers. Some have found unique ways to help us. Our coffee company, ours as in “we love the people who run this company and won’t buy elsewhere,” is called Driftwood Coffee Company. Driftwood sources their coffee ethically through direct trade agreements and the coffee growers get paid reasonable rates for their work.

They have made a commitment to give us proceeds from sales from their website. The people who own Driftwood have a heart for the Lord and love to find ways to give. We’re grateful for their support. So, buy a coffee cup. Buy a T-shirt. Try their great coffee! Use the link above to order, or click on the pictures.

  

These same people run a company called “Two Tiny Coins” that makes jewelry. The proceeds go to support missions in Central Asia. (I’ve been to that area and can vouch for the work going on there.) Their jewelry is beautiful and I’ve bought gifts there – since I don’t wear jewelry myself. ::smile:: I should note that I’m supporting Two Tiny Coins because I support the work that they’re helping with this ministry. Proceeds from any purchase there will go to support work in Central Asia. I just want to help you buy with a purpose.

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Preparing For Rwanda Trip – 2018

Dear Friends,

I am thrilled to share with you that this June, Lucy (my wife) and I will be working with a team of educators in Rwanda through Africa New Life Ministries (ANLM) for our second time. Our trip will have three primary purposes.

We will:
1) Provide professional development for the teachers who work in the several ANLM schools,
2) Encourage the hardworking teachers and their amazing students.
3) Visit each sponsored child and family related to our group.

This trip is a very special opportunity for us since God has laid a burden on our hearts for the Rwandan people. Since our first trip God has only deepened our love for this country and its people. We are blessed to call many of these fellow educators and ministry leaders friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. We’re humbled by the opportunity to share, encourage and co-labor with these amazing people.

We’d like you to be part of this exciting ministry and would be grateful of your support. While you may not be traveling with us, we need your prayers. In addition, we would greatly appreciate any financial support you may contribute. The cost for this trip will be around $4,500 per person, and we must be fully funded by May. Please read below to find out how you can donate for our trip through ANLM.

Thank you for your support, especially through prayer. Our specific requests are for:

  • Travel mercies
  • Health
  • God’s use of us as His hands, feet, and heart in Rwanda
  • Faithfulness in sharing the gospel while we’re there

Blessings,

Bob James

Instructions for giving online:
□ Go to http://africanewlife.custhelp.com/app/donate
□ Scroll to the bottom and click Mission Team Members.
□ Click the drop down arrow and select Lucy & Bob James and the amount you would like to give.
□ You will then receive an email receipt for your donation.

In addition, if you’d like to get up to date information about our trip each day, you can fill out our sign up form to get a daily link to a blog post or an email that will tell you what we’ve been doing, and what our plans are.

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Bible Versions and Permissions

Up until January 1, 2018, verses used in each devotional were from the New International Version of the Bible.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

I will be going back and adding this passage to each page that used an NIV quotation per their website

I will be using the New Century Version in 2018.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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June 22 – Our Response to False Accusations

Esther 6-8 Acts 6

“But the Spirit was helping him to speak with wisdom, and his words were so strong that they could not argue with him. So they secretly urged some men to say, ‘We heard Stephen speak against Moses and against God.’” (Act 6:10-11 NCV)

When all else fails, make a false accusation. That seemed to be the plan of the Jewish leaders. There are a number of examples in the Bible where leaders have sought to gain power or get rid of their enemies and the enemies were so righteous that the only way they could accuse them was to make a false accusation. Stephen, having just been called to be a deacon, was an amazing witness for Jesus Christ. Those who were committed to deny Christ were confounded by his message. He confirmed the message by doing signs and miracles. When they realized they were losing every argument, they made false accusations against him leading to his arrest, his trial, and his execution, making him the first Christian martyr.

Integrity is a vital part of the Christian’s life. Part of that integrity is to be sure that we don’t engage in attacks on others based on false accusations. Many of us would do well to avoid attacks on people even when the information is probably true. False accusations, though, spread hatred and distrust. The greater the accusation, the more people will believe it, even when confronted with facts. My job as a Christian is to seek to reconcile people with God. In Rwanda, the reconciliation process has brought about peace and harmony in a land that dealt with a terrible genocide twenty-four years ago. They are a model for any nation that would seek to bring harmony and peace within the nation. Jesus dealt with false accusations and called out forgiveness on those who crucified Him because of those false accusations. Our responsibility as followers of Christ is not to prosecute others based on such accusations, our responsibility is to love, minister, and bring reconciliation to people on all sides of the accusations. The truth is, our ministry extends to people who have been accused rightly as well. When someone is accused of doing something, true or not, take the time to pray for them and their accusers with the idea of allowing God to bring reconciliation.

Lord, You seek reconciliation. You’ve called us to be ministers of reconciliation. Our world is so divided that the only way we’ll have peace is if You bring reconciliation. Use me, use Your Church to reconcile the world unto Yourself.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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June 21 – As A Matter of Fact, You Were Responsible

Esther 3-5 Acts 5:22-42

“Peter and the other apostles answered, “We must obey God, not human authority! You killed Jesus by hanging him on a cross. But God, the God of our ancestors, raised Jesus up from the dead!” (Acts 5:29-30 NCV)

There are times when people make your jaw drop. The High Priest, while interrogating Peter and John after re-arresting them, accused them of trying to pin Jesus’s crucifixion on the Jewish leaders after reminding them that they’d been warned not to teach or preach in His name. I’m sure Peter must have been somewhat puzzled. That’s when he let them know that they may be the leaders on earth, but the apostles were going to obey God – oh, and by the way, the reason they were blaming the Jewish leaders for the death of Jesus is that the Jewish leaders were responsible for sending Him to the cross. God was more powerful than the leaders, though, who sought to kill Jesus because He raised Jesus from the dead.

Christianity lives or dies on one issue: the resurrection. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then the crucifixion and everything that He taught was of no importance. Oh, sure, He had some great teachings, but they all depend on the resurrection. Peter reminded the Jewish leaders that not only had they put Jesus to death, they’d also been overruled by God on the death sentence when He raised Jesus from the dead. Stories of the resurrection had been circulating since the day Jesus had risen. In all this time, they didn’t look for Jesus’s body. The Jewish leaders never brought any proof that Jesus was still dead. They were worried about their reputation. Some later came to know Christ and accept His forgiveness. Jesus even offered forgiveness to the leaders and the Roman soldiers on the cross. Accepting His forgiveness would make the Jewish leaders swallow crow and admit that they were wrong. That sounds a lot like people today. If you want to upset people, remind them that their sins sent Jesus to the cross. (Sin, of course, being the modern day forbidden word.) They’ll either deny that they were sinners, or they’ll justify themselves by noting that their sins weren’t so bad. God freely offers to forgive anyone. The problem is that they’ll have to swallow their pride and admit that God is right, and they aren’t. That may be hard for many people today. Our job is to live in His resurrection power each day, recognizing that God loves all people and wants them to come to Him. Show His love to the most unlovable people and let God continue to work in them.

Lord, I confess that my sins were one of the reasons You went to the cross. Thank You for forgiving me. Thank You that I have the privilege of obeying You and sharing Your love.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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June 20 – Dealing With Fake Faith

Esther 1-2 Acts 5:1-21

“Peter said, ‘Ananias, why did you let Satan rule your thoughts to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep for yourself part of the money you received for the land? Before you sold the land, it belonged to you. And even after you sold it, you could have used the money any way you wanted. Why did you think of doing this? You lied to God, not to us!’” (Acts 5:3-4 NCV)

There are a lot of stories in the Bible that leave me shaking my head. I don’t understand the how, or the why, and I’m left scratching my head. The story of Ananias and Sapphira is one of those head scratchers. The story in essence is that a man and his wife gave a gift to the church and the result was that God struck them dead. Oh, there are some details that flesh that story out: they saw everyone else getting praise for the faith they showed while doing something similar and they kept back part of the money and lied about it, but that death seems a bit drastic. Then I remember that God alone has the power over life and death. Ananias and Sapphira, in plotting their deed showed that they wanted personal glory for trusting God while not having the faith to trust Him.

Still, their death was a harsh outcome, from a human perspective – but necessary in God’s plan. Through their death, God reminded His people, and those outside the Church, that He alone was worthy of glory. If the lies they told had been allowed to stand, imagine how that would have affected the Church as they dealt with those outside of the Church. What if one of the disciples had talked about the amazing faith of people like Ananias and Sapphira who gave such a great faith gift with people who knew the real story? Those people would shake their heads and write off the Church for being full of hypocrites who say they have faith and claim to be generous but keep things back from God and from others. They’d be seen as liars who, like all Church people, couldn’t be trusted. Sound familiar? We hear those kinds of accusations leveled against people in the Church every day. If I’m honest, I’d probably mutter something like, “well, they weren’t really Christians anyway. They just went to church for business purposes.” People with fake faith are a blot on the Church and allowing Ananias and Sapphira to continue in their lie would have brought disrepute on the Church. I’m grateful that God doesn’t always strike people with fake faith down, because there are many times I’ve been in that boat. I’m grateful that God offers forgiveness, when I stray. Still, we need to grow in sincere faith, trusting God in all things, knowing that God still has the power over life and death.

Lord, You alone are God. To You alone belongs all glory and honor. Remind me of that when I begin to exalt myself. Remind me of that when I begin to use my faith in ways to manipulate people into thinking good things about me.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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June 19 – No, It Isn’t All About Me

Nehemiah 12-13 Acts 4:23-37

“And now, Lord, listen to their threats. Lord, help us, your servants, to speak your word without fear. Show us your power to heal. Give proofs and make miracles happen by the power of Jesus, your holy servant.” (Acts 4:29-30 NCV)

Peter and John went back to the Church after the Jewish leaders released them. They’d been warned not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. Remember those guys cowering in the Upper Room even after they knew Jesus had been resurrected? Then they told the Sanhedrin that they would obey God and face the consequences rather than fear man. The church prayed not for safety or protection. They didn’t even pray for material prosperity and health. They prayed for God to give them boldness to proclaim the word of God without fear and to confirm that He was leading them by healings and other proofs and miracles. God answered by shaking the building and the believers and they spoke boldly. The fellowship among the believers grew also.

There are some aspects of American Christianity where it seems like believers think that this whole salvation thing is about them. We accumulate blessings, because God really loves us. We expect never to be sick, because God wouldn’t let His people get sick. We forget that our call is one to service, to proclamation, to sharing. The follow-up verse talks about all the believers sharing boldly, not about the leaders being the only ones to share. If you are a follower of Christ, let me ask why God chose to give you grace? Did God choose to give you grace because you, among all people were most deserving? Did God choose to give you grace because His warehouses of blessings were overflowing, and He needed to dump them all on you? No. God gave each of us His grace so that His amazing power might be seen through us. God blesses us materially so that we can share His overwhelming blessings with others. The early Christians recognized this truth. They prayed for God to give them boldness. They didn’t even need to pray about sharing their wealth with others. They understood that it wasn’t all about them, it’s all about God. Because it’s all about God, their personal comfort wasn’t that important. Take it in small steps today: share your faith with one person today; find one thing you have that you don’t need and use it to help someone in need. Then, tomorrow, find a way to do a bit more. Give away your faith and your possessions until your life reflects your understanding that it really is all about God.

Lord, help me to live each day like it really is all about You. Help me to see people needing faith, and give mine away. Help me to see people in need, and be willing to give to help them.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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June 18 – The Overwhelming, Reckless Power of God

Nehemiah 10-11 Acts 4:1-22

“We want all of you and all the people to know that this man was made well by the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You crucified him, but God raised him from the dead. This man was crippled, but he is now well and able to stand here before you because of the power of Jesus.” (Acts 4:10 NCV)

Peter was called to defend his message and his actions by the Jewish leaders. They were in a quandary because everyone had seen this man of more than forty years old after his healing. What was worse to the leaders was that everyone was attributing this healing to the power of Jesus after He rose from the dead. They arrested Peter and John, and then called them to account for their actions. Peter and John didn’t back down. They let the religious leaders know that this man had been healed by Jesus and that even though they had tried to stop Jesus by crucifying Him, God the Father raised Him from the dead. It was the power of Jesus that brought healing.

The two before and after pictures here are amazing: before, you crucified Jesus, after, God raised Him from the dead; before this man was crippled, after he became well by the power of Jesus. In short, the before pictures denote powerlessness, while the after pictures show the overwhelming power of God. Even the power the religious leaders had over life and death was nothing compared to the amazing power of God who could overcome death and overcome a crippling disease. We get so caught up in our routines and in preserving our situations in life that it’s easy to forget about the power of God. We work towards our goals in our ways and expect God to sit on the sidelines cheering our every move. We’re living dead and powerless lives even though, like the religious leaders, we think we’re doing what God desires. It’s so easy to get caught up in this trap that we still see religious leaders frown upon the actions of the Holy Spirit as He moves among God’s people. The old cliché is that we’re supposed to “let go and let God.” We may let go, but only into a fenced in yard because we want to make sure that we keep things under control. We don’t need control. We need God to move. When He does move among us, He’ll probably be reckless and upset our established order. He may call on us to leave our comfort zones and do crazy things. But He will never leave us or forget about us. When we let Him take control, life gets so much better, people will wonder what power or authority allows us to have such joy in our world today. The answer will be the same: the power of Jesus.

Lord, help me to let go of my control. Help me to seek You and Your ways and live obediently each day. Let the power of Jesus overwhelm me and cause others to see the results of Your actions in my life.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Breakthrough as the sun rises

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June 17 – Let There Be Faith

Nehemiah 7-9 Acts 3

“It was faith in Jesus that made this crippled man well. You can see this man, and you know him. He was made completely well because of trust in Jesus, and you all saw it happen!” (Acts 3:16 NCV)

“Faith in Jesus.” That’s the crux of this whole passage. Peter and John were going to the Temple and on their way, they ran into a man who’d been crippled all his life. Setting up a begging station on the way to the Temple was good business as people were likely to be in an even more generous mood going to or from the Temple. Peter and John got his attention, told him that while they didn’t have any money to give him, they had something better, and lifted him up as he was healed by the power of Jesus. When Peter explained it to the people who saw the former beggar who was now walking and leaping and praising God, it was faith in Jesus that made him well. When you think about it, it wasn’t the faith of the man who’d been crippled. He may have heard of, or seen Jesus, but nowhere in this story do we see a proclamation of healing level faith from the beggar. The faith that made this man well was the faith that Peter and John had. They trusted the healer to make that man well, and they acted on their faith.

There’s no argument that the healed man had faith afterwards. He was walking and leaping and praising God, but his faith and joy came because of what God had done. It was Peter and John who had the faith in the one who heals. Too often when issues of healing, or answered prayer come up in our world today, those who supposedly have faith will look down on those whose prayers aren’t answered, or those who aren’t healed while making comments about their lack of faith. In truth, those of us who claim to have faith are the ones who should examine ourselves. When a healing doesn’t occur, is it because of the lack of faith of the one who seeks healing, or the lack of faith of the one administering the healing? If it was, as I contend, the faith of Peter and John that brought the healing to this man, then maybe the reason we don’t see miraculous healings isn’t because of the lack of faith of those who need healing. Ultimately, physical and spiritual healing is dependent upon God’s movement and work in this world. The faith we have is a gift from God, meant to be used as a witness to others. If we’re acting in faith, we’ll see God move in miraculous ways to change lives, to heal the sick and the lame, and to change our world as people are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

Lord God, move in me. Give me faith to see Your presence in this world. Give me faith to recognize when I should act, and when I should remain silent. Let me be an example of faith without knowing it as I grow so close to You that living in faith is my natural state.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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June 16 – What Binds Us Together is Greater

Nehemiah 4-7 Acts 2:22-47

“Peter said to them, ‘Change your hearts and lives and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away. It is for everyone the Lord our God calls to himself.’” (Acts 2:38-39 NCV)

The message of Peter hit home. The people asked a simple, but important question: “What must we do to be saved?” The answer was simple, yet profound. It’s the response that God’s people have given through the ages when the message of the gospel has convicted them of their need to receive God’s forgiveness. “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” This version says “change your hearts” instead of “repent” but the idea is the same. We need to stop thinking that everything’s alright, we need to recognize that the only way to do things is God’s way, and we need to place our hearts, even our whole lives in the hands of Jesus. This was the first altar call ever, and this simple call’s been repeated through the ages because the promise truly is for all people, for all times.

I believe that we can’t even repent without God’s Spirit moving in our hearts. God alone does the work of salvation, leading us to an attitude of repentance and of a lifetime commitment. Denominations argue about how that happens, we argue about the “right way” to baptize, but the message of baptism here means to allow Jesus to enter your life as you immerse yourself in Him. The result of this early mass commitment to Christ was that people sought to learn what God wanted them to do and they spent time studying God’s word, fellowshipping, and helping each other. They just wanted to be together. Given the languages of the people who heard the gospel message, it’s an easy jump to say that the earliest Christians had many cultural differences. That didn’t matter. They were united in their love of Christ. One of the joys of sharing God’s work in other lands is that I get to be with believers who’ve come to Christ from a far different cultural perspective than I have. What I discover, after about three minutes is that the unity we share in Christ outweighs culture, language, skin color, age, or any other difference people worry about. If you’ve truly repented and immersed your life in Jesus Christ, you’ll be able to experience joy with fellow believers knowing that what binds us together is far greater than anything that could separate us.

Lord, the words are so simple, yet it takes a lifetime to comprehend the idea of committing our hearts to You and living fully in Your grace. Help me to do that every day. Help me to be an example that others can follow while we live in You together.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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June 15 – Speak in the Language of Their Hearts

Nehemiah 1-3 Acts 2:1-21

“But Peter stood up with the eleven apostles, and in a loud voice he spoke to the crowd: ‘My fellow Jews, and all of you who are in Jerusalem, listen to me. Pay attention to what I have to say. These people are not drunk, as you think; it is only nine o’clock in the morning! But Joel the prophet wrote about what is happening here today:’” (Acts 2:14-16 NCV)

The waiting was over. The time that Jesus promised would come, came. The disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit and it seemed like tongues of flame were licking them. Then they proclaimed the gospel and all those listening, heard it in their “heart language.” Those who heard the gospel in their own language were amazed at what God had done, especially that they heard the gospel in their own heart language. Others who wanted anyone proclaiming the truths of God to do so in Hebrew only, accused them of babbling drunkenly. Peter responded quickly by noting the time of day that the Jewish leaders made their complaint. It was morning. Jews don’t go around getting drunk before 9:00 in the morning. And, to be honest, I’m guessing that the way the quality of the foreign language was higher than most Jews see even today.

A person’s heart language is the one that speaks to their heart. It’s the language that they’re most comfortable using in conversation. Most of the people who work here in Rwanda speak excellent English. Yet often in conversations with colleagues, they’ll slip into Kinyarwanda because that’s the language that they’re accustomed to. That’s their heart language. When God opened the preaching of the gospel with everyone hearing in their own language, He laid the foundation that the gospel is for all men, everywhere. It’s a shame that some would use the gospel to build up divisions among people. We look at the color of the skin, the church they attend, dressing too nicely or not fancy enough. And we point that out. There are a lot of non-essential things we could write about, but the key is to stop doing those things that take you away from God and draw close to God every day. What if we shared our joy with the same excitement a called third strike in the ninth inning gets in a close ball game? We have even more exciting news than that; What’s your favorite method of evangelism? Celebrate it? Use that method to share Christ with others every opportunity that you get. Let people tell you the best way to share this good news with them and let them know how much God loves them.

Lord, help me to speak in the heart language of people around me, sharing the good news of Jesus and helping them see how much You love them.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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June 14 – The Hardest Command

Ezra 9-10, Acts 1

“Once when he was eating with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem. He said, ‘Wait here to receive the promise from the Father which I told you about. John baptized people with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'” (Acts‬ ‭1:4-5‬ ‭NCV‬‬)

Imagine those heady days after the Resurrection! Jesus, the One who had died and returned from the dead, was walking, talking, and eating with them for forty days. They didn’t know that it was time for Jesus to leave them and ascend to Heaven. They were expecting Jesus to lead the revolution they’d been expecting the Messiah to lead for years. In the passage just after the above verses, they asked Him that very question. Can you blame them? If death was just a minor inconvenience, the Romans were child’s play to overthrow. They ignored the command that Jesus had just given to wait for the power that would come soon when God baptized them with the Holy Spirit. Their mission was nothing so simple as conquering Rome and establishing an earthly kingdom; they were to conquer the world as citizens of a spiritual kingdom.

Wait. The hardest command to follow. At least for me. I want to do something. Now. Immediately! I can sympathize with the disciples who wanted Jesus to overthrow the Romans right away. 2000 years after the event, I understand that Jesus didn’t seek an earthly kingdom, but a kingdom built upon the lives of those whom He had changed. I know that. I know that, having been baptized in the Holy Spirit, I still need to wait for His guidance. Knowing all these things doesn’t mean that I like it, though, nor does it mean that I’m not going to try and nudge God a bit when I think things need to happen. There are others like me. Some would seek to hurry God up by imposing their understanding of God’s will on others through forceful and/or political means. Others would seek to bring about the Kingdom of God by manipulating people and playing on their emotions. God has a word for people like that. People like me. “Wait. Wait for My power. Wait and follow Me.”

Lord, help me to wait on You instead of rushing ahead of Your desires. Give me the patience to wait on Your leadership when I want to do something…anything.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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June 13 – God’s Work in Restoring Relationships

Ezra 6-8 John 21

“A third time he said, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ Peter said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!’ He said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’” (John 21:17 NCV)

I don’t know when Peter realized what Jesus was doing. Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. At some point in that discussion, Peter must have realized that Jesus did this because of Peter’s denials. (At least that’s what I believe.) There is a belief among some Christians that because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin on the cross, we never need to repent, or we never need to feel sorrow for our sin. The truth is, as Jesus showed, there comes a dialogue with God when we do wrong that brings about restoration, and sometimes that dialogue hurts as we’re forced to remember how we hurt God by our sin. Jesus had already forgiven and died for Peter, but he needed to go through this conversation with Jesus so that he would realize the depth of his sin and the price of restoration. Peter was fully restored though, and Jesus gave him a mission: feed the sheep.

I’m sure Peter was a bit tentative in his interactions with Jesus after the resurrection. He knew that he’d denied Jesus. This process allowed him the opportunity to experience restoration. God didn’t need Peter to go through this, Peter needed it. There are times when we sin against God in other ways than Peter did. Sometimes we experience God’s forgiveness immediately. At other times, we can’t experience forgiveness unless God deals with us and our sin restoratively. I don’t think Jesus was judging Peter in this situation so much as restoring him. At the same time, when our guilt is so deep that we’re not willing to accept God’s forgiveness the way He gives it to us, He finds ways to restore us. It’s important to realize that we’ve already been forgiven by God. That happened at the cross. When God restores us, it doesn’t affect how He sees our relationship. God’s restoration affects how we see that relationship. Restoration can hurt, in part because we see how our sin hurt God and others, but God always brings restoration through His love and grace.

Lord, sometimes my faith is small, and I need to be restored. My sin overwhelms me, and I wonder how You can still love me. Remind me of Your love as You restore our relationship.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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