When I think of God as it relates to my life, two words have always stood out - Patience and Grace. Without a doubt, he has been incredibly patient with me when it has come to the way I have lived my life and the poor decisions I have made. Time and time again, he has shown me much Grace when I have fallen - as any loving Father would.
His patience should not be viewed as a guarantee that we should take advantage of, but as an opportunity; a second chance if you will. “Think of our Lord's patience as an opportunity [for us] to be saved. This is what our dear brother Paul wrote to you about, using the wisdom God gave him.”(2nd Peter 3:15 GodsWord) His patience is an opportunity for us to have a second chance to do things right, seeking His will first.
The Grace that he shows us is grounded in His amazing love for sinners like you and I. In His Grace he hung on a cross, and took the blame for our entire bucket of sins– being put to death on a cross. Seal that image in your mind each and every day, and let me know if you come across comparable love and grace – I assure you that nothing compares!
Now think of your life as it relates to “undo buttons.” You know, those bad decisions that you make on a daily basis that you can quickly undo. Say something unkind to a person…apologize minutes later. Cut somebody off while driving…wave and smile. Life offers many opportunities to fall and get right back up. Well, remember a guy named Peter? He fell hard and in Jesus’ Grace and Patience, he was allowed to get back up and be restored. Talk about an “undo button!”
After having denied Jesus THREE times – Not once, not twice, but THREE times, Jesus gives Peter a much undeserved undo button. With three questions, Jesus allows Peter to be restored and undo what he had done. He gives him the opportunity tell him THREE times that he Loves him! Wow! Take a look at the following verses that capture this Amazing Grace…
Jesus Speaks with Peter When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesuse told him, “Feed my lambs.”
Then he said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus told him, “Take care of my sheep.” He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was deeply hurt that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” So he said to him, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you!” Jesus told him, “Feed my sheep.
“Truly, truly I tell you, when you were young, you would fasten your belt and go wherever you liked. But when you get old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten your belt and take you where you don't want to go.” Now he said this to show by what kind of death he would glorify God. After saying this, he told him, “Keep following me.” (John 21:15 - 20 ISV)
One of the most moving parts of this scene to me is that he ends it with – “Keep following me.” He doesn’t say – “You are an idiot,. What were you thinking? Make Better decisions!” Rather, he gently picks Peter up, encourages him and tells him to KEEP following Him! That is how Jesus was and IS! Amazing Grace……..