I love the sunny days of January ... despite the arctic temps of Minnesota! In a stream of sunlight at the kitchen island, I was just reading Matthew 16 when the example of Peter's life struck me.
In verse 17, Jesus is saying to Peter, "You are blessed ... because my Father in heaven has revealed [my identity as 'the Messiah, the Son of the living God' (v.16)] to you. You did not learn this from any human being." And then a few verses later when Jesus tells His disciples about his impending suffering, death, and resurrection, Peter blurts out in v.22, "This will never happen to You, Lord!" Jesus says to him, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God's." (v.23) Zoinks! Talk about extremes!
Here is Peter—this impulsive, rough-around-the-edges guy—that Jesus actually chose to be one of His disciples! I love the commentary in the Life Application Bible: "Peter never failed to follow—even though he often stumbled." This gives me hope! I am sooooo not perfect. I could never earn a spot in Jesus' posse. But Jesus picked regular guys ... ones whose hearts and lives could be changed by His love. This just illustrates to me so clearly how His acceptance is available to anyone—even those who often fail. Hey! That includes me! :)
It brings me back to my role as a parent ... I will probably stumble often, but I must never fail to follow my Lord Jesus. And even though I stumble, He still accepts me! My only hope for success will be through Him! Even if I could be a perfect parent, my children still have free will. So, I must focus on the goal and do what I should, trusting the outcome to the Lord. I must not get caught up in fear of being judged by others, but to seek my direction and approval from the Lord!
I'm so thankful that God loves me ... in spite of my imperfections!!
May you be blessed by God's great love for you today. :)