Daily Devotionals

Trouble Maker Week 10: Thursday

A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. John 21:17

Have you ever felt like you messed up so badly that there was no hope for forgiveness? We have all been there, haven’t we? We let people down; we make mistakes; we disappoint ourselves and others. When this happens, we wonder if forgiveness and restoration are possible. If you have ever felt this way, there is good news. The Bible teaches that when we come to Jesus, He forgives us and restores our relationships with Him. Peter experienced this forgiveness and restoration, and we can, too. 

The books of the Bible, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all tell us about the time that Peter denied knowing Jesus in the moments leading up to His brutal death on a cross. Certainly fearful for his life, he denied knowing Jesus when three different people asked if he was one of Jesus’ followers. Luke 23:62 tells us that when Peter realized what he had done, he “wept bitterly.” He was devastated by what he had done.

Imagine how Peter must have felt when he discovered that Jesus was alive. Maybe he was afraid. Maybe he was ashamed. Maybe he was just thrilled to see this teacher whom he loved again. Whatever he was feeling, we know that He needed restoration. Jesus lovingly offered that moment of restoration in John 21. While spending time with His disciples, Jesus looked at Peter and asked him three times, “Do you love Me?” Verse 17 tells us that Peter asked Jesus this question three times, the same number of times he had denied Jesus. This probably hurt Peter, but by doing this, Jesus restored His relationship with Peter. He was giving Peter three more opportunities to confess His love for Jesus. As Peter answered Jesus’ questions with “yes,” each time, Jesus followed up with a command to care for His “sheep.” This command made it clear that Jesus had restored Peter so that he was to continue being His follower.

Friends, God is a God of restoration. Our mistakes do not deter Him. When we turn back to Him, He is willing and able to forgive us every single time. Not only this, but He will also restore us. Praise God for His redemption when we turn back to Him!

Moving toward action

Maybe today, you need a reminder that God is a forgiving God. In fact, He is a God who not only forgives but also restores. Take a few minutes to memorize the verse of the day. Let this verse be an encouragement that God is a restoring God. Remember this passage of Scripture as a reminder when you feel like you have messed up so badly that there is no hope for restoration. Please share it with others when they are feeling the same way.

Going Deeper

Romans 16:1-16 (NLT)

"I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.

3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.

5 Greet also the church that meets at their house.

Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.

6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you.

7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord.

9 Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.

10 Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test.

Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus.

11 Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew.

Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.

12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord.

Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.

13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.

14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the other brothers and sisters with them.

15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the Lord’s people who are with them.

16 Greet one another with a holy kiss.

All the churches of Christ send greetings."