~ Peter’s 7 Upward Steps to Restoration ~
Many of us identify with Peter’s failings. The Word of God also shows us the path of restoration from being a coward to being bold for Jesus Christ.
Praying ~ The Lord prayed for Peter—just as He is praying for you! “But I [Jesus] have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:32).
Repenting ~ Later, after Peter’s denials, we read: “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:61-62). Peter’s failures caused repentance and drew him into a closer relationship with his Lord.
Hearing ~ Peter hears, and more importantly, listens to the report. “Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’ Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb” (John 20:1-3).
Acting ~ After receiving the report, Peter took action and headed for the empty tomb. “Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first” (John 20:3-4).
Understanding ~ Peter receives a message from the Lord and understands its truth and significance. “But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you’” (Mark 16:6-7).
Communing ~ Peter now has a private meeting with the Lord! “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” (Luke 24:34).
Consider how Peter is restored publicly ~ “So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’ He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep’” (John 21:15-17).
Testifying ~ Peter gives evidence of his restoration as he boldly testifies about Christ. “So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: ‘Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all’” (Acts 3:12-16).
Peter was changed from a coward to a bold witness of Jesus Christ. Do you have the boldness of the restored Peter?
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW