Restore, Renew, Refire! Part II
God gave me a word for 2013 that he is going to Restore, Renew, and Refire his church (Read John 21:15-19)!
Peter was a guy who needed something like that. Peter had been Jesus' most ardent follower. He was committed, strong, and vocal about his desire to do whatever Jesus wanted. He had even proclaimed that he would die for Jesus. The pressure was on but Peter held up pretty well until that little girl accused him of being a follower of Christ. It was too much for him; he cursed and denied he knew Jesus three times. The shame that Peter experienced was overwhelming. He does not really know what to do with the disappointment he felt for being so weak.
Here comes Jesus. He does not say, "I told you so" or "how could you?" or "why?" He begins to talk to Peter and ask "Do you love me more than these?" His question is in reference to whether he really loves Jesus more than everybody else does. Peter seemed to think no one got it like he did. You can feel that when he declared earlier that if everyone else deserted Jesus that he would not. Jesus gently deals with that arrogance by simply exposing Peter's heart by showing that others loved Jesus equally though they may not be as vocal about it.
Jesus is restoring Peter to himself. Every time Jesus asks him, "Do you love me?", Peter answered in the affirmative. Jesus is restoring Peter to his first love. Jesus does not have to berate him for failure, he just has to get his heart back. Peter's heart fled in fear and now resided in shame. Jesus pulled on his heart and restored the relationship.
In the process, Jesus began to renew the call that was on Peter's life. Jesus tells him to feed the sheep, the people of God. There was purpose in this relationship. Out of this relationship would spring a life that was given for others. Peter had failed in giving his life for the cause, but through the restoration that Jesus gave Peter, his vision was renewed that his life was to be one that was given for someone else. His purpose for living was renewed.
Then Jesus begins to talk to Peter about the fire of the Holy Spirit! He explains that when Peter was young he went where he wanted and did what he wanted. However, in his latter years, Jesus declares that someone else is going to lead Peter and take him places he would prefer not to go. This is the power of God's presence, the fire of the Holy Spirit! This presence of God is what makes loving Jesus and doing his will possible. The Spirit of God makes all of this exciting and glorious!
We here in Shawnee, Oklahoma need to know God's restoration. This restoration is not just about God making you feel bad for being such a sinner and then forgiving you. It is more! He is calling you into a vital relationship with him! Wherever you are, know that God is not mad, he is calling you to himself. If you can get to Jesus, all will be well. He will restore!
This great salvation does not just restore, it gives vision for a future. Jesus has a plan for you to be one of those who are involved in helping his sheep, the people of God. You are restored to make people become all they can be in God. You are renewed to make new people in Christ!
How can we accomplish this great adventure? We do it through the fire of the Holy Spirit! The task before us is too formidable and the adversaries too powerful for us to advance the Kingdom of God. Only by God's presence can we be true ambassadors of the Kingdom. Jesus said, "the Kingdom of God...is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost!" His supernatural joy will sustain us when we are filled with the Spirit of God!
I believe 2013 is a year to Restore, Renew, and Refire! Receive the fire of the Holy Spirit and let's do exploits in 2013!