Bible insights from your friends at La Jolla Lutheran Church

Let others know you love Jesus

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Failure doesn’t have to be the end -- it can be the springboard for your success. Peter denied he knew Jesus three times in a row, then became one of his most prominent public advocates.

Monday Psalm 69:5-6 (NRSV)
O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me, O Lord GOD of hosts; do not let those who seek you be dishonored because of me, O God of Israel.

A person’s sin is never private. It influences others. It opens doors that should have remained shut, not just for the individuals committing the sin, but for the people they are connected to as well.

What do you need to stop?

What do you need to start?

What do you need to adjust or change?

Tuesday Luke 22:55-62 (NRSV)
When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him. A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed.

Only a few hours before, Peter had been warned this would happen, but he had protested that he was ready to die for Jesus. (See Luke 22:31-34.) Following that, Peter had been told three times to pray he not fall into temptation. (See Matthew 26:36-46 ) Now he was filled with regret. Fear doesn’t help you make good decisions.

When have you missed an opportunity to talk about your relationship with Jesus?

How did these experiences feel?

When have you seized an opportunity to talk about Jesus?

How did these experiences feel?

Wednesday 2 Timothy 2:11-13 (NRSV)
The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself. Luke 12:8-10 (NRSV)

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” Luke 17:3-4 (NRSV)

“Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.”

If you only read the text from Tuesday and the first two texts for today, you might think there was no hope for Peter. Fortunately, the first two texts from today are not one-strike laws. As Luke 17:3-4 indicates, you’re permitted multiple failures a day. This is the age of mercy. The time of justice is still to come.

What actions of your own do you need to forgive?

What actions of others do you need to forgive?

Thursday John 21:15-17 (NRSV)
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.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

After Jesus was resurrected, he sought Peter out and asked three times if he loved Jesus. Jesus didn’t ask Peter the questions Peter had been asked on the night of Jesus’ trial, “Were you with Jesus?” and “Were you one of his followers?” Instead he asks Peter if he loves him. Everything else flows out from that.

How long have you been one of the followers of Jesus?

Do you love him?

Right before his resurrection, Jesus told the disciples:

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NRSV)

A few days later, when they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter took the lead in testifying publicly about Jesus:

Let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” Acts 2:36-39 (NRSV)

Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit?
If so, how has that changed you?

What are have you done this week because of Jesus?
What do you want to do next week because of Jesus?
What do you need help with?