Why Did You Doubt?

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ “ – Matthew 14:31 I want to remind you that in Jesus’ day, the disciples were not just students; they were instructed to do everything the Rabbi did. For instance, Jesus teaches the disciples by demonstrating the miracle of healing the sick. He then instructs them to go out to pray for the sick and watch them be healed. These assignments can be found in Luke Chapters Nine and Ten.  Remember the famous story of Jesus walking on water? Peter thinks to himself that he’s a disciple, which means he’s supposed to do it too, so he begins to walk on water. But as he looks around and sees the waves and becomes scared, he starts to sink slowly. I still think this is an amazing feat. Jesus then takes Peter’s

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God Gave the Gift

“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.” – Acts 11:15-17 Imagine Peter, who’s the leader of the church in Jerusalem, being invited to dine with Cornelius, a centurion who the Bible describes as a righteous man. Cornelius has a connection with God and wants to be drawn into the faith, but doesn’t know what to do. He wants to eat with Peter, but Peter is reluctant to do so because he’s a Gentile. To facilitate this encounter, Peter has a vision from God, and God says “don’t call unclean what I have called clean.” So Peter eats with Cornelius and the gang, and they become Gentile Christians. This is an important moment in the Acts of the Apostles. When Peter returns home and tells people that he’s eaten with these Gentiles and that the Holy Spirit came

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Failure = Success

“‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” – Matthew 14:28-30 When Peter saw Jesus standing on the water, his first inclination was to imitate Him. After all, because he was a disciple of the Rabbi, he knew He was supposed to be able to do anything that He did. Therefore, when His Master told the zealous disciple to come to Him, he readily jumped up and started walking. However, when he took a moment to think about what he was attempting to do, doubts assailed him and he sank. And while many condemn him for not keeping his eyes fixed on Jesus, to me, the

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An Imperishable Hope

“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, ‘All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’” – 1 Peter 1:23-25 Though it took him a while to understand and believe it, Peter ultimately realized that Jesus came to save everyone, including pagan Gentiles. So greatly did his thinking shift that he became pastor to the church in Rome. In fact, when he wrote the book of 1 Peter, he was sitting in a Roman prison cell — in chains for his faith and concerned about the ongoing persecution of his flock at the hands of the evil emperor Nero. Fabled in history and known as one of the most volatile and violent rulers

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Build a Meaningful Life

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” – Colossians 3:1 As we welcome the second week of 2021, we continue to look ahead to the possibilities that a new year brings. Like Peter, we can become rock-solid in faith, because we were taken from the quarry of Jesus Christ. He is unshakable, powerful, and secure, and so are we when we build our lives on the foundation of His truth. Though many of us have experienced major challenges and setbacks in the past year, it’s imperative to remember that these very challenges are what the Lord uses to craft and chisel us into the masterpieces we’re to become. If we look at people like Moses, Abraham, and David,

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Walk Into the Middle of the Mess

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” – Matthew 16:18 Yesterday, we talked about Peter and how he began his life as Simon — the “good guy” who was religious and very responsible. Though he was passionate about serving his Savior, he struggled to understand that Jesus came to bring hope and help to the middle of sin and darkness. However, this changed when the Lord led him — along with the other disciples — to the Gates of Hades. I know this sounds a bit strange, so let me explain. In an effort to illustrate the depths of His mercy and power, Christ took the twelve apostles to the region of Cesarea Phillipi, which was kind of like the Vatican of Pan worship. Pan was the Roman god of fertility

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Embrace Those Who Are Broken

“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” – Matthew 9:13 I believe one of the biggest challenges generational Christians face is internalizing the truth that Jesus came to save sinners. I know this was the case for me. I grew up in the world of church and in a subculture that was religious and somewhat legalistic. I was a “good kid,” and I wanted to be accepted by the people who surrounded me, but I had no idea that I was missing out on one of the greatest hallmarks of Jesus’ ministry. I think this is why I have often been drawn to the story of Peter, who was originally called Simon. In Hebrew, his name was pronounced “Shimon,” and it means “to hear or obey.” Since monikers in the Bible are often associated

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