Have you ever felt like you’ve sinned too much for God to ever accept you? If you have, you’re in good company. Before he was one of Jesus’ disciples, Peter felt that way. When Jesus invited him to come and follow him, Peter replied, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man.” Jesus knew that Peter had sinned, but He was calling him anyway.
In Luke chapter 5, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Jesus doesn’t call sinless people to follow Him, for if He did, no one would qualify. He calls us, a people who need a Savior. His blood is more than enough to cleanse us of our sins. All He requires of us is that we receive His forgiveness by faith. This is what repentance is all about. It’s when we recognize that we have fallen short of God’s standard of holiness and we come with faith-filled hearts of repentance. It’s when we come to the end of our wanderings and say, “I’m willing to turn away from sin and follow You.” When Peter did this, Jesus reassured him, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
Peter stands as an example of the power of repentance. Not just for unbelievers, but also for those who have been in Christ for years. It’s so easy to forget that we continue to need our Savior’s grace. Every single day. Peter had been with Jesus for 3 years. He’d heard all the sermons. He’d been taught and loved by Jesus. Yet when Jesus was arrested, Peter panicked. Fear led him to deny that he even knew Jesus. Three times Peter denied he knew Jesus. When the reality of what he’d done hit Peter, he went and wept bitterly.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in this place. Maybe you’ve stumbled badly, and you don’t know how God could ever forgive you. Maybe you even believe that you deserve hell. So why even try. But there’s good news. Jesus restored Peter. He not only invited Peter to follow Him once again, but He offered Peter a place of honor in His kingdom. Peter was an apostle. He helped turn the world upside down with the good news of the kingdom of God. Peter could have allowed the shame and grief of his sin keep Him from God forever. But he chose instead to receive the love and grace that Jesus offered him. Grace that brought restoration.
How about you? Have you wandered off, thinking it’s too late to ever come home? It’s not too late. The father is waiting with open arms. Isaiah 30 says, “…the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore He rises to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God.” If you have wandered far and want to come home, won’t you say this simple prayer with me?
Dear Lord Jesus,
“I confess that I have sinned against you. I no longer want to do that. Please help me to turn away from sin and follow you. I put my hope in you. I believe that you died and rose again so that I could be forgiven. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Congratulations! Welcome to God’s family! The Bible tells us that when we repent and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we come alive spiritually. John 5:24 says, “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.”
I want to encourage you to get plugged in to a Bible believing church. It will help you to grow in your new faith. If you don’t yet have a Bible, buy one and let it feed you spiritually every day. You need spiritual nourishment daily.
Again, welcome to the family,