Between The Fires!

I wanted to write something about the events of this past week, I have so much on my heart to say…but I have not been able to put it into words…after praying about it, the Lord spoke to me about something I think he wants me to say about His love. In spite of what is going on around us, the chaos of the world and the fear of the unknown…we must as Christians remember that God is still on the throne.  He has written our story and we know who wins in the end.  We must keep our eyes on Him, trust Him and renew our commitment to follow Him by living out what He teaches in His Word.  To love God with all our hearts, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves!!!!  The Lord inspired me through a bible study my pastor gave last Sunday evening.
May the Lord speak to you….Enjoy, Shell


Matthew 26:33-35, 69-75
John 21:1-19

Last Sunday night our Pastor did a lesson on the love of God, from the vantage point of Peter, the disciple.  He read the passages of Peter telling the Lord, he would never let him down.  Jesus, himself informed Peter that before the cock crowed the next morning, Peter would deny him 3 times.  Peter tried to argue with Jesus, telling him he would die before he would do such a thing.  Scripture tells us in a matter of hours, he did exactly what Jesus said he would do while trying to be inconspicuous in the wrong crowd around a fire, in the cool of the night. 

 

So much happened in those hours, Jesus was betrayed in the garden and taken captive.  The disciples scattered and hid.  Jesus had been crucified and laid in the tomb.  Later, they had discovered the tomb was empty.  He was gone.  What happens to Peter in the days following?  Where was Peter?  What do you think was going through his mind? Do you think the last conversation with the Lord consumed his minutes and hours?  Do you think his denial of the Lord replayed in his thoughts?

 

Jump to the scripture where Peter and the other disciples are fishing on a boat, not catching a thing.  They are weary, hungry and I bet, frustrated.  Then someone speaks to them from the shore “Have you any meat?”  Then he told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat, they caught more fish than they knew what to do with.  So when John questions if it is the Lord speaking to them from the shore, Peter jumps into the water and heads to the shore as fast as he can go.  As our Pastor pointed out, it was ironic, the very next time Peter meets with the Lord was at a fire.  Don’t you know that might have brought back painful, regretful memories for Peter?  But did the Lord bring that up?  No, in fact, he asked Peter a question.  It was that question that connected the two events by the fires.

 

Personally, I had not really thought much about the time between the fires.  It was at the first fire that he betrayed the Lord.  I can only imagine that he was filled with guilt and remorse at the realization of what he had done.  And fear.  But much later after his Lord died a cruel and unfair death, I am sure, there were feelings of great loss and doubt. 

 

What do we do when we have fallen into sin and then back into “old ways?”  Aren’t we frustrated, angry with ourselves, remorseful?  Don’t we wish we could make it all right again, take it all back?

 

Don’t you think Peter, jumped into the water because he could not get to the Lord fast enough?  To make it right, to say he was sorry, to ask forgiveness?  What is amazing is Jesus is just sitting by the fire, cooking up the fish, inviting them to dine, accepting, no condemnation, no I-told-you-so.  He did ask Peter a question.  It was a question directed at Peter’s heart.  The Lord knew the answer.  Why do you think he asked him specifically “Do you love me?” Why do you think the Lord asked him 3 times? 

 

I think He was driving home the fact that He would use Peter to feed His sheep, the message of hope, forgiveness of sins and ultimate love.  How could Peter have truly understood what He was to pass on to others unless he himself had not been in a place to experience the hope of cleansing, to receive that forgiveness of his sins and finally to come face to face with love?  The guilt, the remorse, the loss and frustration of the past days melted away with the realization that he was staring into the face of the man who had died for the very sins he committed at the first fire.  And here, at the second fire, he witnessed what His Lord’s death stood for, the ultimate love of God. 

 

Between The Fires!

It was between the fires, that my heart changed

 From sin to forgiveness, I had to learn,

That he loved me no matter what,

 Love through grace that I didn’t earn.

I had to feel the regret and loss

the desire to hide, hang my head

 Before I understood what His dying

Meant for me, standing in my stead.

It was between the fires, that I came to know

The companion’s guilt, remorse, and fear,

He took them all upon himself

Sacrificed through death, my record clear

 I had to see for myself, face to face

What would send Him to bear?

Sins of the world, including mine,

In the Cross, when love hung there.

 

Poem by Michelle M. Padilla 11/05/08

May you all be loved and show love…
Grace to you,
Shell

 

Photobucket

 

9 thoughts on “Between The Fires!

  1. Peter has been the theme in my thinking for a long time…others have mentioned him too.  I think that he and Thomas remain my heroes because they came through the trial of faith and in the end did remarkable things for the kingdom of God.  This is surely another hour of testing for our faith but I believe in the inspired word of God that gives examples to show us that we can make it through by God\’s grace, thanks very much for this post.

  2.  
    Hey Shell,
     
    I had to copy and paste this into Word to be able to read it clearly but it was well worth it. I had never thought of this story in this way. How are we to know too unless we ourselves experience it?
     
    Shell this is so awesome. Your poem spoke right to my heart. You better keep writing girl!!!!!!!!!!!! It\’s awesome!!!!!!
     
    Love, Liz

  3. Peter is a wonderful example my friend.  Many of us can relate to Peter in our lives today.  He was quick to make promises, quick to anger, and most of all, he was a man who others watched closely.  He had a passion for Jesus, but not until the crucifixion did he fully understand the need to lead by example rather than words or instinctive actions.  As Christians we certainly have the right to speak our mind, but we must do so with a humble spirit.  Rather than compromise our core values, as taught by our Savior, there have been many times in my life I\’ve just had to walk away from the temptation to be a part of the crowd.  Yes, this has caused others to view me as perceiving myself better than them but nothing could be further from the truth.  I don\’t partake of alcohol, I don\’t drool over attractive women, I don\’t laugh at vulgar or senseless jokes, and I have made that decision knowing full well that many will perceive me as arrogant.  We simply must draw a line in the sand and refuse to cross that line of temptation.  Therefore, we are watched closely when among those that know us and what we profess.  A "true" friend would respect the choices we make for the sake of Jesus, but many find our calmness to be just the opposite of what we really are…loving of all peoples and haters of none.  Social suffering is not an easy burden to bear, but it is also our burden of joy.  Thomas and Peter, like us, were stubborn and often demanding.  They both went on to mighty works and acts of grace.  Timely and wonderful post my friend.  It reminds me again this day that it is not my words that matter most.  It is not my works that count.  It is the example we set before men that is our greatest testament of faith.  It is the transition from milk to meat.  Once again, you have hit the nail squarely on the head.  I am honored and grateful for fellowships like yours.  Thank you for just being Shell.
     
    John       

  4.  
    Have you ever noticed that by that fire Jesus asked Peter the exact amount of times Peter denied Him by the fire?  And I love the fact that Peter ran to Jesus not from Him in spite of how his sins must\’ve been kicking his tail-end!  (Just the opposite of Adam).
     
    Good stuff, Shell!!!
     
    Love ya!!!

  5. Hi C…Good to read you have your computer back up and running.Yep…Nothing catches God by surprise and we all have a chance to hear His leading.I like what Joe shared with your entry…Actually, we can kind of think about Jesus saying to Peter, “Dude! I’m calling you the rock because even when we stumble with your faith you can still come right back and hang with me to carry on the good news.”Have a wonderful Wednesday…Greg

  6. Hey girl!
     
    Sorry we haven\’t been able to connect on Messenger. No idea what is going on with it, but hopefully we can talk soon.
     
    Hugs, Liz

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