Tag Archives: Peter

My Delight is the Lord, December 21

Do You Love Me?

December 21, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: John 21:15-24

Peter sounds a little exasperated after Jesus asks him for the third time–and he’s already responded in the affirmative twice–if the impetuous disciple loved Him. “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you” (v. 17). Peter was correct, wasn’t he? Jesus does know all things, including our love for Him. But wait, Jesus didn’t change His response. It wasn’t “You’re right. I already know.” It was,  “Feed my sheep” (v. 17). There is more to loving the Lord than what is in our heart. The confirmation of our love for the Lord doesn’t come from his all-knowing awareness of what we feel toward him. It comes from us and what we do (or don’t do). As Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15).

Questions to Ponder:

  • What did Jesus mean by, “more than these”? (v. 15)
  • How was Peter to feed/tend Jesus’ sheep/lambs? (vv. 15, 16, 17)
  • What would Peter do in his death? (v. 19)
  • What is our ultimate, individual responsibility (v. 22)

My Delight is the Lord, December 14

Like Peter

December 14, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: John 21:1-14

I am like Peter in many ways. Here’s one; he went fishing and caught nothing. I pray that I am like him in what followed next in this incident. After an unsuccessful night on the Tiberias Sea, Jesus appears on the shore the following morning and says to cast their nets “on the right side of the boat” (v. 6). Why should they? Their experience tells them that this would be a futile exercise. Their frustrated emotions (I know how it feels to fish a long time and catch nothing) were not inclined to taking fishing advice from a carpenter. Still, “they cast it [their net]” (v. 6). That, by itself, is powerful (the miraculous catch that follows notwithstanding). When all else appears to argue to the contrary, will I still do as Jesus says? Oh, how I long to be more like Peter.

Questions to Ponder:

  • What do Peter’s actions in v. 7 say about him?
  • Why did Jesus feed the disciples breakfast?
  • What are the “miracles” in this event?
  • What does John say is the point of all of this? (v. 14)

My Delight is the Lord, November 26

Hostile Environment

November 26, Saturday: God’s Story (2)

Scripture Reading: Acts 12

In the face of persecution, the Jerusalem church prayed. They did not protest. They did not picket and form political action committees. They did not stand on a platform of human rights to decry violations. True, they did not live under a representative form of government devoted to freedom as do we. Our present day avenues for response are much broader than theirs, but they are not any better. In our quest to defend and promote a philosophy of human government we deem much preferable to other alternatives, let us not mistakenly think that the kingdom of our Lord in any way needs the support and help and protection of any kingdom of men. The infant church not only survived but thrived in a hostile environment. They knew what they needed and sought it. Do we today truly understand what we need?

Questions to Ponder:

  • What motivated Herod to apprehend Peter? (vv. 2-3)
  • What is significant about the fact that Peter was sleeping? (v. 6)
  • Where had the church gathered to pray? (v. 12)
  • What role do angels play in this chapter?

My Delight is the Lord, November 19

Personal Piety Fails

November 19, Saturday: God’s Story (2)

Scripture Reading: Acts 10:1-11:18

Imagine an angel telling you that God has taken notice of how good you are. Wow!  He honors your religious activity and your generous service to others. That is mighty high praise and is exactly what Cornelius received (vv. 1-4). But that is not where this story ends. As this centurion later recounted this conversation, he was instructed to send for Peter who would explain the Lord’s command (v. 33). Get this: Cornelius’ personal piety was not sufficient to be right with God. God liked that in this man, but He wanted from him what He wants from us all–as Peter would explain–that we would fear God and do what is right (v. 35). As Jesus Himself said it, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21).

Questions to Ponder:

  • How is Cornelius described? (10:2)
  • What is similar about Saul’s and Cornelius’ experience?
  • Was Cornelius already aware of Jesus? (10:36-38)
  • To what do the prophets bear witness? (10:43)

My Delight is the Lord, October 28

By What Power?

October 28, Friday: God’s Story (1)

Scripture Reading: Acts 4

Peter makes a critical connection for us. Having been asked by the religious authorities following the healing of a man 40-years-old and lame since birth, “By what power or by what name did you do this?”, he said it was by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (vv. 7, 10). He then proceeded to say, for there is salvation in no one else, “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (v. 12). The power/name that heals the lame is the same power/name that saves the lost. The power that can do the former can certainly do the latter. And so, indeed, this is this name upon which we call to be saved (Acts 2:21). And this miracle (among others) proves it.

Questions to Ponder:

  • What annoyed the Sadducees? (v. 2)
  • What did the rulers perceive about Peter and John? (v. 13)
  • What did the rulers confess about what had happened? (v. 16)
  • For what did the apostles pray in response to being threatened? (v. 29)

My Delight is the Lord, October 22

Attention to Jesus

October 22, Saturday: God’s Story (2)

Scripture Reading: Acts 3

Peter wanted to know why the multitude was staring at him and John (v. 12). Well, an amazing thing had just been done and everyone knew it. This well known, ever-present, congenitally lame man was remarkably doing what no one had ever seen him do–walking, leaping, and praising God (v. 8). What is more, it all happened as a result of what Peter and John had said. These witnesses were “utterly astounded” (v. 11). Don’t miss what happened next. The apostles had what everyone seems to want–the people’s attention. Think of it; advertisers, hucksters, celebrities, politicians, retailers, power brokers, etc., etc. all want the same thing–the attention of the masses. Peter and John had it and here’s what they did with it; diverted it from themselves and directed it toward Jesus, His death and resurrection (vv. 11-16). Given our self-idolizing culture, that seems nearly as miraculous as the miracle. But really, that’s what we should all be about always–directing attention to Jesus.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Why did Peter and John go to the temple? (v. 1)
  • What filled the people who saw the lame man walk? (v. 10)
  • How is Jesus described in vv. 14-15?
  • What did Peter say these people must do? (v. 19)

My Delight is the Lord, October 21

Call on God’s Name

October 21, Friday: God’s Story (1)

Scripture Reading: Acts 2

Peter’s famous sermon on Pentecost contained much familiar language. He quoted freely from Joel and various Psalms. One phrase in particular is quite noteworthy. At the end of the Joel quotation, he cited, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (v. 21). That’s one of those staple statements of Scripture repeated numerous times in both Testaments; we must call on the name of the Lord (see Gen. 5:26; 12:8; 26:25; 1 Kings 18:24; Joel 2:32; Rom. 10:13; 1 Cor. 1:2). We dare not miss its meaning. Just as Peter clarified the multitude’s misunderstanding about what was happening that day (some thought the apostles drunk, v. 13) by explaining it was what Joel had prophesied, so too we get clarification about calling on the name of the Lord. When the crowd later asked what they should do (v. 37), Peter told them what calling on the name of the Lord looked like under this newly initiated covenant; “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (v. 38).

Questions to Ponder:

  • To what was the miraculous phenomenon audibly and visibly likened? (vv. 2-3)
  • Was the miracle that the people could hear in their language? (v. 4)
  • What nations were represented that day in Jerusalem? (vv. 9-11)
  • Are David’s writings to be understood exclusively as songs/poetry (Psalms)? (v. 30)

My Delight is the Lord, August 9

My Effort and God’s

August 9, Tuesday: Following God’s Way

Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 1:3-15

God’s divine power and my every effort–that’s really no contest is it? The one is without any limit and the other is bound by so many constraints; the infinite and quite finite. What can I do that God cannot? What lies beyond His capacity that I can fulfill? It is ludicrous to even ask such things. But notice how these two are brought together and God’s own might is not intended to exclude, but rather to include, us. His “divine power” has granted to us everything we need (v. 3). Is there anything left for us? Surprisingly, yes. We are told to “make every effort” to supplement our faith (v. 5). Certainly our role has nothing to do with filling up any shortcoming in what God has done. The only possible explanation that we would have any part to play is that God has so designed and intended for it to be. If God has made a place for my effort, then I should withhold none of it.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Through what has God granted to us all that pertains to life and godliness? (v. 3)
  • Through what are we able to become partakers of the divine nature? (v. 4)
  • What does the presence and growth of these qualities prevent? (v. 8)
  • In what way will entrance into the eternal kingdom be richly provided? (v. 11)

My Delight is the Lord, June 1

Who Has My Attention?

June 1, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

Scripture Reading: Matthew 17:1-13

What is the most critical asset in your possession? Think about it. We could readily, and accurately answer that it is our soul. That would be hard to refute. But what about your attention? To whom have you given it? That is, to whom do you listen? Who has your ear? Whose voice holds the greatest sway in the course of your life? What or who is it that is being allowed to shape your thinking and therefore impact your actions? God speaks directly to this point when He identifies Jesus as His beloved Son in whom His pleasure resides, and says, “Listen to him” (v. 5). Be sure your attention is given to Him. Determine that He has your ear, that He above all others and all else shapes how you think and what you do. What better way to preserve our soul than this? Your attention is your most critical asset. Place it well.

Questions to Ponder:

  • What is the point of the transfiguration?
  • Assess Peter’s recommendation in v. 4.
  • Why would Jesus set the restriction He does in v. 9?
  • Who was the Elijah that has already come? (v. 12)

My Delight is the Lord, May 25

Peter’s Admirable Blunders

May 25, Wednesday: Knowing God’s Son

 Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:22-33

Oh Peter! He got into more trouble with Jesus than any other apostle (excepting Judas, of course). Jesus called him “Satan” (Matt. 16:23), made devastating eye contact with him at his biggest blunder (Lk. 22:61), even God responded directly to his hair-trigger suggestion (Matt. 17:4-5). Here Jesus directly rebukes his lack of faith (v. 31). I sure wouldn’t want to be like Peter…or would I? Every time Peter messes up it’s in the context of trying to be near, to defend, or to extoll Jesus. He got into trouble trying to do His best for the one He loved most. It’s better to fail trying than to be guilty of failing to try for fear of failing. It’s not without reason that it’s Peter who is honored by having his words recorded in Acts 2. Jesus knows how to rebuke and He knows how to bless. More Peters are actually in order.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Why did Jesus dismiss the crowds? (see John 6:15)
  • Where did Jesus go? With whom? For what reason? (v. 23)
  • How did the apostles identify what they saw? (v. 26)
  • Did Peter actually walk on water? (v. 29)