God is Calling Us To Love Jesus (The Life of Peter)
by Charles Cameron
Published on September 21, 2022

This week we begin a new Wednesday weekly series, God is calling us to love Jesus. The Life of Peter will teach reveal many ways that Peter drew more in love with the Master.

God is calling us to love Jesus (The Life Of Peter) – Part 1

By Charles Cameron

 God is calling us to love Jesus. In His Word, He tells us about people who learned to love Jesus. Little by little, they learned to live the Jesus life – less living for self and more living for Jesus.

We can learn so much from the life of Peter. At the heart of his life, there is the life-changing experience when, three times over, Jesus asked him, “Peter, do you love Me?” Three times, Peter said, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.”

The story of Peter is a story of a growing love for Jesus. At first, Peter had a lot of love for himself, and not quite so much love for Jesus. Peter’s love for Jesus was so changeable. Sometimes, it was strong. Sometimes, it was weak. In one way or another, Peter learned to make it less of self and more of Jesus.

There are three parts in the story of Peter.

* (a) the Gospels – Little by little, Peter is learning to love Jesus.

* (b) the first half of Acts – Peter’s love for Jesus has grown strong, and he is being greatly used by the Lord.

* (c) Peter’s letters – These complete the story. Here, we see Peter, the mature Christian leader, loving Jesus and loving the people of God for Jesus’ sake.

Peter’s story begins in John 1:35-42. It begins with the Andrew – Peter’s brother.

* (i) “Andrew … heard what John had said” (John 1:40). What did John say? – “Look, the Lamb of God” (John 1:36). Faith begins when the Christ, who died for us, is preached to us.

* (ii) Andrew “followed Jesus” (John 1:40). The first thing he did was this: He gave his testimony to his brother, Peter. What a humble beginning to Peter’s story!  Before the great honour of Christian leadership, there was this humble beginning – a man leading his brother to Jesus. From these small beginnings, great things would come. Peter became a great servant of the Lord. When we remember Peter, we must make sure that we do not forget about Andrew. From Andrew, we learn a very important lesson: “There’s a work for Jesus , ready at your hand. ‘Tis a task the Master just for you has planned. Haste to do his bidding, yield Him service true. There’s a work for Jesus none but you can do.”

* (iii) “You are Simon. You will be called Peter (rock or stone)” (John 1:42). A change of name pointed to a new future. Before Simon could really become Peter, two things had to happen. Peter needed to have a deeper view of his sin (Luke 5:8), and he needed to have a deeper view of his Saviour (Matthew 16:16)

Later on, Jesus said, “You are Peter” (Matthew 16:18). What, He was saying was this: Now, you are what I said you would become (1 Peter 2:4-5).

What about your future? What about my future? None of us knows what the future holds, but we do know this – when Jesus is at the centre of our future, it will be a great and glorious future.

Peter was a fisherman. His life was centred on the water. We’ll look at two incidents. They teach us the importance of repentance and faith. We need both if we are to make good progress in our new life in Christ.

* “In repentance and rest is your salvation” (Isaiah 30:15).

Repentance is not just for the beginning of the Christian life. It’s for the whole of our Christian journey.

The redeemed of the Lord are to walk in the Way of Holiness (Isaiah 35:8-9). If we are to walk with the Lord in the way of holiness, we must walk with him in the way of repentance. Again and again, we must join, with Peter, in saying, “Lord, I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8).

Knowing ourselves as utterly lost is the first step towards knowing God through Jesus.

Peter’s experience of knowing himself was a first step towards knowing Jesus. His experience can be compared with Isaiah’s experience in Isaiah 6. It was an experience of the glory of God and the love of God.

First, there’s the glory of God (Isaiah 6:3). Then, there’s Isaiah’s confession of sin (Isaiah 6:5). This is followed by the love of God and the forgiveness of sin (Isaiah 6:7).

We look at Peter, and we see this again – the glory of Jesus and the love of Jesus. Peter has seen something different in Jesus – something special, something beyond the ordinary. He sees the glory of Jesus. He calls Jesus, “Lord” – and he confesses his sin – “Depart from me, Lord, I am a sinful man.” When Peter looks at Jesus, he sees love. Peter asked Jesus to depart from him. Jesus refused to depart from Peter. This is love. It’s the greatest love of all – the love of Jesus, our Saviour.

Jesus will not depart from those who confess their sins and seek forgiveness from Him. He died for us, and He will not depart from us. How can He who died for our salvation depart from those who seek salvation from Him?

* Faith is not just for the beginning of the Christian life. The whole Christian life is a journey of faith. We need faith every step of the way.

We see Peter, walking on the water. Our Christian life is to be a walk with God. We are called to walk by faith. We are to walk in the Spirit.

If Peter was to walk on the water, he needed to look beyond the wind and the waves. He needed to look to Jesus. If we are to walk by faith, to walk in the Spirit, we must keep looking to Jesus. We must keep on praying that Jesus will become ever more precious and more glorious in our eyes.

Faith means looking to Jesus. Going on in faith means keeping our eyes fixed on him. Faith is not a constant, always at the same high level, always shining brightly. There are highs and lows in the life of faith. There are times when faith is strong. There are times when unbelief threatens to overwhelm us.

We began with Isaiah 30:15 – “In repentance and rest is your salvation.” Let’s return to this idea of faith as resting in the Lord.

What does it mean to rest in the Lord?

We have been “redeemed” by the Lord (Psalm 107:2). While we are on this earth, we are “wandering in desert wastelands.” We’re travelling towards the “city of God, but we’re not there yet (Psalm 107:4). We are resting in the Lord. This is not the same as resting on our laurels. We rejoice in the Lord. We thank Him for His love. We thank Him for leading us in His way – but we are not fully satisfied. We know that there is more. We hunger and thirst for more – more of God, more of His glory, more of His love. We are resting in the Lord – but we are still restless. We have not completed our journey. We have not arrived at our destination. Resting in the Lord must never be confused with complacency. We must not delude ourselves into thinking that we have made more progress than we really have. We haven’t arrived. We’re still travelling. We’ve a long way to go. The Lord has so much more to teach us. He’ll teach us to rest in Him – and He’ll keep on challenging us to walk more closely with Him.

Repentance and faith – This is the way in which the Christian life begins. Throughout our life, we are called to keep on walking with the Lord in the way of repentance and faith. How can we do this? We need the power of the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we will fail. Day-by-day, we must seek His help. Often, we will fail Him. He will never fail us. Many times, we will “grieve the Holy Spirit” – but He won’t give up on us. He will keep on coming to us. He will come to us as the Spirit of love. He will call us back from our sin. He will call us back from our wandering. He will call us back to repentance, back to faith, back to walking in the Spirit.

In the Christian life, sometimes, we are up, and, sometimes, we are down. In the love of Christ, there is no downside. He loves us all of the time. When our love for Him grows weak, His love for us remains strong. There is no love like the love of Jesus. It’s the best love. It’s perfect love.

We emphasize how much Jesus loves us. There is something else we must emphasize. Jesus hates our sin. He rebukes our unbelief – “You of little faith … Why do you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).  Jesus rebukes our unbelief – but He does not stop loving us. His rebuke is full of love. When He rebukes us what is He saying to us? What He is saying is this. There is no reason for you to doubt Me. There is every reason for you to trust Me. Why does he rebuke us? It’s because He wants us to keep on walking with Him in repentance, in faith, in salvation.

Note: Be sure to follow us the next several Wednesday’s as we continue this series, by Charles Cameron: God is calling us to love Jesus.

Charles Cameron, better know as Charlie to his friends, lives in Scotland and is a member of the Church of Scotland. He owns several Christian blogs found at the following links:

Old Testament

New Testament

Feature Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

2 Comments

  1. Jeanette seleke

    I Love this post. I have full understanding and determination to keep walking with faith and belief. Life’s challenges can twist your faith. It can fill your mind with doudts. It’s wise to stay in with the Lord Jesus Christ at all times. Every challenge is one step closer to God and into finding yourself more with him. Thank you for this inspirational motive. I loved every moment of it.

    Reply
    • Andy Oldham

      Thanks for reading.I am so thankful you enjoyed it! Please watch for more of these as this is a series. God Bless!

      Reply

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