Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Original Rocky!

                          Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matt 16:18)

              For this Bible study, let's focus on Peter. His original name was Simon but Jesus changed his name. Why? Because he wanted to speak some things into existence in Simon's life. Up to now, Peter was shaky in his faith. He was a tough guy, no doubt about it. Fishermen in those days were a tough breed, braving storms and going days without sleeping trying to catch fish but Jesus wanted to speak spiritual strength and firmness in Simon's life. 

          The name Peter means "Petros" or a Stone. Some theologians believe  that it may have included the name Rocky. Whether this is true or not, I like to think of Peter as the original Rocky. Think about it, Peter had a quick temper and was a tough guy. He was the first to try to walk on water but he failed. He got rebuked by Jesus by talking without thinking. He, even, denied Jesus, backslid and went back fishing, but Jesus did not give up on him.

           Thank God for grace. When Jesus rose from the dead, he went after Peter. He did not give up on him. Look at the words that he spoke to him below as he ministered to him---

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:31-32)

Notice something peculiar? He called him Simon. Why? Because he forgotten that he was Peter(Rocky). He was allowing his flesh to control him that is why Jesus called him Simon. Jesus wanted him to recognize his present situation. Peter, also, had a hard time forgiving himself for having denied Jesus. Therefore, he was not working in love. The word says faith worketh by love. (Gal 5:6)

Not working in love towards yourself or others can hinder your faith. I have talked to many Christians who are beating themselves over a sin that they have confessed. They have had a hard time forgiving themselves. One point to remember is that Peter wept bitterly. (Luke 22:62) Thank God for grace! Thank God for the love of God. Jesus had told him that his faith was not going to fail. There was healing of a broken heart, restoration and conversion. Hallelujah! God is a good God. 

We, too, have a Rocky spirit. Let us learn from Peter's example that no matter how hard you have fallen, you can come back and move mountains with your faith. Instead of saying--"Yo', Adrian, I did it", We can say---I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. God bless.  



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