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The Life Preserver Of Hope

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2021 7:00 am

The Life Preserver Of Hope

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ find yourself when it's going to give an off-color joke and then whenever someone said something was offensive to the Lord, why did you speak joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana when Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word testimony as we do not want you to be uninformed about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve. He said as the rest who have no hope. There's a word, hope, what distinguishes us as believers in Jesus Christ. What is it that we have hope.

Hope is important to us as water is to fish when we are trapped in a tunnel of misery hope points to the light at the end when we are overworked and exhausted. Hope gives us fresh energy when we are discouraged.

Hope lives, our spirits, we are tempted to quit. Hope keeps us going. When we lose our way and confusion blurs the destination. Hope dulls the edge of panic when we struggle with a crippling disease or a lingering illness. Hope helps us persevere beyond the pain.

When we fear the worst, hope brings reminders that God is still in control. We must endure the consequences of very bad decisions.

Hope fuels are recovery when we are forced to sit back and wait. Hope gives us the patient's to trust when we feel rejected and abandoned hope remind us that we are not alone and when we say our final farewell to someone we love, hope, in the light. Beyond gets us through our grief. Put simply, when life hurts and dreams fade.

Nothing helps us like hope Webster defines hope as I desire accompanied by an expectation of or belief in fulfillment to desire with expectation of obtainment to expect with confidence without hope. Prisoners of war languish and die without hope. Husbands and wives give up on their marriage and divorce. How often does the word hopeless show up in a suicide note and if it's not in the note is always implied hope is the life preserver in the turbulent seas we call life.

But it is a slippery life preserver. There once was a man who love the sea rugged man a man's man, strong-willed, passionate, expressive, he did nothing halfheartedly. When it came to fishing.

He was determined and sometimes even obnoxious, but he was loyal when it came to his friends, loyal to the core blindly courageous, often overconfident, and occasionally that overconfidence caused him to overstate his commitment. His name is Peter and it's interesting that Peter is the man that God chose to real real to us the height and the width and the depth of that slippery life preserver that we all need to live. Hope I think the reason that God chose Peter to write the first epistle, first Peter is because there was a time when Peter himself could not get a hold of the hope that he desperately needed. Open your Bibles to Luke 22 Gospel of Luke chapter 22 the night before Christ was crucified before we go to the section.

I would want to read.

I want to go to one verse, verse 24 because I want to give it some context. Luke writes in verse 24 he writes and he says, and there arose also a dispute among them. That's the disciples as to which one of them was regarded to be the greatest on the night before his crucifixion with all of the anguish that he was about to face the disciples arena dispute as to which one of them would be greatest by the way everything hands down. They most thought it was Peter. I mean after all, Peter was one of the three, Peter James and John that the Lord took aside, it was with them on the Mount of Transfiguration. It was Peter that always show this courage was Peter who jumped out of the boat, walked on water for a period of time. Is Peter in a moment here that will cut off the ear of one of the temple guard.

Now I want to go to the passage verse 54 Luke writes this, having arrested him. They led him away and they brought him to the house of the high priest, but Peter was following at a distance, and after they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sit down together. Peter was sitting among them, and a servant girl seeing him as he said in the firelight and looking intently at him, said this man was with him to, but he denied it, saying woman I do not know him a little later in another saw him and said you are one of them too.

But Peter said, man.

I am not in about an hour had passed and another man began to insistence that certainly this man also was with them, for he is a Galilean to.

But Peter said, man. I do not know what you are talking about immediately. Why was still speaking, the rooster crowed Mark add something to this. And remember, it was dictated by Peter and insight that we don't get here from Luke, Mark says that one of the responses that Peter gave Mark writes that he began to curse and swear it could be that he would be saying if he was swearing.

If I am a liar.

May God strike me dead. That'll hold up for the word for swear, but not the word for curse. He may have said, do not connect me with that blankety-blank blank imagine here's a menace that if everybody leaves you stand up for you is the minute Jesus said, will you unbelievable words in verse 61 the Lord turned and looked at Peter.

This is not glances MO this word means to a fixed gaze. It means to discern clearly. Could you imagine that after he spoke in that way, and three times, denying them he's close enough in a proximity in the Lord just turned and stares and what was the look not surprise can be surprise.

The Lord already told him that was what's going to happen.

I don't believe it was anger. I know it wasn't rejection. I think it was aching sorrow wounded love profound disappointment chucks wind all soda captures the moment and says here's what he thought was going on, what have you done Peter you've numbered yourself among these, my enemies and betrayers you've done exactly as I said you would Peter all my longtime friend, look at what you've done.

The response in verse 62 and he went out and he wept bitterly. This isn't just a little appeared on his face. This is gut wrenching. This is him just crying and sobbing, weeping by the way, before we judge Peter to harshly hear one of the denials of Christ in your life when you betrayed him. When you find yourself, warming yourself at the fire of compromise when is someone to give an off-color joke and then you left whenever someone said something was offensive to the Lord, why did you speak is easy for us. Someone wrote that the test of our testimony is not how we got before the friends of the cross, but our conduct and actions before the enemies of the cross he went out and he wept bitterly. I believe that that stare kept him from the cross. I believe that's why he wasn't withdrawn. I believe it Peter was haunted by that stare.

I believe that Peter lost hope and shame filled the void, but only for three days but only for three days with me now to Mark chapter 16 the gospel of Mark chapter 16, just imagine how Peter felt for these days. I believe personally I think the other disciples had a lot of trouble trying to console. Here's a minute, stood up and bragged about how courageous it would be and how faithful he would be. He had to wonder, would God ever use me again ever.

He lost hope. The one thing that he needed was gone, but hope is always available to a child of God.

Hope is always available to you always. Verse one and when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, and Salome. They bought spices so that they may come and anoint him and very early on the forced first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun and risen and they were saying to one another who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb and looking up they saw that the stone had been rolled away. Although it was extremely large. Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right wearing a white robe.

They were amazed and he said to them, do not be amazed you're looking for Jesus the Nazarene who is been crucified. He is risen, he is not here, behold, here is the place where they laid him.

But go and tell his disciples and Peter. He is going ahead of you to Galilee and there you will see him just as he told me when they went out and they fled from the tomb for trembling in astonishment had gripped them they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. As I said God always is willing to throw the life preserver. Hope to one of his children. The life preserver is God's word. That's where hope was found for us. Did you see it in the text.

Did you see the word of hope. This look again verse seven. Go tell his disciples and here is an Peter and Peter to go to said in John James no and Peter.

Peter needs to hear this. Tell Peter wow could you imagine the scene when he heard that you're telling me you set me apart.

He now has hope it's birth again. Now we can go one you see that something about hope. Hope liberates us hope releases you from the past. That's one of the great things about the gospel when you come to Jesus Christ. Hope was born in your life. Hope motivates hope help you bounce back. Hope initiates it set you free to seek God's will and hope activates hope is the fuel that we need to keep on going and it's there in just two words hope brought to life. Tell Peter but Christ is and finished he wants to continue to build hope in Peter's life. Go with me now to John chapter 21 John 21. They are now in Galilee. John writes this he said after these things Jesus manifested himself again to the disciples of the sea of Tiberius, any manifested himself in this way. Simon Peter and Thomas call didymus Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, James and John and to others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, I'm going fishing. While you wonder what's going on in Peter's mind. Maybe after my denials. This is my job. This is my life. I'm going fishing I meet when he called me I was a fisherman. I'm in the back and finish see I'm going fishing and they said to him, we will also come with you and they went out and I got into the boat and that night they caught nothing but one day was now breaking. Jesus stood on the beach and yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus, and Jesus said to them, children do not have any fish you rhetorical question. When Jesus asked. He always knows the answer.

No fisherman likes that.

By the way got nothing Manson. They said no and he said to them, cast the net on the right hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.

They must've hated that. Wait a minute with castanet the right to left ahead, behind here there over there. We caught nothing.

So they cast and they were not able to haul in because of the great number of fish and therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved, that's John said to Peter, it is the Lord and when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord. He put his outer garment on, for he had stripped himself for work and he threw himself into the sea. That's Peter. I'm going right form, but the other disciples came in a little boat for they were not far from land about 100 yards away, dragging a net full of fish and so when they got out on the land they saw a charcoal fire already late and fish placed on it and bread not only tells you something Jesus had bigger fish to fry.

This is not about fishing or a catch.

This is about the restoration of hope.

So he says bring some of the fish. Would you have now caught Simon Peter went up and drew the net the land full of large fish, 153 he says and although there were so many the net was not torn very unusual. And Jesus said to them come and have breakfast. None of the disciples ventured to question him with who are you, knowing that it was the Lord. And Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them in the fish. Likewise, this is now the third time that Jesus manifested to the disciples after he was raising the dead when they had finished breakfast, Jesus is the Simon Peter, Simon son of John, do you love me more than these. What a statement the statement by the way that Peter always implied. Lord, I'll never deny you. I love them I love you more than these, that's me, Jesus ask a penetrating question here, the responsive Peter is yes, Lord, you know I love you in English and miss it. Jesus said to the Simon Peter, Simon Peter, do you agape me more than these agape is that willful choice to love is unconditional. Nothing can change it for God so loved the world that he sent his only son unconditional love. You love me like that, Peter. And Peter said yes Lord, I feel I owe you friendship. I love you as a friend. Philadelphia, brotherly love. I feel I owe you interesting could make himself say it. You see, how can I say I agape you when I denied you. How can I say that is a how can I say that, so I thought owe you. Jesus is pretty persistent. He said to him a second time, Simon son of John, do you agape me and he said to me yes Lord you know that I fly owe you the first time he said it. Notice what Jesus said in my Lamb's now. He says shepherd my sheep and then 1/3 time by the waves, not coincidental how many times did Peter deny so we asked them the same question three times in a sense, one for each denial.

But what's how it changes may sit in the third time, Simon son of John.

He said do you follow me change the you flow me, I'll take that any said no more.

Do you know all things you know that I for what you Jesus attend my sheep. You see, because he was still struggling with his hope of being used by God Peter saying I'm on the go fishing let's fish that's what I am Jesus said you're not a fisherman, your shepherd should ask her to call for 10 my Lamb's shepherd my sheep tend my sheep.

That's what Jesus says this event change Peter forever is different is never the same. We often make the mistake when we make caricatures of Peter always think of Peter as he was in the Gospels by challenge Judas think of the Peter that's in the book of acts. I challenge you to think of the Peter that will see in first and second Peter challenge you to see that Peter because he's different now. Hope restored his courage but had vanquished his pride. Eugene Peterson says this about Peter. He says the way Peter handled himself in the position of leadership and power is even more impressive than the power itself. He kept out of the center of attention.

He didn't parade his power because he kept himself on the power of Christ. He could have easily thrown Orion's popularity is power his position to try to take over using his close association with Jesus to promote himself, but he didn't. Most people with Peter's gifts could have handled it then or now that he did.

Peter is a breath of fresh air. Peter is the one who comes to write the epistle of hope.

We all needed. If you don't need help right now you going to Sunday. You can't live in the turbulent waters of this life without that life preserver. It's not just the hope of going to heaven a certitude of the future. It's hope to get through a difficult marriage. It's hope to deal with illnesses, terminal diseases, children who live lives that you would not approve of hope. The apostle Paul said, and now these three things remain faith, hope and love. We know that used to be faith, hope and charity, but now it's faith, hope and love. We write statements of faith we write about will let you know this is what we believe this is what we stand for and love how we talk about love all the time we sing about love all the time you see love is very popular among us.

The love of God for us and our love for God, but there are no statements of hope and even few songs about it.

But God values hope he knows how important hope is to us. He knows that hope liberates the releases you from your past. He knows and hope motivates you, helps you to bounce back. He knows that hope initiates it sets us free to seek God's will when he knows that hope activates becomes the fuel we need to keep on going. That's what it did for Peter. Hope that's what it can do for you boy.

If you find yourself in a situation we say this word almost too flippantly. So often, it all seems hopeless.

It's never hopeless for you. If your child of God never that life preserver is there, that truth is there, but it can be slippery if we don't grab a hold of it.

Faith Peter of all men. Bathroom never the radio ministry of fellowship in the world.

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