Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread.
Our reading today titled Never Too Far was written by Lesley Coe. and go back to church only to be scolded by a woman who berated him for being absent for all these years. The scolding added to Raj's sense of shame and guilt for his years of drifting.
Am I beyond hope, he wondered. Then he recalled how Christ had restored Simon Peter even though he had denied him. Whatever scolding Peter might have expected, all he received was forgiveness and restoration. Jesus didn't even mention Peter's denial but instead gave him a chance to reaffirm his love for Christ and take care of his followers. Jesus's words before Peter disowned him were being fulfilled when he said in Luke chapter 22, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. Raj asked God for that same forgiveness and restoration and today he's not only walking closely with Jesus but serving in a church and supporting other believers as well. No matter how far we've strayed from God, he's always ready not only to forgive us and welcome us back but also to restore us so that we can love, serve, and glorify him. We're never too far from God.
His loving arms are wide open. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from the Gospel of Luke chapter 22 verses 31 through 34 and verses 54 through 62. Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail and when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. But he replied, Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death. Jesus answered, I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me. Now picking up at verse 54, then seizing him, they took him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance and when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down with them.
A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, this man was with him. But he denied it. Woman, I don't know him, he said. A little later, someone else saw him and said, you also are one of them. Man, I am not, Peter replied. About an hour later, another asserted, certainly this man was with him for he is a Galilean.
Peter replied, man, I don't know what you are talking about. Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him. Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.
And he went outside and wept bitterly. Let's pray. Father, thank you for your endless mercy and patience with us when we stray from you. And thank you, Lord, that when we repent and return, we can trust you to receive us with open arms. It's in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening today. My name is Wes Ward, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-06 20:28:21 / 2023-03-06 20:30:04 / 2