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January 8, 2021 12:24 pm
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This podcast is made available by this increasing media as to the generosity of our support is your donation today means great podcast ideas remain available to help people look to God daily presentation at our nation today send out all day. The Turning Point with you the vision you are a one-of-a-kind creation with unique role to fill in God's story of salvation thread of that I would your marshes hell-bent truth is illustrated in the life of Peter to introduce today's eye-opening message knowing who you are is David and thank you for joining us for the weekend edition of Turning Point. One of the most important things in self-identity. Knowing who you are. Knowing how special you are before God and knowing that God has a special plan for you and only you can fulfill when you unpack all of the weekend edition Turning Point. Starting right now.
One of the serious challenges in life is the challenge of identity.
Who am I how I define when people see me. Who do they see, how can I discover my real self so that I am set free to be the person I was created to be. So we watch Peter now as he's been walking through all of the stuff that is been happening in his life. We watched him grow through the sorrow he has created three times he confessed to the Lord. Three times he promised to the Lord. Three times he denied the Lord three times is restored by the Lord and all through this process is a churning going on in Peter's heart disease try to figure out what is this all about, but the Lord has one more instruction for Peter before he's finished with the training program and invest moment he's going to show Peter once and for all who he is and what he used to do Peter is going to hear from the Lord.
These two words follow me say that out loud, follow me. Peter had started following years before and he become so sure of himself that he had boasted that prison nor death would separate him from following the Lord, but now all that's gone.
His pride has been destroyed. He's made such a failure out of so much of his life. He's cursed and he's denied and now all of that is behind him. His cursing and denial's unfaithfulness is all been buried in the grave of Jesus covered by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter has been forgiven. He's been restored.
He's been recommissioned and Peter is ready to begin again and there's one last little interchange between him and the Lord which is so very important for us to understand the loving words of the Lord Jesus to Peter in the section of Scripture will help him face the future with courage and strength. He's about to discover his own voice. He's about to realize who he is and what God is asking him to do and I want to ask you this question as we began this message together. You know who you are, you know what God wants from you as we examine Peter's life. Will you be willing to ask yourself some of the same questions that the Lord asked him, and review where you are in your walk with the Lord as well. Question number one, where have you been in verse 18 of the 21st chapter we read most assuredly, I say to you, Peter, when you were younger you girded yourself and walked where you wished.
Looking back over Peter's life the Lord Jesus makes a pretty interesting comment. He says Peter when you were young you were always ready to go anywhere and do anything at a moments notice you throw on your coat at a moments notice and you take off your coat for any task at hand. Peter you are just the normal average young person who is characterized by impulse and independence to remember those days.
Some of you who are as old as I am when anything was just, the spur of the moment, let's focus on the let's go to the ballgame must go bowling with them and you just jump up and in the Lord, said Peter when you were younger you are impulsive you are independent you did whatever you wanted, Alexander McLaren, one of the great preachers of another generation says that self-reliance is a gift to the young. We all fancy in our early days, that we are going to be the ones who make the difference were going to build the towers they go to heaven. We are here now and we will show you older people how this is supposed to be done in past generations of failed but ours will not. Some of us older folks, smile at that because we been there and done that. We watch some generations do that so full of our brashness, our Lord's words to Peter were meant to cause him to look back over his shoulder and remember the carefree lifestyle that he had he had done as he flees. Sometimes he was right, sometimes he was wrong and it usually didn't make a lot of difference to Peter in those days it matter to him which way he went. He was all full of his autonomy and he took it to the max and there's a sweet kind of bliss about all of this when we are young and we haven't yet fought the battles of life. We haven't experienced the difficulties that take the edges off of us and make us stronger inside we somehow feel weird in a sale right through life and everything's gonna be just as carefree as it is right now. Such was Peter's early experience as a fisherman.
He did what he wanted to do and when he wanted to go fishing.
He just said I'm going fishing jumped up and went towards it. Peter the youth in the carefree days that are in your past will one day be radically changed and in the same verse. He gets Peter's eyes off of his youth and he asks him not, where have you been, but where are you going and in the same verse he says, but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and the mother will gird you and carry you where you do not wish and Bessie spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God.
What Jesus is saying to Peter is Peter when you were young you did what you wanted to do but one day someone's going to gird you up and take you someplace you don't want to go Peter one day you're going to be crucified. You're going to die the death of crucifixion in his proud self-confidence.
One time Peter had said to the Lord, Lord, I'm ready to go with you to prison and I'm even ready to go with you to death. And remember what Jesus said to him, think back now.
Jesus said, Peter. You can follow me there.
Now but you will follow me there. One day, if you read the book of acts and the 12 chapter he followed Jesus to prison and what we learn from this passage of Scripture, is he actually followed Jesus to death for read what it says in the text it says Jesus spoke this to signify by what death, Peter would glorify God. Do you know how Peter died. You will find this in the Scripture, but in the secular writings of the period of time man by the name of Eusebius writes these words he said Peter at last, having come to Rome, was crucified head downward for so himself and asked to suffer according to tradition, Peter was crucified upside down because he did not consider himself worthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord Peter's life beginning so carefully without any thought the life that denied the Lord is ultimately the M going to be characterized by life that glorifies the Lord through a death very similar to the Lord's death, but it's the in between that's so important, how did Peter get from where he was as a young person in his carefree, almost irreverent life to the place were at the end of his life.
He is willing to lay down his own life to honor the God and the Lord who had so-called him and that leads us to the third question not where have you been, or were you going, but what are you doing what you doing now in John chapter 21 verse 19 we read and when he had spoken this he said to Peter, follow me.
What is the key to getting from the carefree youth to the godly age is these two words follow me Peter had followed his family into the fishing business. But one day he was asked to leave that fishing business and he began to follow the Lord. The Lord is issuing to him the same challenge. Now he is being called again by his Lord, after his failure and his forgiveness the word of the Lord comes to Peter.
The second time and our Lord's words are follow me and they must've brought back to Peter the memory because if you go back to Luke five.
Those are the very same words Jesus used when he called Peter in the first place. He said follow me and I'll make you fisherman. Now Peter's at the end of his life in Jesus of St. Peter follow me is this call that had dominated Peter's life between these two calls of following are all the ups and downs of Peter's experience all of the progress and the backsliding all the lights in the shadows which go to make up humanity, are on display in Peter's impulsive life in general.
Peter was always first whether he was right or wrong your notice that always first.
He was first to give an answer at Caesarea Philippi, he was first to talk on the amount of transfiguration. Although John and his youth beats Peter to the empty tomb. Peter is the first one to walk into the empty tomb. Peter's the first one to jump out of the boat when he thinks Jesus is on the shore.
He denies first when his relationship with the Lord poses a personal threat. Peter's always first the something something about how he's wired. It didn't make any difference what is right or wrong. We just want to be first, Jesus is probably the only one who could have ever put up with Peter after the denial we would've all written off when we Jesus forgave him and Jesus restored him and you know that there are three ways in which he says to us today. Follow me. First of all, he says to us, follow me in salvation as he did to Peter back when he was fishing follow me. It's a wonderful journey to follow the Lord when he says to us in another way to follow him and that is to follow him in service. He said to Peter, follow me and I will make you to become a fisher of men and Almighty God is calling some of us today to follow the Lord in service but we followed them in our salvation within we just sort of got inside the door of salvation, and we've gone dormant and he's calling us now out of that passive video of our life in the same, and followed me in salvation.
I want ask you now to follow me in service and then one day we will all of her Christians will follow him to the father's house locally.
The Bible says that where he is. We are going to be someday to Paul prays that the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and so shall we ever be with the Lord will follow him one day into the father's house.
So here is Peter and the Lord is speaking and this is Peter. I told you to follow me once and you got lost.
We had to do some repair work to get you back on the road now here is my instruction to you again follow me. Where have you been where are you going what are you doing here is the fourth question.
What is your purpose here is one of the most amusing souls in Peter's life up to this point. If you did know what was coming, he would say you know the Lord has finally done. Peter straightened out. He's finally gotten Peter going in the right direction and he understands what it's all about. Watch what happens when Peter turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved him as a class. John is talking about Johnny's describing John Peter seeing him said to Jesus, but Lord, what about this man and Jesus said to him, Peter if I will that he remain till I come.
What is that to you.
Follow me. Here are three principles that emerge from this last point that I hope you won't miss.
First of all, God has a comprehensive purpose for your life for your life not somebody else's life is your life, what is that you said Jesus you follow me all the Lord's will is not seen by everybody. The Lord's will is sovereign over everybody and Peter needed to review that principle when the Lord said, follow me.
Apparently Peter began to do just that, until he turned around and he saw his good friend John and he turned to Jesus and he said will Lord what about John Peter did not need to have his attention diverted to the Lord's will for somebody else. He was having a hard enough time dealing with the Lord's will for him. Peter had a history of starting to follow and then getting off track back in Luke five when the Lord called him Peter started to follow and then he got his eyes on himself and he said Lord depart for me, for I am a sinful man and what he was walking on the water. When Jesus told him to come to him as he was walking on the water. Remember what happened there. He was doing great.
As long as he kept his eyes focused on Jesus within he looked around at the waves he began to sink like a rock. Peter was a good starter but he didn't always stay focused ribbon around people like that they get started. Real good, but it didn't take much to get them off track and this time Peter heard John walking behind him and he lost his focus again and he said Lord what shall this man do and Jesus answers with a rebuke and he says and I want to say the way I think Jesus said, I think, is what is that to you. What is that to you. You follow me, and I think the Lord's frustration may have been born out of all of the effort he put into Peter to get him up to this point it looks like he's there, he's got himself figured out he knows who he is.
But before he can really get far down the road.
He gets his eyes on somebody else in the Lord has to come back and rebuke him. These are strong words from the Lord. They are meant to convey to Peter the importance of his own personal obedience. There's no time to worry about God's will for someone else when his will for us is still unrealized. This is a lesson that every believer in every age needs to take the heart friends is especially necessary for those of us who are in the occupational ministry. How easy it is for us, no matter who we are, what were doing to look around and see that someone else is doing something that seems to be more successful or more exotic or more well-received or more recognized and we get her eyes off on them and we can almost hear the words of the Lord in the back of our minds saying Jeremiah what is that to you. You just follow me do what I want you to do. I haven't called you to do what someone else is done. I called you to do what I want you to do and if you don't do what I want you to do is go to do that friends I want to tell you something. This is one of the real issues and Christianity today that we have lost the sense of the importance of our own personal identity with the Lord is a gifted everyone of us uniquely. He's called us uniquely. He wants us to be his disciple and our eyes are to be on him when we stay focused on him.
We will get caught up in all of this other stuff that complicates so much of our walk with the Lord.
It's interesting to me that I think Peter finally finally got it for later on he wrote a letter called first Peter just found this little verse in first Peter that I was intrigued by first Peter 415.
He writes these words, but let none of you suffer as a murder a thief and evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. So I think Peter finally got it. I think he finally figured it out. He finally realize what God was trying to teach and how we know it would be such a great thing if we could learn not to be a busybody in other people's matters and just stay focused on the Lord God has a comprehensive purpose for your life. But note number two God has a creative plan for your life is as if I will bet he remain till I come.
What is that to you. You follow me know if you read the rest of the passage, you realize that some of the people who heard this thought Jesus was saying that John was going to live until Jesus came back and Jesus straightens this out in the text. I love this. This is one place where Jesus corrects a misunderstanding about what he said. Jesus said, I didn't mean that he's going to live until I come back. What I meant was if I wanted to live until I come back I can do that.
What is that you Peter. That's all he was a little bit of sarcasm there if you want to know the truth. The Lord used sarcasm.
Can you believe it Peter if I want John to live until I come back again, what you care is follow me. Interestingly enough, there was a little bit of truth in that, because John's the one who didn't see the Lord come back again did me. He wrote about it in the book of Revelation. He didn't see it.
In actuality, he sought in prophecy and it is true that he's the one who saw the Lord come back Chinese evangelist watchman Nee has written a book on this passage of Scripture are forgotten until I ran across again in the book actually has the title of this passage.
The title of his what shall this man do written by watchman Nee was very popular.
Many years ago and I don't want to go back through and give you the distilled version of his book, but simply to say that in the book.
What he did was he distinguish the difference between Peter, Paul and John and pointed out that God had a different plan for all three of these very famous apostles, Peter was an evangelist.
The first time he ever preach the gospel 3000 people got saved and later on 5000 men were converted and have the gift that Peter had for eventually being what Paul did. Paul was a builder he was in encourager he was a teacher. Paul would go in where the evangelism had been preached and Paul would teach holy did evangelism but Paul primarily was the teacher. That's why we have all of the theology of Paul in the New Testament almost all the New Testament was written by theologian Paul. Paul wasn't Peter.
He didn't win 3000 people at one time Peter wasn't Paul.
He didn't teach like Paul did. And then there was John, you know John did watchman nieces John was the mender of nets when he did was he came back and fix things that were broken. He was always taken something that needed to be reworked and put it back together. He was the lover.
He was the peacemaker. All of them were different and watchman Nee says the question that was asked by the Lord to Peter is the question he asked us you're not Peter you're not Paul you're not John here you what is it to you know that God is called someone else to do something else. Your job is to follow him all, if we could get that vote. It would simplify our walk with the Lord so much just to know that what we have to do is follow him.
God has a comprehensive purpose for your life in a creative plan for your life. But thirdly, God has a clear priority for your life and I want to end this message by trying to help us all understand what this means.
What is that to you. You follow me, follow me.
Gandhi was asked what time by a very close friend. This question is that if you admire Christ so much that you become a Christian, and Gandhi said if I can ever find a Christian who follows Christ. I will what an indictment upon all of us. Did you know that we can be quote unquote Christians and still not be Christ followers. Did you know that today being a Christian just means you're not a Jew or a Muslim. That's all it means right what are you I'm a Christian, you see the forms ask you to fill out.
What is your religion.
That's was – that was sometimes they do and they give you through three choices. Christianity and then a few other religions that are around the world and people think well if I'm not one of those. I must be one of these and so Christianity becomes not what you believe but what you don't believe in his book following Christ. Joe stole rights. Although we may hear a multiplicity of voices from both within and outside the church before Christ followers. We only listen to one voice is the voice of Christ to simply said, follow me, no conditions, no negotiations, no particulars, no contractual exceptions.
Just follow was the first thing and the last thing that Jesus said to Peter and is the beginning and end of what it means to be a Christian and everything in between is measured by it. Are you following him are you a Christ follower. If your Christianity is dull and boring.
If it is a burden and not a blessing. Then probably you were involved in the project instead of a person probably you're involved in the system instead of a Savior and probably you're involved with rules instead of a relationship because Christianity is in any of those things.
Christianity is not a religious thing. Christianity is not a host of rituals and philosophies or the best choice among all the possible lifestyles, authentic followers do not live for liturgy.
Following is not celebration it is not contemporary or traditional following is not jubilant dance or compelling drama. It is not preaching.
It is not praising it's not obeying it's not conforming here is its Christ and Christ alone. We are prone to embrace the forms when people ask you, who are you do you say I'm a Baptist. While it's okay to admit that, depending on the circumstances.
But what you want to say before you say any of that is I'm a follower of Christ. I'll tell you what, that'll open up some conversations if you use that answer we are prone always to embrace the forms and the functions as though they were the essence. But they are only the expressions. The essence is Christ. The essence is Jesus. So these words of Jesus to Peter, follow me, are a reminder that Christianity is Christ, not just believing in Christ, in some abstract way, but believing in him to the point of turning our back on everything else so that we might follow him. That's what it means to be a Christ follower today in our world of pluralism. It's almost become acceptable to be a Christian, along with a lot of other thing but I want to say too many women today. When you follow Christ you turn your back on everything else. Following Christ is an exclusive walk and follow him and you turn your back on all else, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who suffered for his faith said in abstract Christology of doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace around the forgiveness of sins makes discipleship worthless and Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ, which, if not following Christ. Probably not a Christian. That is a mean you have to be a riproaring preacher or evangelist or whatever, it just means that you got your eyes in the morning and trying to find out where he's going so you can following be obedient. Are you following him are you a Christ follower.
I'm not asking you today for religious. There are so many religious people don't know anything about following Christ. I want to type something. This is the most liberating truth you will ever hear is not about all of the stuff that often gets talked about when we talk about church and religion and all of that system are following Jesus. Are you following up when people ask you who you are doing Assam a Christian that's okay Romanesque and start saying this when people ask you who you are. You say I'm a Christ follower. It will catch you up short at first. You think I really am I really a Christ follower and then you will start to make some adjustments in your lesson asking this question. When asking out loud. Who are you and I want you to respond. I am a Christ follower who are you high you don't sound very convinced. Okay let me try one more time. Who are you and I pray that you are and I want to say to you that if you haven't started following him. This is the greatest day you will ever have.
I don't want to call you at church membership that might come down the road. I want to call you to denomination. I want to call you some creed or some practice or set of rules or legalism or catechism. Here's what I wanted to I want to call you to follow Christ. Are you willing to turn away from all of the emptiness of your life all the things that you thought were meaningful and say I tried it all and I'm sick of it in its endless and I want to start following Christ.
When you decide today to follow him.
Some of you need to follow him in baptism.
Your questions already which you have never been baptized. You say you're a Christ follower.
He was baptized Judy to follow Christ in baptism. Some of your questions and you rebaptize mature just considers you don't do anything to serve the Lord Jesus said, follow me and I will make you to become a fisher of men or a feeder of the sheep or attender of the flock.
So what are you doing to serve the Lord follow him every day. Get up and say Lord I don't know where I'm going, but you doing I'm hanging on for dear life. Let's go. It will be the greatest adventure you ever had in your life you will never turn back, you will always take what was I doing before I started to follow Jesus.
He cries out for you to come and walk behind him today and he says take my yoke upon you and learn. My burden is light. My yoke is easy when you following.
We hope you enjoyed today's Turning Point, weekend edition with Dr. David Jeremiah. You can hear this and other programs and get more information about a ministry by downloading the free Turning Point mobile app for your smart phone or tablet by visiting our email@example.com/writing that David Jeremiah.org/radio. You can also view Turning Point television on Friday at channel 7 to Sunday mornings at night and on my CCTV Sundays at 6:30 AM and Friday afternoons at one. We invite you to join us again next weekend is Dr. David Jeremiah. She is another powerful message from God's word right here on Turning Point, weekend edition thanks for taking time to listen to find a nice trend. He's increased in size and all I