Tag Archives: Peter

Elder Brother – Sink or Swim I’m Diving In!

jesus feed the disciplesThe Elder Brother is listening to his father beg him to join the feast. Suddenly he gets it! In a true story we see a group of Elder Brothers led by Peter go on in, in spite of their miserable failures. They go to shore and feast with the Father’s Son, Jesus Christ. What happened? What truth has to get hold of Elder Brothers to cause them to DIVE ON IN like Peter? Hint: Enough introspection, its time to DIVE IN!

Jesus didn’t want His disciples to spend too much time regretting or feeling sorry for their sins. In one touching moment the Lord Jesus let his disciples know that He is not about the Past but about the Future! Jesus wanted them to know He is Lord of the Future, and wanted them to focus on that. He knew they had gone back to their fishing because they were upset and disillusioned about His death. Even though Jesus had been upfront with them, they had responded like selfish Elder Brothers and gone back to what they knew best – fishing. But even that proved empty and fruitless.

The-Disciples-Big-CatchSo Jesus spoke, and their nets were filled. They came ashore, and Jesus prepared a meal for them. Then He focused on the biggest failure of an Elder Brother-Peter. But His words were to all Elder Brothers. He said, “Do you love me more than these?Peter knew in that instance that his return to fishing meant he was putting it before his Lord. But rather than admit it in front of the others, he said “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “then feed my lambs

jesus-peter-lovest-thou-me (2)Now there was an obvious disconnect going on here. Jesus wanted to know if Peter “agape” loved him, and Peter insisted he “phileo” loved Jesus. The third time Jesus used “phileo” to meet Peter where he was at, and he pressed the point, “well, then, FOCUS ON THE FUTURE and feed my sheep!” The Father knows where all Elder Brothers are at, and He still wants us to come in! He’s not about where we have been, He is all about where we are GOING! He’s about the REJOICING!

If Elder Brothers are going to go in, they can’t dwell on the past mistakes, they must focus on a growing love for the Father and taking care of HIS SHEEP! It is not about the fish, its about the sheep!

jesus to peter Focus on the futureSo as an Elder Brother, I’m diving in and going in to the feast because I realize I love my Father, and He wants me to feed His sheep, those younger brothers (and older) that know His voice! I realize it is not about what I want, but what the Father NEEDS, and that is sons who will care for His sheep! And the only reason I am emboldened to dive in is because the Father is ALL ABOUT THE FUTURE, NOT THE PAST!

Do Elder Brothers need to dwell on their mistakes, mourn over all the younger brothers they have offended, grieve over all the hurts they have caused the Father?

No! What the Father wants is for us to turn away from our self and GO IN and REJOICE!

Paul said it best in 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT): “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow.”

REJOICE I AM FORGIVENI’m going in, and I am NOT going to sulk in the corner brooding over my failures and sin. The Father wants me to REJOICE. The Father wants ME! He desires a RELATIONSHIP with ME! I’m turning away from my self effort and selfishness, my pride and arrogance, my independence, and I’m going to fall at my Father’s feet and let Him kiss my neck! I’m going in and kiss my younger brother’s neck! I’m diving in to my Father’s AMAZING POWER, GRACE AND LOVE!

Jesus wants to be Lord of our PAST, but He can do it ONLY if we allow HIM to be LORD of our FUTURE!

The only sorrow any brother should have is that which leads us away from our mistakes and plants us FIRMLY IN THE ARMS OF OUR SAVIOR! This life is all about who has our heart!

Lovest thou ME? Then forget those things which are past and press toward the Father’s Heart!

Come on, it’s time to DIVE in (watch the video on YouTube):

Elder Brother Dives InThere is a supernatural power In this might river’s flow
It can bring the dead to life
And it can fill an empty soul
And give a heart the only thing
Worth living and worth dying for, yeah
But we will never know the awesome power
Of the grace of God
Until we let ourselves get swept away
Into this holy flood
So if you’ll take my hand
We’ll close our eyes and count to three
And take the leap of faith
Come on let’s go

I’m diving in, I’m going deep in over
my head, I want to be
Caught in the rush, lost in the flow,
in over my head, I want to go
The river’s deep, the river’s wide,
the river’s water is alive
So sink or swim, I’m diving in

Father: I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes as an Elder Brother, and I now know you have forgiven me, and love me. But I’m taking your hand and I’m going in, heart first, sink or swim, I’m diving in!

Journey of an Elder Brother Day Four

peter the elder brotherElder brothers are never lost for an opinion. Too often they shoot first and tend to the wounded second. The elder brother’s words must have hurt the father deeply. They were spoken in anger and with attitude.

Peter was an elder brother. He was quick to spout his opinion, right or wrong. His mouth often got him into trouble. How did Peter learn to be slow to speak his mind? He was interrupted by God! On the Mount of Transfiguration, God interrupted Peter and said, “This is my beloved Son, HEAR HIM!”  In Capernaum, Peter spoke quickly and committed Jesus to paying the temple tax. When he was about to tell Jesus, Jesus interrupted him and “spake first to him” to correct his false ideas on the matter. Then in Caesarea, while Peter was still preaching, the Holy Spirit shut Peter’s mouth by an amazing miracle, so that Peter’s six companions were “amazed”. Father, Son and Holy Spirit each interrupted Peter’s speech.

transfiguration-of-JesusThis elder brother, who was so quick to speak his mind, learned valuable lessons at the interruption of the Divine Trinity. This is why he could write of the value of good speech:

To sum up, you should all be of one mind living like brothers with true love and sympathy for each other, generous and courteous at all times. Never pay back a bad turn with a bad turn or an insult with another insult, but on the contrary pay back with good. For this is your calling – to do good and one day to inherit all the goodness of God. For: ‘He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile: let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil’. 1 Peter 3:8-12

peter speechPeter knew all too well that the eyes of the Lord were upon him. He had seen Him intervene when he was rushing foolishly headlong. Are you an Elder Brother like me? Learn to listen to the Lord before you speak. Be slow to speak and quick to love.

Father: Teach me that you are always listening to my speech, and to let your love guide my words.

Dare We Presume to Command the God of the Universe?

peter-freed-from-prison-by-pier-francesco-mola-1612-1666In Acts 12:14 the lowly maid is sent to answer the persistent knock outside the gate. The disciples are obviously fearful of the recent aggressive persecution undertaken by Herod. She is so excited to see Peter that she runs in to tell the disciples, forgetting to open the gate and allow Peter in. The disciples, the ones who months before preached boldly in the Temple about the “power of God” to raise Jesus from the dead, hear the ramblings of the maid and pronounce her “Mad”. These great disciples and apostles, men who turned the world upside down with their faith in God, doubted the results of their own prayers. How could Peter have escaped from such a prison?

How can modern day disciples presume to have faith greater than the apostles? I do pray in faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. But I never pray with the presumptuous pride of a voice that believes it can command God. God is God alone. Only He does Wondrous things. How dare I bother Him with petty requests when He has an entire Universe to Rule?

I dare because His Son lives in me, and the life I now live I live by the faith of Jesus Christ. When I pray the Words of His Son, they are the Words that arrest the attention of Almighty God! They are the Words that grab God’s Heart!prayer_3

Pray for Peter to be freed, but wait upon God to reveal His will. Never presume that our will must be His! After all the apostles prayed that James would be freed too!

If I abide in Christ, and His Words abide in me, then I may ask whatever I wish, and He will accomplish it for me (John 15:7 mud version)

Prayer: Enable me to pray with the faith of your Son, and may His Words become my prayer to you. May your will be done in and through my life, just as it is in heaven. Remind me to always open the gate to see your answer to my prayers.