Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 21, 2012

before and after

What do you need to change in your life? Is it your weight, your attitude, the spiritual lethargy you feel, or just that nagging sense of dread that you will never change. After all, you have tried before, but to no avail! An anonymous writer said it well: If you continue to act as you have always acted, you will continue to get what you have always gotten. If you want different results in your life or your work, all you have to do is change your mind. And quite frankly, most people are caught in getting what they have always gotten. For any Christ follower, change is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. The question is . . . are we willing to change?

Last week, I took time to consider the impetuous and sometimes ridiculous actions, logic and statements of the apostle Peter. At the same time, my wife Genel was looking at the incredible man that Peter became after the resurrection. Now, Genel and I don’t think that he had a personality change, but we do believe that he radically changed … and so can you! Accept these examples of the “before and after Peter” as evidence of his change through the power of God.

It seems to me that before Christ died, Peter continually put his foot in his mouth. When Christ was washing the disciples’ feet, Peter said, “you shall never wash my feet. After his great confession of Christ, Peter rebuked Christ for conveying that He would be killed and raised the third day. Christ responded with strong words; “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” His most infamous moment was in disowning the Son of God after His arrest.  How could God use someone so greatly, that failed Him so miserably?

But wait. . . this was the same man who then went on to preach at Pentacost where 3000 people accepted Christ.  This was the same man who became so powerful in his faith that people were healed simply by stepping into his shadow.  He healed a lame man and raised a young lady from the dead.  He wrote two books of the New Testament and talked about the lessons he learned from his earlier mistakes.  And how did Peter’s life end?  His wife traveled with him on many of his journeys, and she was arrested along with him for their faith.  Peter was forced to watch as his wife was led to her crucifixion. Historical accounts say that he called out to her, “Remember the Lord!”  When it was Peter’s turn, he insisted he was unworthy to be crucified like his Christ.  So they nailed him to the cross upside down.

What happened to this impetuous, brash man called Peter? He changed! His post- resurrection life was marked by great faith and incredible accomplishments. His life can be summed up with his own writing in 2 Peter 3:18.

Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

God took Peter’s life, shaped, molded and used it for His glory.  He wants to do the same for you! Accept His forgiveness and grace and Let Him!

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