“Today’s Seed” from E-MIN May 22, 2023

Your dog doesn’t care if you break a promise …

but God does.

God and dog: Same three letters but what a difference in perspective! Your dog really does not care if you break a promise. Some chicken or a romp in the park will fix it right up. But God DOES care. It matters to Him. But God and your dog are the same in one aspect: They are both willing to forgive you.

Today’s Scripture passage gives us the path for forgiveness. Jesus said to Peter, “So when you have repented and turned to me again …” Repentance; taking accountability for actions; being responsible for behavior; owning the broken promise; being determined not to do it again: These are what God is looking for in order to forgive.

God’s forgiveness does not mean that He does not care what we do. It is quite the opposite, actually. It matters more than we can imagine. The reality is that it matters so much that Jesus paid the penalty for our sin with His own life.

The encounter with Peter in today’s passage is just before Jesus’ arrest. Knowing the denial that would take place in mere hours, He expressed His love and forgiveness to Peter in advance. Hear what He said: “But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail.”

Do not let this escape your notice: He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. So … did it? Did Peter’s faith fail when he denied Jesus?

Apparently, it did not. There is more to this scenario than we realize. We THINK Peter’s faith failed because he denied Jesus. This is how we see it. It is certainly how we would feel if it were us. Jesus, however, saw it differently. Jesus saw a greater picture and different perspective. We should learn to see things as He sees them, don’t you think?

There is no doubt more to this than we will understand on this side, but I understand that Jesus was looking at a longer view. He saw that Peter would fail, then repent, then be restored, then go on to accomplish what He had for him to do and be better and stronger for having failed in the interim. I believe THIS is the faith that did not fail. The denial was only a hiccup in the process, in the bigger, longer picture–and one that was already forgiven before it happened.

How do you see your failures? This question hits me hard because I am a master at beating myself up for failures and shortcomings. Therefore, this message is as much for me as it is for you. We must put aside our short view and learn to see the long view that Jesus sees.

Has your faith failed? I mean this not as you see it but as Jesus sees it. Regardless of circumstances, it has NOT failed yet. How can I be certain of this? Because you are still breathing air on this planet–which means that it is not over for you. Therefore, regardless of what you have or have not done, get up and continue on the path.

And, if you have a dog, give him or her some chicken and quality time for being a good example of forgiveness and unconditional love.

Today’s Seed™ Scripture and Prayer for May 22, 2023:

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers.” Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. The rooster will not crow tomorrow morning until you have denied three times that you even know me.” (Luke 22:31-34 NLT)

Prayer: LORD, though I have good intentions, I do not always act as I intend. Forgive my failures. After I have allowed Your forgiveness and love to restore me, use me to build up others in those areas where I have failed. You can even use a failure for my good and the good of others. Thank You for Your unconditional love, mercy, and grace and for seeing my faith in the long view rather than my failures in the short term. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org

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Scripture quotations marked “NLT” are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

‘Today’s Seed’ from E-MIN • May 22, 2023

About Randall Vaughn:

With 40+ years as pastor, author, teacher, worship leader, and songwriter, Randall pioneered E-MIN in 1997–one of the earliest online ministries and today the longest operating. His passion is leading people to deeper, genuine relationship with God. He lives in Alabama with his lovely wife, Karen, and their dogs, Hadi and Rayah. He enjoys hiking, exploring new tech, and “prayer walks”.

Copyright (c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved.
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