God Wants to Use You
“Simon, son of John, do you truly love me?” Jesus’ words pierced Peter’s heart like a hot knife. It had been days ago that Peter denied knowing Jesus. But the pain still burned in Peter’s heart as if it had just happened.
No doubt, Peter, who also went by the name Simon, thought back to that horrible scene just days before when he had committed the unthinkable. It was the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion. Brutal soldiers had just beaten Jesus with a barbed whip fashioned from jagged glass tied to strips of leather.
Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.
─ John 21:17 NIV
The Savior of the World, almost unrecognizable from the beatings, was being dragged like an animal into the High Priest’s courtyard. There, Peter warmed himself by a fire, trying to remain anonymous. A suffocating flood of fear washed over him. Perhaps he prayed for courage to speak out on Jesus’ behalf. But self-preservation won out, and he remained mute. He hoped to blend in with the crowd of onlookers, but his notoriety as one of Jesus’ followers betrayed Him.
A servant, recognizing Peter shouted, “Didn’t I see you with him?” Peter cursed and swore he did not know Jesus. Just then Jesus passed by and looked straight into Peter’s frightened eyes – perhaps a look of intense disappointment Peter would never forget.
Allow Jesus’ love to open the door to be used by God.
Now, a few days later, here he was sitting on a beach at night by a fire with the risen Christ. The pain of his denial still haunted him, but Peter didn’t offer excuses. Putting his past behind him he answered boldly, “Lord you know all things; you know that love you.”
How could Peter have been so bold – declaring his love – after failing Jesus so miserably? Perhaps it was because, through the agonizing experience of the cross and the power of the resurrection, Peter at last understood the depths of Jesus’ love – a profound love that erases even the worst sins from a truly repentant heart – love that transformed Peter from a frightened failure to one of the boldest proclaimers of Jesus’ love the world has ever known.
Allow Jesus’ love to open the door to be used by God. The next time you think you’re just not good enough to be used by God, remember … you’re right. You’re not good enough. But, it is then that God will use you. Peter wasn’t good enough either, but God used him anyway.
Today’s One Thing
What is something you’ve thought you could do, but then didn’t pursue it? Ask God if that is something He wants to use for His glory. Begin to see yourself doing it and if it’s His will, He will show you how to do it.