Sermons

God is preparing you (John 21:15-19)

July 7, 2014

God is preparing you.

The sermon can be found here-

I. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” (John 13:6-10 ESV)


Main: When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” (John 21:15-19 ESV)

II. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)

God is good, amen? God is good! Is God really good? How good is God to you? Can you think of a few things right away??? Is God really good?

For those people who are saying that God is good, how many of you will be able to say God is tomorrow morning? What about next Wednesday? Maybe next weekend? Can you imagine next week?
What is it your minds right now? Why so many questions, right? We do not think that far… the more you think about it, you know you have fear about it. You know your joy in God may not last that long. You know you cannot last that long and you can see you are going to fail. If you can ever think you are going to be perfect in your actions and your thoughts, you are lying.  What is the point of our lives then? So imperfect people trying to pursue God. I think we can relate that to Peter in so many different ways.

We read the bible and see how stupid Peter sound (lung khung, aa porhlawmi). From the day that he started following Jesus, he is depicted as someone with the weak faith. Someone who exaggerated a lot. Someone who liked to walk on the water with Jesus, but drown in the water. Someone who would rather serve Jesus – saying no, no let me wash you and cleanse you. Someone who says the other disciples may disobey you, but I would never deny you Jesus, I will die with you to the end. Later in the story as the romans arrested and hit Jesus and he denied Jesus three times! THREE TIMES! How do you explain that? Where are his promises to Jesus? Where is that man who wants to be so clinging onto Jesus!!?! Why did Jesus have to ask him the questions three times again? We ask people the same only because we do not like them. Why did Jesus tell such a failing guy to feed His sheep?

 

  1. Jesus knew Peter would betray him three times.
    1. Jesus told Peter that he prayed in John 13:36-38, Satan has asked for the permission to sift peter away from Jesus. Like sifting him away as taking him away from Jesus, taking his eternal salvation away from Jesus.

Remember this, Satan has no power over you unless Jesus gives him the permission to. You know the story of Job that Satan asked God to tempt him and test him, and only after God’s permission that Satan tempted and tried.
First, you have to understand that Satan has some power too. That is why Jesus mentioned him as the prince or ruler of this world. That is why we have to work hard to fight against Him. Do not fear because of that.
Second, Satan cannot do more harm than God can let him to. Satan really needs to ask God’s permission first. (AMEN)

  1. Peter, the one who would even lie down his life for Jesus, will deny Jesus.

Listen, this happened. He really did deny Jesus. Jesus warned him that he will deny. Satan worked in it. But it was Peter who did it. He had so much confident in his flesh – not letting Jesus to wash him and he has pride that although others deny him, he will not deny him. Yes, God allowed it to happen – but it comes form our sinful nature that we are trusting in ourselves and because of the fall, the sins has been growing inside of us. We cannot blame God for our sins.
Examples: Don’t we feel like that some days?

We told Jesus that we will do this and that for Him, and even to lay down our lives for Him, but we will fall into sins day-to-day basis. I am just not talking about your actions, but our thoughts and mindsets. To promise and say that Jesus can take our lives is very easy, but to follow and walk with him in the hardship is so hard.

Our faith can be shaken and we really wonder if Jesus is the God that He claims He is.

Especially in our daily lives, instead of picking up the bible, we would rather play. Instead of loving others, we would gossip about them. Instead of helping others, we do what we want. Promising Jesus of things is easy, but doing them is so difficult. When Paul mentioned about “desires” in Philippians 4, that is how we should be, and we are falling short.

  1. Jesus restored Peter. (Jesuh nih a thinlung a sersiam tthang)

Now our Lord Jesus had been crucified and He was raised from the dead! Yes, Good Friday will come and then there is Sunday!!

  1. Jesus visited Peter and initiated the conversation.

Peter was just back at the river doing his own thing again. Whatever happens to following Jesus? Well, the King has been crucified, so I guess I will go back doing my normal thing. Jesus did not forget Peter, but actually walked to him even when Peter did not recognize Him at first.

  1. What do you think Peter thought after doing such a shameful thing to Jesus?

In the Gospel of Luke, it gave a better description of Jesus and Peter – Jesus looked at Peter straight after he denied him three times. Think about disappointing someone who has been with you for the whole three years. Someone who you called Lord and someone who you told that you would follow him no matter what! You denied him and he looked straight at you.

I can feel Peter’s shame right now. O no! What would he say about me? I have wronged him so badly. I have nothing good in me. Will he know that I denied him? Will he talk about that all? I wish he skip that part and we just move on and live happily ever after.

Don’t we feel like that sometimes? We would rather skip that part of the conversation and move on. That kind of difficult is either over passed by or just joked around and passed by. How would you face something like that?

  1. Three times Peter denied Jesus, three times, Jesus asked Peter if he loves Him.

It must have been tough and hard for Peter to be asked three times. Simon, Son of John, Do you love me? X3 John 21:13 Peter grieved. Lord you know that I love you. How hard would that be? I LOVE YOU!!!! Why are you asking me for three times? Why do you need to ask me such kind of questions? Not just once but three times? Please…. I do love you. I am sorry that I denied you three times.
Wait… why three times that Jesus ask him again? Doesn’t Jesus whatever going in our head? Yes, Jesus does know. But this is for Peter’s sake. Peter might not be able to forgive himself, but by offering these three questions back to Peter is Jesus’ expression of making Peter confessing his love for him again. Jesus did not just want to ask one time and leave the other two times that Peter denied Jesus. Jesus wanted to complete it back – Jesus is taking the hard deep road into Peter’s difficult path. Peter probably be thinking after Jesus asking him the first and second times – please do not go down this path.
Sometimes, God wants to go deep into our sinful memories and thoughts. God wants to go deep into our lives and experiences, so that He may start doing the healing process. “QUICK FIX” – quick and probably none too permanent or satisfactory solution to a problem. Let me introduce that word here. Peter is probably thinking just a quick fix. “Oh yea I denied you sorry about that, let’s move on.”

No, Jesus knew that it would not fix Peter permanently. Like the times he thought that Jesus did not need to wash his feet. Like the times he thought the others may desert Jesus but he would never. You are prideful and arrogant, Peter. You cannot be dealed with a quick-fix but a permanent fix.
Examples: we will like quick-fix, don’t we? When we are missing something or someone, we just want to do a quick-fix as if it solves anything.

  • You are angry and mad – quick-fix: drinking and forgetting the whole world.
  • Your grades are bad at school – quick fix: cry and complain about the teachers.
  • Your works turn out bad – quick fix: blame it on someone else.
  • You break up with someone – quick fix: talk to another girl or another boy.
  • You made a horrible mistakes – quick fix: just forgetting it at all and move on.
  • Someone has done wrong to do – quick fix: you hate them and will not talk to them.
  • You are bored – quick fix: khai-ni or cigarettes that contains Nicotine that will make you even addict to it more. And harm yourself.
  • You have a terrible day – quick fix: wrote facebook status about it, and getting people to know what is going on. Do they really care about you? Trust me, they will like your pictures but they will like you at your worst times.

Let’s stop with our quick-fixes that will end up harming us. Jesus wants to go deep into our hearts like a surgeon cutting the head to remove the tumor. Just because you have huge tumor in your brain, it will not fix it by giving some medicine. It will not fix it up by watching movies. It will not fix up by smoking cigarretes and complaining the disease to your friend. It will not fix by writing the status about that on facebook. It will not fix up by getting a new girlfriend.
The doctor will really need to drill inside your brain. Probably cut the brain open. Cut off your brain. Before that you may need to shave your head. Really, would you rather care about your look than having your tumor removed? It may leave scar on your head? Would you care as long as your tumor removed?

C.S. Lewis wrote that we are far easily pleased with ourselves when it comes to God. We are so hard to please with other things. But when it comes to God, we are just happy giving our little tithes, our little bible reading, sometimes just flapping the page, falling asleep with the bible, pray about 10 minutes for our little family homes, talking big about the bible as we know everything. We are so happy with coming to church and dressing up nicely, do what we come to do, show up our faces….

Is that all you want from God? Is it really how you want to get treated? God has far more better things in store for you. He wants to go down deep where you have not shared with nobody, and he wants to cut it, he wants to work with it, he wants to cleanse it from you. Why ask question like how come I don’t experience God ever??? Because you never let him go down deep into you. You might finish your boredom with some other things. You might find another girl to mend up your broken heart. You might find the alcohol to ease up your pain temporarily. God wants to work with in it.

  1. Jesus prepared Peter for the greater things.
    1. Jesus did not just heal Peter, but gave him a command so that he can help others.

As God worked with you, God is also preparing you for His missions. Anything in your life is not purposeless. God is at it. Romans 8:28. Jesus let it happen to Peter so that Jesus will work in his life so that he may become a humble man who understand God’s grace deeply. But he took the right step in coming back to Jesus unlike Judas Iscariot. Peter is the rock on which God builds his church upon.

Your sins???? Yes, God knows them all. Then, why don’t God just defeat the devil already? The devil is just here thinking he can win, but the victory is ours. As God shows His ending grace and love toward us in the midst of our failures, God is even more glorified. God can use the devil’s scheme to strengthen His church. (Hallelujah).
God’s will and wisdom are so much more deeper and wider than we can imagine. That does not mean that we should keep sinning. This means that we gotta stop sinning and turning away from God. When you understand God’s grace like Peter did, how could you ever want to turn back from God again?

Did someone sin against you in the past? Did horrible things happen to you in the past? God has a plan all along calling you, so that you can be a light for others – Peter saved 3000 people in his first sermon after Jesus left, and I don’t know where God will use you, but Go will use you to be a light in some people’s lives or even someone’s life… or maybe He is using these things to strengthen your faith even more! Don’t you ever think that your life and what happened were just a waste. It would be a waste if you never come repenting to the Lord!

  1. Jesus left, but He left Peter the Holy Spirit who will walk in Peter’s life tremendously.

In the Gospel book of John, John mentioned a lot of the Holy Spirit and His work. Peter after Pentecost was a bold man, proclaiming God’s grace as it is and even being crucified on the cross upside down because He knows He does not deserve to die the same way Jesus did.

The Holy Spirit is working in us and helping us understand more of Jesus. He is working in us!!!! As we repent and turn back to God not looking for quick-fixes, He will work in us. Please allow Him to work. I am so glad it is not our works and goodness that save us, but Jesus Christ’s work on the cross.

  1. Conclusion.
    ** We may wonder why things happened in our lives. We may question endlessly why our lives are the ways they are right now.

i.     Examples: you might be addicted to alcohol or smoking problems. You might be going through a break-up right now. You might be having a hard time with people right now.

ii.     Listen! Youth – God is preparing us for something for our people and for His kingdom to expand. Nothing is at waste.

iii.     Listen! Everyone – God is the God who can redeem us all. Whatever you have done, whatever you have sinned against God, He can forgive you. Stop looking for quick-fixes that can satisfy only temporarily. Learn to look on to the permanent things!

iv.     Listen! Let’s pray.

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