This devotion was originally written for the Chase Oaks Church website. Read the Devotion on the Chase Oaks website…..
“15So 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, “Tend My lambs.”16He *said to him again 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, “Shepherd My sheep.”17He *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 all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
Guilt can be overwhelming. There have been times when the guilt of my sin has made it difficult for me to even ask God for forgiveness. I seem to think I can hide it from Him if I just don’t mention it. Of course, it’s ridiculous to think I could hide anything from the Almighty God. It is also ridiculous for me to think I can’t bring my brokenness and sin to our all-loving God.
God promises to forgive us of any sin if we just repent and ask. God also promises to love us no matter how terrible our sins are. Guilt is a tool that Satan and our sin nature use to try and drive a wedge between us and God.
John 21 records a conversation between the risen Jesus and Peter. I’m willing to bet that Peter was suffering from a good bit of guilt after he denied knowing and being a follower of Jesus three times. Can you imagine how he felt? However, Jesus didn’t say, “I told you so!” In fact, Jesus never mentioned it. Instead, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him—three times—and as Peter answered yes three times, it gracefully covered Peter’s three denials—forever.
Another disciple, Judas, also suffered from guilt after betraying Jesus and leading the soldiers to Him. However, instead of running to Jesus for forgiveness, Judas allowed guilt to overtake him and never chose to be forgiven. Jesus would have forgiven Judas if he had only asked. Instead, Judas allowed guilt to overwhelm him to the point of suicide. In contrast, Peter faced his guilt and his sin and returned to Jesus. As a result, in Matthew 16:18 Jesus said of Peter, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church” (NIV).
If you are weighed down with the guilt of your sin, choose the path of taking your sin to the feet of our loving and forgiving God and Savior, Jesus. Choosing forgiveness can allow God to make amazing things happen in your life!
Written by Diana Wells
Wife of Gerry, mother of Caleb, child of God.