Follow Me

“He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, 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, “Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.””
‭‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭17‬-‭19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.”
‭‭II Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭12‬-‭15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Follow Me

On thing that has given me peace through my life, so filled with struggles and pain, is that I have not known what is to come. The Lord has not revealed to me the path of my life, nor the bumps and bends in the road. Looking back, I have seen the Lord’s preparation in my life, unknown at the time, but clearly seen in retrospect.

I cannot imagine the life of Peter. The Lord Jesus informed him of the way that he would die, long before he took a in his ministry after the cross. Reading II Peter chapter one, I was immediately taken back to John twenty one, where the Lord gave Peter a glimpse of what was to be the summation of his life and ministry.

Follow Me.

Two words with great profundity, for in them is the promise of glory and pain, and glory again. Peter knew that he was going to follow in the footsteps of his Savior, his teacher, his Lord. He would preach to the masses, being used for the glory of God.

He knew that there would be pain, as he himself would lose his life for the cause of Christ. It is tradition that when Peter was to be crucified, he pleaded to be curried upside down, as he felt not worthy to die as his Savior did. It is also said in the lore of the church, that before he went to his own death, he witnessed that of his son and his wife.

Then he walked into glory eternal.

How many of us would be willing to go into this faith with knowledge that we would someday die for the cause in which we had lived. One does not enter into such a prospect based on cunningly conceived fables, but because of a genuine faith that Jesus saves.

“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
II Peter 1:16-21 NKJV

Brothers and sisters, we have been given a message directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We have also been given a promise that the Lord is waiting for us, just as He was for Peter. Many of our bothers and sisters have gone on before us, having died in the faith, taking their last breath on this side eternity, and their next in heaven.

Let us be bold, knowing of what lies ahead, and having the confidence to live and die for furtherance of the Gospel if that is what is needful. We do not believe in cunningly devised fables, but in an eternal truth, that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day.

We have the reminder of presence of the Helper, the Holy Spirit, God in us to guide us along the way. He is there helping us to complete the mission that we have been given and to do so in holiness. Let us remember the great cloud of witnesses, those forerunners who lived and died, before the cross and after, and let us be faithful to remain holy, avoiding the sins that so ensnare the Christian.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV

Peter ran that race with endurance, serving for us a role model, even though he knew the outcome. The times that we are entering will be perilous, and the path set before is filled with great temptations. As Peter urges near the end of his letter, let us have the heart of his fellow worker Paul:

“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
II Peter 3:14-18 NKJV

May we be faithful to follow Paul and Peter, and respond in affirmation to the command of our Savior:

Follow Me.

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