Peter, leader of the disciples, denied Christ, exactly as Jesus predicted. How did he, and how can we, “bounce back” from such a devastating failure? First, it’s probably not a bounce…but rather a bloody scraping up from the sidewalk. But there is hope. It is not us who scrapes us back together, pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, so to speak. Instead, we receive the forgiveness of Christ, His mercy where we deserve condemnation. Jesus restored Peter, and us, by His power and love, and we can go out on the mission He has for us, confident in Jesus’ power and forgiveness.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a]6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b]7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men.8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Every Christian has been given the great commission, to go and make disciples of all nations. We have all been commanded to care for the poor, for the sick, for widows and orphans. Are we doing these things? Where are we blind to our own abdication of these responsibilities? Fred Van Gorkum will bring to us the perspective of one who has gone out to unreached people, and now as a regional director for Christian Veterinary Mission, has insight into how many are really not reached, and how few are really going.