At First Baptist Dallas, we are working to transform our world with God’s Word…one life at a time. We believe the church is God’s tool to point a lost world to Himself. Peter was a man whose mistakes mark scripture, but Peter was also a man who passionately wanted to be where Jesus was. God used Peter to build the early church. In studying the life of Peter, we learn three key things about how God wants to use us.
1. Jesus calls us to follow Him.
Peter is a clear picture of God’s calling and pursuit of His people. Jesus called Peter from a fishing boat to be a fisher of men, and Peter immediately left His nets to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:19). He called Peter to come to Him by walking on the water, and Peter immediately leaves the safety of the boat to step onto the waves (Matthew 14:28-29). When Jesus appears after the resurrection and waits on shore, Peter immediately jumps from the boat and swims to be with Him (John 21:7). Though Peter’s journey with Jesus was anything but perfect, one thing is clear: Peter responded whenever Jesus called.
Jesus consistently pursues us. He calls us to big things. Our job is to respond. Choosing to give your life to Christ is a one-time decision. A life of devotion and obedience to Him is a daily choice.
2. Jesus can still use you despite your faults and failures.
Peter walked with Jesus, saw miracles, and bravely charged in to protect Jesus during His arrest. Then he ultimately denied even knowing Jesus not once, but three times (John 18:25-27). Yet, even after Peter’s betrayal and crucifixion, Jesus asks Peter three times if Peter loves Jesus, then commands Peter to shepherd and feed Jesus’ sheep (John 21:15-17). In Matthew 16:18, Jesus even calls Peter by name and tells him that he will be a key player in building the church. Clearly Peter’s mistakes did not exempt him from the plans God had for his life.
Never doubt that God wants to use you, just like Peter, despite your faults and failures. They may be the very things He uses to connect with others, draw them into relationship with His Son, and ultimately grow and build His church. The closer we grow to Jesus and the more we embrace our status as heirs, forgiven and loved, the more we will respond in such a way that shares the goodness of God with others.
3. Jesus will use you to build His church in ways beyond your imagination.
The very man who denied Jesus became the leading gospel preacher and was one of first to take the gospel to the Samaritans and Gentiles. Peter probably never dreamed that he would leave his home, his livelihood, and all that was familiar to share about a man named Jesus to anyone who would listen. Peter believed Jesus was who He said and recognized that He was worth sharing with the world.
Jesus wants to use you to build His church. He didn’t call the most educated men, the strongest, or the greatest orators. He called a passionate, protective fisherman to help shape the early church. Jesus wants to use you right where you are – in your Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the world – to share the good news that there is a God who came down to earth to die for the sins of the world. You can’t even imagine the story the Lord wishes to write with a life fully surrendered to Him.
Peter is a picture of a disciple whom God chose for big things, not because he was perfect but because more than anything He wanted to be right where Jesus was. The history of the church is full of men and women like Peter, who, despite their shortfalls, helped passionately build the church of Jesus Christ. The people of First Baptist Dallas are faithfully working to spur each other on to advance that mission by sharing the gospel throughout our city, nation, and world until the whole world hears and Jesus returns. Join the movement by sharing your faith or inviting someone to church this week.