February 20, 2015
READ: John 21:1-14
He said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it (v.6).
How badly would someone have to betray you before you turned your back on that person forever? What if he told you that he loved you, would even die for you, but shortly thereafter adamantly denied that he even knew you? I’m guessing you’d turn your back on that person, or at least give him the cold shoulder for a few months.
Such is the situation in John 21. Peter had failed Jesus by denying him three times, even calling down curses upon himself in the process. Later, Peter went right back to what he had been doing before he met Jesus—fishing (v.3). This is a good example of how we inevitably revert to the pursuits and interests we held before we met Jesus when we begin to feel distant from Him.
But who did Peter jump in the water to see on the shore? Jesus! (v.7). Despite His disciple’s earlier denial, Jesus had not abandoned him. In fact, He basically reenacted what occurred at the start of their relationship, the time when He had revealed His divine power and called Peter to the life of a disciple (Luke 5:1-11).
These accounts are a wonderful reminder of one aspect of God that I’m so prone to forget—His unchanging nature. I often think that when I fail, God turns away from me—angered and ashamed by my actions. I imagine that He loves me a little bit less as a result of my behaviour.
But Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” And in James 1:17 we read that God doesn’t change like “a shifting shadow”. Our failures, as dark as they might be, aren’t bad enough for God to deny us or give up on us. He stands by the shore of our lives, calling us to repentance and renewed fellowship. His ways are unchanging! —Peter Chin
365-day plan› Numbers 14:5-45
Read Luke 15:11-32 to see God’s heart for those who have turned away from Him.
After making a mistake or experiencing a failure of some kind, do you ever feel that God loves you less? What does it mean for you to know that God is unchanging?