Sunday, October 30, 2016

Which master do we love more -- the world or God?

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
 
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)
 
During the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord gave him victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah and permitted him to take some of the sacred objects from the Temple of God.  So Nebuchadnezzar took them back to the land of Babylonia and placed them in the treasure-house of his god.   (Yes, sometime God allows his own people to suffer.  God gave King Nebuchadnezzar victory over the Israelites, His own people.)
 
The king also ordered Ashpenaz, his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of the Judah’s finest from the royal family and other noble families – good looking, strong, healthy young men.  The goal was to make them serve the king.   The king assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens. They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service.
 
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were among the chosen young men.  They mined not to defile themselves by keeping their faith.  God was with them.  Through the power of God, they were able to keep their faith by demonstrating the power of God, and God did not stop there.
 
One day, after having a disturbing dream that King Nebuchadnezzar could not sleep, the king made a very unusual demand.  He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed without telling his dream.  All of his wise men asked the king to tell what was the dream, but he continued refusing to tell his dream.  Thus, they begged and told to the king “No one on earth can tell the king his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer! The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.”  (Daniel 2:10-11)
 
The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed.   And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends.  However, God revealed the king’s dream to Daniel with the interpretation of the dream.  Daniel came to the king, described the dream, and interpreted it.  As soon as King Nebuchadnezzar heard the interpretation given by Daniel, the king threw himself down before Daniel and worshiped him.  On the other hand, Daniel pointed to God for all of His glory.  Then the king appointed Daniel to a high position to ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men.   At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be in charge of all the affairs of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained in the king’s court.   The faithful Daniel and three friends were honored even by King Nebuchadnezzar.
 
One day, King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.  Then he sent messages to the high officers, officials, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the provincial officials to come to the dedication of the statue he had set up.   All of them came and bowed down to the statue, but Daniel’s three friends refused to bow down.  They could not worship the golden statue because it was against their faith.
 
Some of the some of the astrologers went to the king and informed the Jews refused to bow down to the king’s statue.  Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him.  Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up?  I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?”  (Daniel 3:14-15)
 
The king tried to be generous.  He gave one more chance to do what he asked to do.  He also warned; “if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace” while pointing the blazing and burning furnace next to them.  What he said was neither a just threat nor coercion. It was a reality: the blazingly burning hot furnace and the furious king.  The king had a real power to throw them into the furnace without any hesitance, if his order was not carried out by the three.   For three friends, there were two choices: simply bowing down to the statue while temporarily compromising their faith, or being thrown into the furnace, while keeping their faith.  They were able to feel the heat from the furnace even distance.   If we were in this situation, what would be our choice?  
 
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty,  that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”  (Daniel 3:16-18)
 
Their choice was simple -- keeping their faith.   They even used two scenarios to explain to the king that their decision in faith was firm.   Here are the two scenarios told.  Scenario 1: if we are thrown into the furnace; God rescues them from the power of the king.  Case 2: if we are thrown into the furnace; our God does not rescue us.  Even so, we will keep the faith.   
 
The first scenario is that God does a miracle for the faithful friends, which is we love to hear.   We often hear a testimony.  A person was so sick that even doctors gave up on him.  Thus, people approached to God and prayed.  Then God miraculously healed the person.  What an encouraging testimony is!   We all are encouraged when we hear God’s miracle among our lives because God’s power is plainly visible.
 
How about the other case?   God does not intervene with his supernatural power, and lets the faithful perish.   Thus, they became martyrs, while keeping their faith.  When we hear about martyrs dying in faith, how does our heart and mind respond?  
 
In short, both build up us to grow deeper in faith.  The truth is that we cannot or should not demand one or the other scenario from God.   After all, what we see and touch belongs to the world, which is temporary, but what we cannot see is eternal.  If we are upset about what we can see and touch because we do not receive what we expect on earth, then it explains the maturity of our faith.   Who is our real master  in our heart – the world or God?
 
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
 

 
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Our Dear Brother Gary and Heaven

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
 
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
 
Our Dear Brother Gary has returned to our Lord on the last Saturday.  While he was sleeping, he quietly and peacefully went back to our Eternal Home with God.  On earth, some of us who have loved him have sorrows of the physical separation with him, but we know, by faith, right now he is with our Eternal and Ever-loving Father, and rejoicing in Him.  
 
Our Eternal Home, Heaven.  How does it look like?   Of course, we cannot see it with our physical eyes, not because Heaven does not exist, but because our eyes are incapable of seeing Heaven.  Bible tells For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”  (1 Corinthian 13:12)   Yes, although we see dimly and have a partial knowledge about the Heaven now, but we will able to see clearly when we see Jesus face to face.   As a human, it is impossible to grasp the true nature of the Heaven in any means.   Even so, to encourage us, Our Merciful God has revealed to us about the Heaven in multiple places in Bible.    Let’s see how Bible tells us about Heaven, which is the closest thing that we can have now.
 
First, Jesus told to His disciples “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  (John 14:1-2)    Jesus explains us.  In Heaven, there are many rooms, and anyone who believes in Jesus will come to Heaven and comfortably live with God forever!   
 
Then Prophet Isaiah saw Heaven and described in the Book of Isaiah:
 
“For behold, I create new heavens
    and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
    or come into mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
    in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
    and her people to be a gladness.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
    and the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not fill out his days,
for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
    and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
    they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
    they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
    and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain
    or bear children for calamity,
for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD,
    and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
    while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
    the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
    and dust shall be the serpent's food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain,”
says the LORD.   (Isaiah 65:17-25)
 
In Heaven, there will be a perfect peace.   God answers even before we call, and even before we speak, He will hear us.  No more barrier or fear to God.   Even between animals, there is no more animosity.  Wolves and lambs live peacefully while grazing together, and lions eat straw like oxen.  What a peaceful scene!  Surely, there will be no more a fight or a war between humans. 
 
John, one of Jesus’ disciples, also saw a vision about Heaven and recorded:
 
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”  (Revelation 7:9-10)
 
John saw a great multitude from every nation.  They all stood before the throne of the Lamb.  All of them were clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.  They were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”  What a blessed scene.  Our Gary right now sees this.  I am sure he must have already joined the great multitude of believes, and praises the Lamb with a loud voice.
 
In Heaven, the light is the glory of the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 
 
By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. (Revelation 21:24-25)
 
Not like light on earth, it never goes away nor is obscured by clouds.  Even, there is no more night because the glory of God is with us forever.  We will be His people forever too.   That’s why this is our eternal home. 
 
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  (Revelation 21:3-4)
 
Then God stretches His merciful hand, and wipes away every tear from our eyes.   The will be no more mourning, crying, pain and even death because the former things have passed away.    For Gary, the pains and toils on earth have gone away forever.   Instead, he raises his voice singing and praising him forever as he did sing in choir with us.   Of course, there will be no more pain, life storm, sadness, and even death.   All things of the old have simply gone away. 
 
We, believer, have the same hope and assurance.  When we will come to Heaven, and we will join the great multitude of believers to sing praise our LORD forever, who is our Ever-Loving Father.  Of course, we will see Gary and all other dear brothers and sisters in Christ.  
 
Praise God!   God so loved us that He gave His one and only Son.  Thus, whoever believes in Him already has an eternal life!
 
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)
 
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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Love Your God and Your Neighbor

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
 
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  (Mark 12:30-31)
 
Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.  Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.   Then He made a humble entry to Jerusalem on a young donkey with his disciples.  People threw their garments over the donkey, and Jesus sat on it.  Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields.   Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,
   “Praise God!
          Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!
     Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David!
          Praise God in highest heaven!” (Mark 11:9-10)
 
Then Jesus arrived at the temple, and entered into it.  He saw the temple was turned into a market place.  He stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace.  He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Mark 11:17)
 
When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill Him. But they were afraid of Him because the people were so amazed at his teaching.    However, as Jesus got into the temple, they challenged Jesus, and demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right to do them?”    Jesus replied, I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,”   Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human? Answer me!”    This silenced them because they were afraid of the people around.  They could not deny John’s baptism before the people.
 
Then Jesus began teaching and revealing the true nature of the religious leaders at that time, who were self-serving and self-centered instead of serving the God with their hearts and minds.   On the other hand, the religious leaders tried to trap Jesus into saying something for which He could be arrested.  Thus, they sent their people to ask:  Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?  Should we pay them, or shouldn’t we?”
 
Jesus answered, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”  (Mark 12:17),  which completely amazed them and silenced again.
 
One of the teachers of religious law was standing there carefully listening to His teaching.   Jesus was teaching with real authority--quite unlike the teachers of religious law.   Although the teacher knew a lot about the laws, he had one question, always lingering in his mind.   Among the numerous laws, if one law is picked, which one should be.  In other words, which law is the most important?  With courage, he approached to Jesus, and asked “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
 
Jesus replied without hesitation:  “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  No other commandment is greater than these.”  (Mark 12:29-31)
 
Jesus started his answer by telling, “The LORD our God is the one and only LORD.”  Before doing anything, the first thing we have to do is to believe that Our God is the one and only God.   There is no other god before Him.  Yes, this is the foundation of all our faith and belief.
 
Then Jesus continued, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)   This is not a suggestion or recommendation.  We must love the LORD with everything that we have – heart, soul, mind and our physical strength.
 
Jesus warned before “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”  (Matthew 6:24)   Our love to God cannot be divided, because God is one and only one God.   Especially, the word “love” in this verse and the word “love” in the above (i.e., Mark 12:30) are an identical word, which is “agape” love.    The same word is also used in the well-known verse: For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).   The agape love is not cheap.  God sacrificed His one and only Son to save us from the eternal death with His agape love. 
 
We all remember Jesus healed Peter, who was deeply hurt after denying Jesus three times.   Jesus approached Peter with this very agape love, and He asked Peter, “Do you love me?”   Peter could not answer because he failed not just once, but three times.  Peter cowardly denied Jesus in order to save him in fear.   Thus, Peter honestly answered to Jesus, “I love you (with phileo love).”  That is, I loved you not as you loved us on cross, but at most, I could love you as I love my other human brothers.  It was true, and is still true.  Peter is not alone.  We are all humans, and we cannot love Jesus as Jesus loved us because it is beyond our human domain.   Our love is easily conditional as Peter did.   Peter opportunistically chose his love: protecting himself instead of loving and protecting Jesus.   Peter was weak and coward. However, after Peter received the Holy Spirit, he was completely transformed.  He truly loved Jesus as Jesus loved him on the cross.   The transformed Peter was able to convert three thousands one evening.  He boldly proclaimed the Jesus’ love without fear and hesitation till his own death on cross.
 
Jesus, then, continued, “the second is this:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”   Surprisingly, the word choice of the “love” is also the same agape, the love of God.   This gives a profound meaning to us.   We should love our fellow Christians and non-Christians with the love of Jesus, not the love that Peter had.   Can we really love our neighbors as Jesus loves us?   The answer is obviously no, as long as we try to love others with our own might and effort.   We simply are not capable of loving others as Jesus loves us.  Only is it possible when we are under complete control of the Holy Spirit. 
 
Oh, God.  Please pour your Holy Spirit on us.   We want to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Without the Holy Spirit, we are just sinful mortals.  However, in you and your spirit, we are no long a mere sinful mortal, but we are transformed to your holy instrument so that we can love our neighbors and even enemies as Jesus loves us.   Help us and be merciful to us.   We need you.   We want to love you and others as Jesus loves us.  Continue transform us day by day to be your humble and holy instrument completely filled with the love of Jesus.   May your name be glorified through our lives in you.   Amen.
 
We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
 

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Jesus' Love Never Fails.

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
 
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)
 
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed.  Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.  Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (John 13:1)   Thus, Jesus gave an unusual instruction to Peter and John, and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.” 
 
Peter and John were somewhat puzzled.  They looked at each other for a moment.  Then with courage, they asked back to Jesus, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”
 
Jesus gently replied “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’  He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.”  They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.
 
When the supper time came, Jesus and His disciples came up the room, and sat down together at the table.   Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15-16)
 
Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”
 
He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
 
After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.  (Luke 22:19-20)
 
The disciples could not understand the meaning of what was told by Jesus.  They just ate what were presented by Jesus.  While eating, they looked each other why Jesus was talking about his body, the cup, the new covenant, being poured out as a sacrifice for you.  Even so, they were in a good mood.  It was a special evening to them, and it was not like any of the other suppers that they had together.
 
In the middle of the supper, Jesus suddenly stood up from the table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist, and poured water into a basin.  Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel He had around Him.  Nobody spoke about anything, but when Jesus came to Peter.  Peter resisted by saying “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
 
But Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”  (John 13:7)  Peter was persistent by saying “No, you shall never wash my feet.”
 
Jesus calmly answered with His love, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”    Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
 
Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”  What they had just heard was even stranger to the disciples.  They carefully looked at the face of Jesus.
 
Then Jesus clarified.  “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me.  For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.”  After hearing this, there was a big turmoil among the disciples.  They began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.
 
Oddly, the debate among them to figure out who would ever do such a thing ended up an argument among themselves.  Each one tried to state what he thought.  The environment became chaotic, and nobody could talk to anyone anymore.   Soon one disciple raised up his hand, calling for an order, but it was ignored by the rest.  Another attempted the same.   It did not work either.   Then the focus of the debate was drifted to a new one: who should be the leader among the disciples.  Of course, nobody wanted to be a follower.   Jesus silently looked at what the disciples were arguing about. 
 
Finally, Jesus broke His silence and told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’  But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.  Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:25-27)
 
Then Jesus continued telling the meaning of His death and resurrection, although they did not fully understand at that time.  After saying all, Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed for the disciples (and all believers to come, i.e., us) – make His disciples one in Himself as He is one with God, and God Father’s love be with them forever. 
 
Give thanks to God, who gave His only begotten son!   Jesus loves us as He loved His flawed disciples, who were still full of desires of the flesh.  He loves us to the end as He loved His disciples right before His sacrifice on cross.   Yes, His sacrifice is our gain. Though His death, we are forgiven.  Through His resurrection, we have the hope.  In His love on the cross, we have the eternal assurance.  This is the blessing to those who have faith and eagerly wait for His second coming. 
 
Come, Lord Jesus.  Come.  Your love never fails.  Your Love is inseparable from us, and Your Love endures forever no matter what happens to us.   Praise the Lord!  
 
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  (1 Corinthians 13:8 )
 
 
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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Jesus Patiently Forgives Us.

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
 
The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." (Luke 22:61)
 
Jesus had the last supper with His disciples in the upstairs room.   Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There Jesus told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”
 
Jesus walked away, about a stone’s throw, which is not far.   The disciples could hear what Jesus prayed.   Jesus knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”  (Luke 22:42)  Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.  He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.  Jesus knew how he would die, and especially felt the pain and agony when he separated from God for our sins.  Later, on the cross,  Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,j lema sabachthani?” [“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”]   (Matthew 27:46) It was the moment that all our sins of past, now, and future are completely forgiven.  
 
Jesus stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.” (Matthew 22:46)   Soon, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss.   Then they arrested Jesus, and led to the high priest.   And Peter followed at a distance.   The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.
 
A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”
But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!”
After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!”
“No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted.
About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.”
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.
At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. (Matthew 22:61-62)
 
Jesus foretold Peter’s denial.  Jesus had to see Peter who was denying Jesus before people.   Then at the third time, Jesus straightly looked at Peter, and Peter saw Jesus, while denying Jesus.   The rooster crowed.  Peter, then, suddenly remembered what was told by Jesus.  Peter left the place, weeping bitterly.   However, it was not the end of the story.  Jesus, who was arrested, crucified (for our sins), and then conquered the death.  Jesus lived again on the third day.  Jesus appeared to His disciples who were terrified and afraid of being captured and killed like Jesus, and comforted them.
 
All of the disciples were in joy, but Peter had a big scare in his heart.   He denied Jesus three times before small girls and people, while Jesus was watching over him.  He could not erase what he did to Jesus from his mind.  It was always with him, as a dark cloud in his heart.  He could not take off the sin and his painful memory us from his mind, because it was too heavy and deeply rooted in his heart.   Soon he had to go back what he used to do – catching fish instead of being catcher of men as Jesus promised.
 
Jesus, who was full of mercy, grace and love, was not able to let him alone.   Jesus came to Peter fishing in the sea of Galilee, where he used to catch fish.   However, at the first sight, Peter could not recognize Him.   When one of the disciples said to Peter, “Its’ the Lord!”, Peter finally recognized Jesus was at the shore.   As usual, Peter jumped into sea from his boat, and hurried to the shore to see Jesus.  Jesus prepared fire.  Peter and the rest of the disciples cooked fish on the fire, and ate breakfast together with Jesus.
 
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” 
 “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.   (John 21:15-17)
 
Jesus asked three times, “Do you love me?”   Peter answered each with “You know I love you.”   Jesus intentionally asked three times, and made him confess “I love you.”  Each confession took away each denial, and Peter’s heart was healed by the love of Jesus.   This is the love of Jesus.   Jesus never asked why.   Jesus’ focus was to heal Peter, not to tell truth to Peter.  This was the power of the love of Jesus. 
 
Through this loving touch of Jesus restored Peter from the life-long shame and humiliation, the new Peter was born.  When the Holy Spirit came upon Peter, Peter was able to make three-thousand converts just one day.  He dedicated the rest of his life for expanding the God’s Kingdom on earth and  saving the souls.
 
Jesus loves us no matter how sinful we are.   Jesus forgives us through the blood of Jesus Christ, and cleans one sin by one sin in our heart.   Jesus is also the healer, who heals and mends all pains and deep scars in our heart.   Jesus is our true friend, who loves us without asking why or what we did.   Jesus is our king, who dearly loves us and frees us from all sins.   Hallelujah!  Praise the ever-loving Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ!
 
And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more. (John 8:11)
 
 

  
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