JUNE 25, 2023

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name, God My Rock, O How Great, In Christ Alone, Build My Life

What is the worst mistake you’ve made?

2 PETER 3:17-18

(ALSO READ MATTHEW 26:69-75 & JOHN 21:15-17)

17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Many of us have failed in life–in school, in career, in business, or even in our relationships. We get attacked by the lies of the enemy and we embrace failure as our identity, succumbing to dismay and grief. TO FINISH WELL, WE HAVE TO KEEP ON GROWING! We must keep on growing in every aspect of our life. There are things we have to keep on doing in order to thrive in life, especially spiritually.


Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 3:17-18 to be on our guard as there are many threats to our faith. He sends out an invitation to continue growing.


In Luke 5:1-11, we witness the life-changing encounter of Peter with Jesus. Jesus had gotten on the boat of Simon Peter because the crowd was pressing onto Jesus, and He asked for help from Peter. Eventually, Jesus, a carpenter, asked Peter, a fisherman, to cast down the nets and catch fish. Peter, despite knowing full well that it was hopeless to fish, decided to obey Jesus. The nets became so full of fish. This encounter changed Peter’s heart and God used that miracle to speak deeply into Peter’s life. He recognized that Jesus is not an ordinary man. When he followed Jesus, he experienced Jesus for who He really is, and recognized who he (Peter) really is, a sinner. Peter left everything and followed Jesus. After this encounter, he goes through a great journey of faith—one that is ultimately characterized by growth.


Peter did some amazing things: he walked on water (Matthew 14:28-29), recognized who Jesus was (Matthew 16:16-18), and was even present in the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8).


Yet Peter also had great falls and failures: he was rebuked by Jesus (Matthew 16:21–23), and ultimately, he denied knowing Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:69-75). The beautiful truth is failure is not final. Just because you failed doesn’t mean you won’t grow anymore. We must grow beyond our failures. In Christ, our destiny is victory!


John 13:36-38 is an interaction of Peter with Jesus, laying down a great commitment to “lay down” his life for his Master. Peter was all in. He had a willing spirit and it is a sign of spiritual maturity… but Peter overestimated the power of the willing spirit and underestimated the power of his own reluctant flesh (Collin Smith). He struggled with pride.


Matthew 26:31-33 is a very telling picture—here, Peter felt that he was better or stronger than others. Even as Jesus declared as prophesied long ago, that all of them will fall away, Peter strongly contradicted it. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus reminded Peter and the others to “keep watching and praying” so they won’t enter into temptation (Matthew 26:40-41). Our flesh is weak and we need God’s help continually. Remember, there are clear signs of pride working in us: you feel you are stronger and better than others, you hear the words of Jesus for someone else, you no longer need to pray. If this is true of us, we need to repent and take the direction towards God. The biggest room in all of us is the room for improvement.


In 1 Peter 5:5-7, Peter wrote a strong reminder about humility. We know this is true in his own life because as Paul shared in Galatians 2:11-14, Peter was directly rebuked and corrected by Paul. Peter’s example led others to hypocrisy and Paul was straightforward about it.


Peter grew in humility because in 2 Peter 3:14-16 he referred to the Apostle Paul as a “beloved brother”, elevated him and affirming his apostleship. Peter learned to take correction and he did not have any bitterness towards Paul, despite him being the forerunner. His response was wonderful. The Holy Spirit has empowered him (Acts 1:8) and we should cling on to Him to be sustained as we grow.


Jesus redeems the messiest and most challenging seasons of our lives. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:10 that it is by God’s grace that we are able to grow and thrive and serve God for the rest of our lives. The grace of God keeps us all going—as Philippians 1:6 reminds us, He who began a good work will carry it on to completion.


In John 20:19-21,26, as the disciples were hiding for fear of the Jews, Jesus greeted them with peace (shalom) three times for the three times Peter denied Him. He still sent them peace. Jesus restores! 1 Peter 5:10 is a wonderful assurance that Jesus will continue to perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish us.
We began in the Sea of Galilee where Simon encountered Jesus and witnessed a miracle. In John 21, again, we find Simon in the same place, witnessing Christ at the shore and even spending breakfast with Him. They had a wonderful conversation (John 21:15-17). Jesus asked if Peter loves (agape) him, and Peter responds with an affirmative. He loves (phileo) Christ. On the third time, Jesus adjusted it to the level of love Peter was using. It was Jesus who went out of His way not just to restore Peter, but also to commission him to tend and shepherd His flock. Peter was led to love Christ this way and love others in a similar way. He kept growing in God’s grace, living a life that brings honor and glory to Christ.


As we also strive to finish well by continuing to grow, may we hear that same compliment from our Master—well done, good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21).

(Leaders: Please choose questions that are appropriate to the level of spiritual maturity of your members)

1. Self-Check.

What lessons did you learn from a failure?

2. Setting It Right.

What symptoms in your life show your struggle with pride?

3. Living It Out.

How can you grow in grace in this season of your life?


Pray for people to know Jesus Christ personally as their Lord and Savior and to grow in His grace. Give room for them to improve. Commend or raise appreciation for these improvements. Share God’s truth, starting with the gospel, in love.

I. Thanksgiving

  • Worship God for who He is, what He has done, and what He will do in our lives.

II. Country and the World

  • Upright and moral governance of Public Servants and a God-centered Philippines
  • Repentance and Salvation

III. Church

  • That CCF Members would honor and love God and make disciples.
  • Elders, pastors, dleaders, and families (holy, humble, harmonious, happy, heart-working).
  • Ministries and churches expansion worldwide.

IV. CCF Facilities

  • Worship and Training Center
  • Prayer Mountain

V. Personal Concerns

  • Deeper intimate relationship with God.
  • Righteous living.
  • Salvation of family and friends.

2 Peter 3:17-18

17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.