Following Jesus is a decision to be made today and everyday, not a historical event from your past. You are either drawing closer to him or you are pulling away. If you drift far enough away, you can suddenly find yourself denying him, even if it was never your intent to do so.
The Apostle Peter had been following Jesus closely but, now that Jesus has been arrested, he keeps his distance; staying close to the enemy's fire. Not wanting to be identified as a follower of Christ, he hangs out where there are no disciples and tries to fit in with the crowd.
Peter's spiritual collapse reached a peak with his appalling three denials of Jesus. However, his failure wasn't final. God’s love is not dependent on our performance or success. After Jesus' resurrection, he seeks out Peter and asks him three times, “Do you love me?” (John 21:15-19)
Jesus provided Peter with an opportunity to reaffirm his loyalty and commitment to him. We want to condemn Peter but Jesus gives him another chance. Peter is a changed man. He soon preaches a powerful sermon and 3000 souls are saved.
He no longer hides his faith from the authorities. Instead, he tells them, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20)
No matter how you have failed; no matter what sin you have allowed into your life, the Savior who died for you still loves you. Maybe you feel that, because of something you have done or experienced, you are counted out. Listen to the voice of Jesus who asking, “Do you love me?”
Yet to all who did receive him,
to those who believed in his name,