Written by Camp Director, Jordan Fairfax
I am not a big Valentine’s Day fan. One might even say I fall in the camp of: wouldn’t mind if it disappeared. I learned early on in dating my now-wife two things:
1) Women lie.
2) She does enjoy Valentine’s Day.
We both attended Moody Bible Institute and while there our freshman year I asked the important question for guys like me. I am not a sentimental holiday person (except for May the 4th). Being the good boyfriend I figured I would ask about expectations so that I would not let her down. I asked, “Do you want a card or gift on Valentine’s Day?” So being the super cool girlfriend that she was, she said, “No. I know you
love me that is enough.” (Lesson 1). Valentine’s Day came around, I followed the prompt and did not get her anything and told her I loved her and went on like any normal day. This is where lesson 2 kicked in.
If you have never experienced Bible College you have to understand about 50-80% of people are looking for a double major in a Mr./Mrs. degree. Valentine’s Day on a Bible College campus is crazy with grand gestures and guys trying too hard, bringing guitars everywhere and chocolates on hand just in case someone looks their way. Needless to say, Rach got a little jealous that no effort was put forth by me. Looking back I should have known better. I fell for the classic sitcom trap. We had a long talk that night and every year since you better believe I have made a bigger deal out of the day for her.
Despite my loath for the day I have grown to appreciate the day for the honoring or acknowledging of love. The greatest love story ever told happens in Genesis and ends in Revelation. I am always amazed and dumbfounded that The Creator of the universe loves me (you, every individual) so much that He was willing to step into His creation taking on flesh and going to the cross, taking our sin only to rise victorious over sin and death allowing us to have relationship with Him once again. It blows me away.
I am always pulled back to my man, Peter. I love Peter because I find myself in similar foot in mouth disease situations. Peter has some great intentions and even some super profound moments only to be upstaged by his fast acting/speaking. Jesus is talking to His disciples in the upper room and is laying out what is going to happen. Jesus says, “All of you will scatter.” Peter, true to fashion, jumps up, indignant at the thought and almost shouts out, “I won’t, I am here till my death.” Jesus gently tells him He is praying for Peter’s faith and restoration when he comes back.
Jesus goes on: “Not only will you flee, but you will three times deny Me before morning.” What had to be going through Peter’s mind? The Peter in me would be like, “I will show Him! I am going to defend Him with my life!”
We have the scene in the garden when Jesus is betrayed by Judas and our overacting- out- to- prove- himself disciple (Peter) draws his sword and takes off an ear. Jesus rebukes him and heals the guy there to arrest Him.
Fast forward: Jesus has died on the cross, and Peter has denied Christ three times. Pe
ter is out fishing and sees Jesus on the shore. Peter throws caution to the wind jumps out of the boat and swims to shore. He meets Jesus broken, wet, and in a sea of emotions from guilt, relief, and shame. Jesus gently goes through three questions:
“Peter: Do you love me?”
These questions were designed to encourage, restore, and give purpose back to Peter. Peter responds and his responses show this shame and feeling unworthy but yet faithful and humbled. Jesus tells Peter to feed and look after His flock. This beautiful picture where God is restoring Peter, and encouraging him on in the mission to capture hearts for Christ is amazing. It should give us a lot of hope that:
One – we serve the risen Savior.
Two – we can’t do anything. It was His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection that has the power.
Three – God can use you if you are humble, faithful, and obedient. It doesn’t matter how we have messed up; God’s love is greater than our mess.
Looking at this picture of how Jesus lifts up Peter and puts him back on a mission to share the love he received pulls me back to my life. I have messed up and God has been so gracious and patient with me. His love fills me and I can’t help but share with others this love that He has given me. I am so privileged to get to serve at Urban Vision and daily share the love of God with others.
If you are looking for a place that loves God and gets to tell others about the love God has shown you, we are here and can’t wait to partner with you to expand the kingdom and feed and look after His sheep.
Email Regina Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org) today and see how you can use the gifts God has given you to make an eternal impact.
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