At some point you may find your relationship with the Savior becoming cool and distant. A look at the apostle Peter’s life reveals that he denied Christ three time, even going so far as to tell his accusers, “I do not know Him” (Luke 22:57). This disciple was sure of his relationship with Jesus and had said to himself and others, “I could never grow cold in my love for Christ. Others may walk away, but I will die for my Lord” (see Matthew 26:35).
So, what had brought Peter to this point? It was pride, the result of self-righteous boasting, and he was the first among the disciples to give up the struggle. He forsook his calling and returned to his old career, telling the others, “I’m going fishing.” What Peter really was saying was, “I can’t handle this. I thought I couldn’t fail but I failed God worse than anyone by denying Jesus. I just can’t face the struggle anymore.”
By this time Peter had repented of his denial of Jesus and been fully restored in the Savior’s love. He was forgiven, healed and Spirit-breathed, yet he was still a frayed man inside, unsure of himself. He was still in fellowship with Jesus and the disciples. In fact, after a time of fishing with his friends, he saw Jesus on the shore and they had a pivotal exchange.
“’Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’” He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs’” (John 21:15). Note that at that time Jesus did not remind him to watch and pray or to be diligent in studying God’s Word. No, Peter was instructed to “feed the lambs.” This simple phrase is a key to guarding against neglect in our spiritual life. Jesus was saying, “I want you to forget about your failure and minister to the needs of my people. As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.”
As you strive to pray, study the Word, live a holy life, and love Christ passionately, be sure you do not ignore the hurting ones in Christ’s Body — the lambs.