Sifting is really a way of life for me. I think Jesus has been working on me ever since He found me washing my nets after a fruitless fishing trip. He told me, “You now are a fisherman, but I will make you a fisher of men.” Who knew what that meant? All I know is that when He walked up to me, I felt a calm, peaceful feeling come over me, and I knew I wanted more of that! So I dropped everything and went with Him.
I was one of the twelve that Jesus picked to unpack His Gospel message to the world, and to be with Him when He died, but I really messed that up. We all did, but what an Amazing Miracle when He rose from the dead, and I was in the group that got to see it all happen!
When He would show me something about my life, it was always out in the open for all to see, and He never let up. But because His love is so extreme, nothing could cause you to want to leave. John called himself the Beloved, but it is so funny because he was the only one that did. We both were super close to the Messiah.
Jesus used to say that He reprimanded us because He loved us. He told me right before they took Him to the cross that I would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed in the morning. He saw that lacking faith in my behavior. I replied, “no, not me. You’ve got the wrong one!” (I was somewhat belligerent at times.) That night I left the disciples, and Jesus and I did what he said I would do. When I realized it, I was so embarrassed, and everybody knew. The Pharisees had really degraded everything about Jesus, and if He really was going to sacrifice Himself on Friday, what would I do? It is unbelievable how I still made it all about me, but I really have come a long way!
Do you know what He did after Father God raised Him from the dead? His rising from the grave was exactly like Isaiah said it would happen. Jesus actually reversed those three denials and called my name specifically, asking if I loved Him three times in a row to redeem me. This wasn’t the only time I thought I knew everything, and He was always turning my bad into good progress for my life.
It took over three years for me to straighten out my crazy antics. I’ll never deny Him again, and I was crucified upside down when they caught me because I told them too. I never could be equal to Him. Jesus said if I acknowledged His Name on Earth, He will acknowledge my name before God and that’s the Truth. What an awesome trade.
Believe this, my friends…..All of the twelve, except Judas, who didn’t care about anything but the money, saw the creation of the mosaic that was my life. Every color and piece fits together for me and for the wholeness our Creator offers. Jesus increased me and I improved to the place where Father asked me to give the very first sermon after the Holy Spirit appeared for all the world on Pentecost Sunday.
Can you believe that! Miracles really do happen if you hang in there and don’t give up. That was the best day of my life, and I did it for Him. I am so excited to share my testimony with you because Peter turned out to be a wonderful name for God. The late disciple Paul says to find Joy in everything, and may the Peace that passeth all understanding be with you always.