Before we crack the pages of these two New Testament letters from Peter, it might be helpful to frame his perspective. From the accounts shared in the gospels and in Acts of the Apostles, we begin to gather some insight.
When our little group met on ZOOM for the first time to kick off this summer Bible study, we were immediately challenged by an intriguing question from the introduction: “Why do we think GOD chose Peter to be a leader in His church?” Together, we brainstormed a list of Peter’s interesting traits and life experiences to consider:
All-in. Full-throttle. Impulsive. One who might be described as a “loose cannon.”
But teachable. And relatable.
GOD chose him. JESUS called him. And he responded.
The Spirit began immediately to transform him.
A skilled and hard-working fisherman, GOD gave him a heart to cast nets for people. Not to trap them, but to draw them in kindness. To Truth.
Called to trade an earthly livelihood for devoted service to the Savior. Unshakable assurance. Of life that can never be threatened. A living HOPE.
JESUS told him to put away the sword he barely knew how to use, and gave him a two-edged one he could handle. Words meant not to strike down, but to breathe life.
Rough around the edges. He could be bold and rash, overconfident and underprepared. Yet he was trusted with intimate moments. With daring challenges. With a glimpse into the unseen.
Peter responded. He spoke with conviction: “You are the CHRIST, the Son of the living GOD!”
He went where he never dreamed of going. He walked on water. Uneducated, he was given language. side by side with JESUS. Impacted by His Person. Prayed for, that his faith would not fail.
He faced the enemy’s sifting. He battled his own doubts. He feared the judgement of others. He bitterly wept when Love broke through.
JESUS found him there. Restored and recommissioned him. No longer just to draw others to Him, but to care for them. To feed them. To comfort them with the comfort he had received. To speak truth, real and undeniable. Lived in the core of his being. With renewed conviction and unwavering loyalty.
Peter has seen it all. He knows the Savior. He has experienced the work of GOD’s spirit. He has faltered and felt the everlasting Arms. He longs for others to stand firmly on the Rock he holds dear.
At Pentecost, Peter quoted King David from Psalm 16:
“I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me. No wonder my heart is filled with joy, and my mouth shouts His praises! My body rests in HOPE. You have shown me the path of life, and You will give me wonderful joy in Your presence.” Acts 2:25-28
Our little study group agreed. Peter is a man from whom we can learn a great deal. He appeals to others who declare, with him, that JESUS our Savior is precious! Like James, he challenges us to find inexpressible joy in the midst of trials, knowing that our faith will be tested, but proven to be strong and pure!
What life lessons might we learn from Peter?
We are eager to linger over his personal letters, to hear from the heart of a man who was impacted by JESUS and forever transformed by GOD’s Spirit!
#summerBiblestudy #1and2Peter #learningtogether #lifelessons #struggles #growth #realityofGOD #transformingpower #unshakable #livingHOPE