John 21 is a powerful story of a fallen disciple, Peter, being restored by Christ. Many a sermon has been preached on the varying uses of the word "love" in this text. Stowell manages to cover that and so much more in his sermon. He skillfully helps the audience see how this particular narrative falls into the wider framework of Peter's story, drawing on the power of images of fire and fish of all things!
I don't know about you, but I think life has all these big challenges that we have to face. The issue is not will you have challenges in life; the issue is how you will deal with the challenges that ultimately come. I have a friend who says, "The trouble with life is that it's so daily."
One of the hardest things about life is the discouragement that comes at the hands of people. I've always thought that ministry would be a cakewalk if it weren't for people. How many of you have ever said, down deep inside, "I just didn't think it would turn out like this"? It isn't long before the waves of discouragement and disappointment begin to bury your heart and your spirit. You work hard to keep going, but something's dying deep inside.
If the discouragements don't get you, then failure will begin to haunt your spirit. You'll think, I'm not really worthy. I'm such a failure. I'm such a loser.
If those kinds of things don't get you, then the distractions of cash and comfort and all the wonderful lures that are trolled by your heart, mind, and life in this world will totally distract you from the things that really count.
If you can identify with what I'm saying, please know that you're not alone. Some of God's best people struggled so deeply with these types of things that they began to go "off mission" or "off ...
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