Good afternoon! I hope you’re enjoying your St. Patrick’s Day, and more importantly, that you survived last night’s storm! As your workday draws to a close, I want to encourage you to take a few minutes to read and reflect on our Lenten devotional for the day. Our writer for today is Andrew Youngblood! For those of you who might not know Andrew, he is our Senior Campus Minster for Chi Alpha. If you’ve had the opportunity to meet Andrew and his wife Alicia, who is also a Campus Minister with Chi Alpha, then you’ve met two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Seriously. The kindness and compassion they extend to EVERYONE they come in contact with is the real thing. I know this because I’ve been a fortunate recipient of it, and I’ve witnessed the power of that gift on the faces of others who have received it as well. That deep and abiding love is made possible because of their deep love for God, and their desire to extend God’s love to others. I knew that Andrew would do a great job writing a devotional, and I’m so glad that I get to share his words with you now. May they be a welcome companion for you today in your time of reflection. Blessings on your journey…
P.S. – Congrats to Andrew and Alicia on the birth of their new son Asher! So much love… J
March 17, 2016 By: Andrew Youngblood
I love to examine the life of the apostle Peter in scripture. Perhaps it’s because I feel like I can identify with his failures and missteps, and his story gives me hope. In the gospels, Peter seems to say the wrong things at the wrong times, tries to correct Jesus and gets called “Satan”, falls asleep when he should be praying, and eventually abandons and denies Jesus after promising that he never would. Fortunately for Peter, and for us, that’s not where his story ends.
After all Peter had done wrong, we see in John chapter 21 that the resurrected Jesus reinstates Peter, and encourages him to follow him yet again. The fascinating this about this interaction is that we don’t see Jesus bringing up all of Peter’s failures and mistakes. He simply asks him if he loves him and invites him back into the work of a disciple.
I’m deeply encouraged by the fact that, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are not defined by our past mistakes. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” Like Peter, our story from this day forward can be very different than the story of our past. Our identity can be rooted in Christ, who doesn’t hold our old life against us. He invites us to follow him into a new future full of purpose and promise. What hope we have in Jesus!
Lord, I ask you to help me see the hope that I have in you as we celebrate your sacrifice and resurrection in this season. Remind me that I am a “new creation” and that I owe my new identity to you. Let that realization inspire me to love and serve You and others more each day. Thank you for hearing my prayer. Amen.