Today’s exhortation – God’s goodness
I don’t think it’s the message of condemnation that leads one to repentance, but the message of God’s goodness. When Peter denied Jesus three times, the bible says that Jesus said, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” (John 21:17). We can see that The Lord was more interested in Peter’s declaration of love than his denial of Him. He didn’t ask Him why he denied Him or let Him down, rather He asked if he loved Him.
The bible says, Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4). The way I see it, God didn’t look at the dirt Peter was in because he was already feeling condemned. Rather, He looked at the seed of integrity and leadership in him which were hidden under the dirt of guilt and condemnation and called it forth by loving him, instead of condemning him. It’s no wonder that the bible says, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ). Everyone has good in them and our forgiveness to those who offend us will transform them as it did Peter. Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins. (Proverbs 10:12) Amen.