Peter's story is told in the Gospels and the book of Acts. He wrote the books of 1 and 2 Peter. (NLT)

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, 60189. All rights reserved.

Jesus' first words to Simon Peter were "Come, be my disciple" (Mark 1:12) (NLT). His last words to him were "You follow me" (John 21:22) (NLT). Every step of the way, between those two challenges, Peter never failed to follow -- even though he often stumbled.

When Jesus entered Peter's life, this plain fisherman became a new person with new goals and new priorities. He did not become a perfect person, however, and he never stopped being Simon Peter. we may wonder what Jesus saw in Simon that made him greet this potential disciple with a new name: Peter -- the "rock". Impulsive Peter certainly didn't act like a rock much of the time. But when Jesus choose his followers, he wasn't looking for models; he was looking for real people. He chose people who could be changed by his love, and then he sent them out to communicate that his acceptance was available to anyone -- even to those who often fail.

We may wonder what Jesus sees in us when he calls us to follow him. But we know Jesus accepted Peter, and, in spite of his failures, Peter went on to do great things for God. are you willing to keep following Jesus, even when you fail?

Peters strengths and accomplishments: 1) Became the recognized leader among Jesus' disciples - one of the inner group of three 2) Was the first great voice of the gospel during and after Pentecost 3) Probably knew Mark and gave him information for the Gospel of Mark 4) Wrote 1 and 2 Peter

Weaknesses and mistakes: 1) Often spoke without thinking, was brash and impulsive 2) During Jesus' trial, denied three times that he even knew Jesus 3) Later found it hard to treat Gentiles as equals

Lessons from his life: 1) Enthusiasm has to be backed up by faith and understanding, or it fails 2) God's faithfulness can compensate for our greatest unfaithfulness 3) It is better to be a follower who sometimes fails than one who fails to follow

Vital statistics: Occupations: Fisherman, disciple Relatives: Father: John, Brother: Andrew Contemporaries: Jesus, Pilate, Herod

Key verse: :Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it" (Matthew 16:16) (NLT)

Lord, help us this day to move beyond our failures and to follow you more closely, in Jesus' name, amen.

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