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Lessons on Life and Leadership Pt. 2

November 1, 2010

[This is Part Two of a blog series I am doing called “Lessons on Life and Leadership” where I surmise what I have learned over the past few years. If you missed Part One you can read it HERE.]

I found this quote that I shared last week, and honestly I must admit I have never heard of this author, Mary Anne Radmacher.  But she said, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” Often over the past few years, I felt that if my life didn’t pan out this way [insert “way” here] then it’s all over and I will be doomed to failure.  You see, I had written the script for my life. I had decided this is where I will be, this is what I will do and that is how it will turn out. But when I made mistakes, or people bailed out or the pressure mounted, I started seeing my “perfect” plan become hazy. So, here it is…

Lesson #2: You can’t really PLAN for life. You can only PREPARE for life.

Has the plan you hoped for life started to unravel? Maybe it’s because of sin you committed or the mistakes you made.  Maybe it’s because life is often complicated or someone threw a wrench in the middle of your perfect plan. The story of Peter in the Bible shows a man whose plan was disrupted by his own denial of Christ, but Christ reinstated him and gave him the hope to try again tomorrow. Maybe Peter planned on being the perfect disciple. Maybe he planned on being the “rock” at all times that Christ called him. But now, Peter fails Jesus and he wonders, “What kind of rock am I?” “What kind of strength is that, to fold under pressure?”

Was Jesus done with Peter? NO. Did Jesus look at Peter and say, “Sorry man, I know I said you were going to be the rock but since that instance the other night at the cross, you’re fired from being the rock!” NO. Instead Jesus looked at Peter and said, “Feed my sheep. Care for my sheep. Feed my sheep.” So, what’s the best way to prepare for life? If you stick with Jesus and let him nourish you, sustain you and, at times, let him reinstate you when your plans fail… that is the best preparation you can have.

  • Do you need to let go of a plan and try again tomorrow?
  • Is Jesus your sole desire and preparation for life?
  • Do you need Him to reinstate you?
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John 21:15-25

Jesus Reinstates Peter

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Darlene Muffler permalink
    November 2, 2010 9:46 am

    Hi Matt,
    Thanks so much for your post today. How amazing it is to think of ALL the unmentioned work the Savior did…is it not a reflection of our heart to be speechless when the unexpected happens? How much more glorious when the unexpected is the healing and saving power of the completed work of the cross of Christ and the empty tomb.
    When the desperation of facing the unchangeable defeats, failures, and false dreams rise up to invade my thoughts and steal my joy, I have found no greater strength than to deliberately make my steps to the foot of the empty cross. Weeping for the renewal of hope, where all hope appeared lost.
    When I remain at the cross, simply because my place of longing has no where else to go, I discover my need to know, “for me Lord, all this for me?”
    Help me understand, Lord, to enjoy Your gift with honor, and in the stillness of not knowing I discover His joy rising up in me, His reflection of unconditional love overtakes me and makes me His own.
    I am gently and most lovingly reminded, it is when I am furthest from the Father’s touch that He seeks me out, to grant me the grace of truth.
    The resurrection power of the empty tomb reminds us, we serve a jealous God. He will accomplish for us what we are unable to do for ourselves….He was willing to ‘Wage Peace’ to restore our souls…the peace that passes all understanding…What was it like for Christ to walk through the land of the dead…where adam fell, where a brother was lost, where heaven has no home? What were the sounds that pierced His heart? Is this the fire in His eyes we see upon His return? Am I able to rise and remain beside my King of Kings and know this victory as a gift of grace lived out to His glory?
    How glorious the victory for the Son of Man to take back the authority we were given in the garden, to subdue the earth, to be the overseer of God’s glorious creation, to walk with the Father in the cool of the day…most amazingly, to hear Him approaching without the shameful fear of a fallen creature…accepting His authority as the gracious gift it is intended to be.
    How Great Is Our God…we can trust Him with our eternal life, how much more grateful we can be when we glorify Him now with this opprotunity to worship Him with a life well spent, a life that brings honor to His name.
    Problem for me, perhaps for most of us, is not the understanding of it, appears to me to be, the living it part…my flesh is weak; me, myself, and I want to be first.
    I long to know how the disciples, and the common citizens of the Bible, lived out the rest of their lives. How did they overcome and defeat their flesh for the rest of their earthly lives? What were their challenges, their victories as well as their defeats? Perhaps this is why I enjoy reading biographies so much. They can teach us to reach into someone else’s strengths and push forward to attain that same desire. And, they thankfully humble us to rejoice as we thank God that our spirit in Christ is strong!
    Speak Lord, yes, Speak! Grant us this day that we know Thy will; Thy way of being and doing.
    Teach us to honor Your presence as we enjoy the fruits of our labor.
    We need You Lord God, immeasurably more, more than we can say.

  2. Eldon Kelley permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:22 pm

    We certainly give up long before Jesus does. Ok, he never does! When life doesn’t go how I have it planned out it really bothers me. Then I give up and I figure that Jesus does too. How grateful for a God that never ceases in His love for us. When I put my hope and faith in the middle of His perfect plan…yeah, perfection!

    • November 3, 2010 7:28 pm

      You bring an interesting point into this Eldon. And that is that God does have a plan for us, but in his grace, He usually doesn’t let us know it completely. Most often it’s in little stages that we learn. Our preparation then, is preparation for God’s plan in our lives. Things may change, we may mature and things may look a lot different than we planned, but its God’s plan that counts and that’s what we must prepare for. Thanks man! Great comment. I look forward to more!

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