Grace Diving

Good weekend. Most churches go through a “summer slump” – try having a church of all students. That’s the bad thing about college students – they’re migratory creatures. Summer vacation isn’t as big deal as winter vacation, so a lot of people are still around. And most of the people that are leaving are only gone for a couple weeks. So we’re hanging in there. In the future, I’d like to have better strategies for using the “slump” times as a way to do more focused study with those that stay behind.

 

Finished our Peter series last night in John 21, with Jesus’ restoration of the post-denial Peter. One of my favorite stories, so I was terribly nervous. It’s most of the American students last weekend here as well, so each of the guys preached a service, and then I preached the last service in Chinese. Such a good study for young Christians – when we mess up like Peter, our first reaction is to run, to escape, to leave, to live by shame. And that’s when Jesus shows up with more grace.

 

It’s pretty interesting – check the first time Peter saw this “no fish/lots of fish” miracle (Luke 5). He says to Jesus, “Depart from me – I’m a sinful man.” This time he jumps into the water like a loony to swim to Jesus. Shows the difference between our first time experiencing the grace of Jesus, and our umpteenth time. The more you fall helplessly on His grace, the more intense the joy that comes from doing so. Peter, with his open credit line on Jesus’ grace, had learned more than any of the disciples what joy it was to be loved and accepted in spite of our sin! Hence his ridiculous “throw-coat-on-self-throw-self-into-water” routine.

 

Great Scripture to preach – only wish the atmosphere was more pleasing. I sweat a LOT – majorly humid lately, and it was showing last night. We’ve got an air conditioner now even, but fifty people in a small room can easily nullify its effect.

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