This week we continued our series on moving beyond betrayal by looking at two of Jesus ‘ disciples, Peter and Judas. These two men had a lot in common but also some important differences.
Peter was a fisherman from Galilee when Jesus called him to follow Him. Judas was from Judea and we don’t know how or where Jesus called him. Both of them heard Jesus’ teaching, heard the things Jesus declared about Himself and saw the miracles Jesus performed.
Peter was impulsive, the sort of person who spoke before he thought and was reprimanded by Jesus at times. Yet he had strong faith and desire to serve Jesus. Judas was quieter, we don’t hear much about him except that he stole from the money he was meant to be looking after.
Both men were warned by Jesus but both didn’t listen. Judas betrayed Jesus and Peter denied Him three times. Both regretted what they had done but while Judas stayed with regret which is self-focused, Peter moved on to repentance which is God- focused. And so Judas killed himself and Peter became a leader in the early church.
At the end of John’s gospel three times Jesus asks Peter do you love me? It is love that drives all else we do. God’s love for us and ours for Him. As we love Him we will do what He has called us to do.
As we saw last week we need to know God’s truth to thrive. This is more than verbally acknowledging the truth – it is walking in the truth in a close intimate relationship with God. This week we looked at some steps to living a full and truly prosperous life.
1. Know God and Show love
2. Be Filled with the Spirit
Jesus knew His disciples had to have the Baptism in the Holy Spirit to do the mighty works God planned for them. That hasn’t changed. Know Jesus as our Saviour and being filled with the Spirit
3. Believe That With God, All Things Are Possible
God has a purpose for your life that’s exciting and beyond anything you can imagine without the Holy Spirit revealing it.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
4. Live by Faith
The men of faith in Hebrews 11 accomplished great things by faith-by believing God.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
5. Live in the Spirit!
Lay aside the things that hold you back and live as what you are – a Spiritual Being You can be “spiritually minded” and experience life and peace. Or you can be “naturally” or “carnally minded” and think like the world thinks
6. Believe God’s Promises
Know that God loves you and He is God – He has knowledge above and beyond it is not about what you want it is about God’s love and promises! His greatest promises is forgiveness and eternal loving adoption as children and heir.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Truth, as revealed by God, and love are the keys to us thriving in all areas of our life!
In 3 John 3 we see thatJohn wants Gaius to have the resources, health and all things needed to carry out the calling upon his life - to live an abundant life.
The prosperous soul walks in the truth and love, submits to apostolic authority, and imitates godly examples.
The three characters named in the book provide us with keys to pursuing a prosperous soul:
The prosperous soul walks in the truth and love
To do this we need:
The impoverished soul as seen in Diotrephes (a negative example)
How do you discern whether a person is worth imitating or not? Look for evidence in the person’s life of: