It is a good thing for Christians to measure themselves carefully and frequently, not by one another, but by the Word of God. Let us take the life and growth of Peter; God is no respecter of persons, and what He did for Peter He is not only able, but anxious, to do for us.
Peter’s first sight of Jesus came unexpectedly one day, as he was about to cast his net into the sea. Jesus saw Peter, went to him and said, ” ‘Follow me, and I will make you a fisher of men’ ” (see Matt. 4:19).
Do you remember the day when first your eyes were opened to the lovely form of Jesus walking along the shores of time to your heart, when you first heard that dear voice bidding you to leave your nets of worldly cares and your sinful life and follow Him? Just one sight of that lovely face, and all other faces lost their attraction and power to satisfy; just one cadence of His voice, and earthly voices lost their charm.
Straightaway Peter left his nets and followed Him. How eagerly he promised to follow, and how little he understood just where the following would lead him. No shadow of the cross did he see, no whisperings of a dark night when he would deny his Lord, the future with its train of joys and sorrows, its victories and defeats, its honor and dishonor; no visions of a cross where he himself would hang were foreseen as he eagerly and joyfully promised to follow all the way.
How little did we realize the mountaintops of transfiguration and the valleys of trial we would pass when our hearts said yes to Jesus and promised to follow all the way. The main and most important thing is to say an eternal yes to Jesus, and whether it is weal or woe, the Jesus who took Peter through will bring us forth triumphant if we trust and follow all the way.
If you have left all to follow Jesus, have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? This is just beginning the preparation for future advancement and growth, for when ” ‘He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth’ ” (John 16:13, NKJV).
Behold Peter’s life after Pentecost, where he received the Holy Spirit. See him saying to the lame man: ” ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk’ ” (Acts 3:6). See the sick being brought out from all the villages and towns round about, as recorded in Acts 5, and when even the shadow of Peter fell up them, they were healed, every one.
Follow Peter through his imprisonments, his beatings and scourgings, his shame and reproach. Follow him through his courage and faith, his love and life of power. Follow him to his death on the cross, crucified head downward because he felt unworthy to be crucified as his Lord.
Oh, dear ones, I fear that the measuring rod, upon being applied to our lives, will find us all far short. But God is no respecter of persons, and He who took Peter through from his first eternal “I will” at the Sea of Galilee to the cross where he laid down his life will take us through if we will follow Him.
The future all unknown and trusted in His hands—dear Peters, weak in yourselves, He will make you strong in Him. Follow Him to the cross, to the grave, through the resurrection, to the upper room and the reception of the Holy Spirit, on to the gifts and fruits of the Spirit, perfect development and identification with Him in His death on the cross, and on to meet Him in the air. Let us then press on and follow all the way. Do not stop short of God’s best and perfection.
Adapted from This Is That by Aimee Semple McPherson, copyright 1923. Published by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.