Rediscovering Your Purpose Part 1

I love eating breakfast, don’t you? I especially love having smoothies for breakfast. What is your favorite breakfast food? Now image that you get to sit down and eat breakfast with the one person you love and admire most in the world. It can be a family member, friend, a famous person; it doesn’t matter. Now imagine that the last time you were with them you publicly disrespected them and denied knowing who they were with cursing. Now how do you feel? 

These are some of the same emotions he felt early one morning. His mind was filled with a mixture of unspeakable joy and yet deep-seated regret. He has already seen the risen Lord once by himself and two times with his friends. With awesome wonder, he recounts the events of the last couple of weeks. Thoughts of the recent resurrection give him goose bumps as his hopes begin to rise. Yet as soon as this happens, he quickly remembers his epic failure by a coal fire at the court of Ciaphas. “How could He possibly take me back after what I did”, he thought. Consumed with guilt and shame, he felt as though he had forfeited his purpose as a disciple by his mistake. In spite of this, the words of the angels to the women at the tomb on resurrection morning, “go tell His disciples – and Peter – that He is going before you into Galilee” gave him hope. 

Six other disciples join him as they walk on the long dusty road to the Sea of Galilee. As they approach the Sea of Galilee, they remember that this was the scene of many events during the life and ministry of Jesus. It was here that Jesus calmed the sea with a word. It was here that Jesus taught from Peter’s boat. Not far from here was the sight were Jesus fed the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes. And speaking of fish, they’re probably starting to get a little hungry now, so Peter suggests that they do what he did best before becoming a follower of Jesus. He suggests they all go fishing. Any good fisherman, during this time, fished at night, because the fish couldn’t see as well. Yet all their hard effort produced nothing by morning. Frustrated and tired, Peter begins to feel like he can’t do anything right. He’s failed at being a disciple and the one thing he is good at he can’t seem to do right. Can you relate with this experience?

Then suddenly, as the orange rays of the sun begin to rise, a lone Stranger on the beach instructs them to cast their nets to the other side. Feeling like they have nothing to loose, they cast their nets on the other side of the boat, when suddenly a multitude of fish fill their net. Realizing that it was Jesus, John cries out, “It’s the Lord!” Upon hearing this Peter puts on his hematian, which is Greek for outer garment, and swims to shore. As He gets to shore he soon realizes that Jesus has already prepared breakfast for them by a coal fire. It’s at this moment that Peter looks into the eyes of grace. In the Eyes of Jesus Peter doesn’t see condemnation, but utter love and forgiveness. It’s this breakfast encounter with the risen Christ that completely transforms Peter. And in John 21, we will see through the eyes of Peter three insights into rediscovering your purpose in Christ.  We pick up the story in John 21:15…

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”
— John 21:15-17 NKJV

Here we discover the first insight into rediscovering your purpose in Christ. Peter learned that... 

Love for Jesus, The Restorer, is the Basis for Your Purpose

I’ve discovered that people will do almost anything for someone or something they love. I asked some of my friends what are some of the things (even crazy things) that they have done because they love someone. One said stay with the person. Another said dance like an idiot. Another one said drive many miles to see them. Another friend said forgive them when it hurts. And another one, who shall remain nameless (Deedre) said follow them to Berrien Springs, MI. It’s amazing what we will do for those that we love.

    Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Jesus is doing something very intentional here. As the Apostle John is telling this story in his gospel, he only mentions the word for fire, as in charcoal fire, twice. The first time was on the night of Peter’s denial by a charcoal fire in Caiaphas’s courtyard and the second was this scene on the beach eating breakfast with Jesus and the other disciples. He deliberately connects these two events to suggest that Jesus was trying to recreate the scene of Peter’s denials in order to restore Peter in front of the other disciples. 

    In his book, The Gift, Kim Allan Johnson says, “In the presence of the other disciples, Christ now asked Peter three times if he loved Him, once for each denial. Each time Peter earnestly affirmed his love, and Jesus responded, “Feed My flock,” openly entrusting him with weighty responsibilities.” Peter is being restored to “team Jesus” as a full-fledged disciple. And here Jesus is saying to us that just because you have messed up doesn’t mean you have forfeited your purpose! You see Jesus knows that you can’t even begin to think about fulfilling your purpose in Him while your sinking in the guilt and shame of your sins. So He expresses His love to you by offering you forgiveness and restoration. And it is by this kind of love that love for Him is awakened in you. We love Him because He first loved us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you want to rediscover your purpose, you’ve got to go to the cross! God is looking for this generation to open up their Bibles every morning and ask God to show you His love and the theme of the cross. Pray and ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and thus fill you with His love. Soon you will notice a love for Christ will begin to awaken in your heart. Now you’re ready for Him to reveal His purpose for you. And as we will now see, once Peter has been restored and his love for Christ established, Jesus begins to pull the curtain back on how he will fulfill his purpose in verse 18…