It is now time for Peter to stand on his own instead of in the shadows. Now is the moment Christ had envisioned for him when he gave him the name “Rock” & underscoring that in his reinstatement after the resurrection that he would follow Christ, fish for souls, feed the sheep, & die for the name of Christ. From Passover to Pentecost, a period of 50 days, Peter has now processed the teachings of the Lord that had seemed obscure at times. He has been blown away by the resurrection. He has rejoiced in the Lord’s forgiving him & renewing his mission. He has witnessed the glorious ascension of Christ & was reminded one more time that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. Peter now understands it is a spiritual movement that is about to shake the world to its core. He has been spending time with the other apostles & disciples, about 120 of them, praying, processing, & preparing for the next step. Told to wait in Jerusalem & remembering the promise of Jesus that the “keys to the kingdom” would be given to him, he now becomes the strong man of God & leader that he had been groomed for. He’s now ready to blossom & “fly” as God’s butterfly to doing the following things. As we list some of the results of Peter’s Metamorphosis, please take note that it is a call to action for each one of you to fulfill our personal mission for the cause of Christ as well. The signs of his transformation are:
- PETER A____________________ & SHARED THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. In using the “keys to the kingdom” on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two, Peter stood up with the eleven other apostles & preached the first message of the new kingdom & the resurrected PETER THE BUTTERFLY “Jesus looked at him & said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You will be called Peter (a rock).’” John 1:42 . This message was so powerful that it opened the doors for 3000 souls to be saved that very day! Peter the “Rock” would go on to preach with boldness, with courage, with confidence, & to carry out Christ’s mission in spite of many threats & warnings. His mantra, when told not to preach, is found in Acts 5:29 when he said, “We must obey God rather than human beings.”
- PETER BECAME A MAN OF B___________________. Acts 3:1, 4:23-24, 4:31
- PETER CARED FOR THE C_______________________. Acts 3:1-10; Acts 5:14-16; Acts 9:32-35
- PETER D__________________________ WITH OTHERS. Jesus had effectively ingrained into Peter that it was not the Lord’s way to be the “Lone Ranger” & try to do everything on his own. He had learned early in his training that he needed others in his life. Peter continued that practice throughout his ministry, as noted in these passages: Peter & the apostles, Acts 1:1-11 & Acts 2:1; Peter & the 120 disciples, Acts 1:15; Peter & the Jerusalem church family, Acts 2:40-47; Peter & John on several occasions worked together, & the list goes on.
- PETER E_________________________. We finish Peter’s story with the fact that he would suffer severe persecution in his lifetime of ministry. History has it that Peter ultimately gave his life for Christ in death by the same way Jesus died, by the horrible act of crucifixion. Legend says that before being crucified, he requested to be killed upside down, not worthy of the same position of Christ. This is a fantastic testimony to the life transformation that Peter went through in his lifetime. From times of fear & denial, he becomes this powerful man of God willing to give his life for his Master. In doing that, there were many times, faced with persecution & threats of death, Peter showed one of the strongest traits a person can have – that of perseverance, staying true to Christ all the days of your life.
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
- For this week’s “Take Five”, let’s use each of the 5 transformations that we see in Peter’s life. The first one is that he preached and shared the gospel message and did it quite boldly. Read his sermons in the first ten chapters of the book of Acts and write out some of your observations. How do these apply to your life?
- Peter was also a man of prayer. Read his experiences in prayer and take note that if we are to be fully transformed by the power of Christ, we, too, will embrace prayer as one of our core actions. In what areas do you need to grow in the practice of prayer?
- Although his preaching and the spread of the gospel is the core takeaway from the book of Acts, we see that he embodied the ministry of Christ in the way he cared for the sick and downtrodden. In what ways are you carrying this aspect of the Christ-life in your life? What more could you do?
- Peter was taught early on in his relationship with Christ that he needed others in his life. The apostles were sent out in “two’s” as one major example. How do you see this implemented in other ways in Peter’s life? And, how are you connected with others in Christ? What benefits do you find from these spiritual relationships?
- Then, Peter persevered. He learned from his earlier failures and after the resurrection, this quality became one of his strongest, even to ultimately die for Christ. How strong in your faith? Are you in touch with the areas of your life where you are weaker and susceptible to Satan’s discouragements? List some ways to enhance your perseverance.