He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:3 (New King James Version)

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When they finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” He asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was sad that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He replied, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep."

John 21:15-17

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I remember someone who once tried to inject humor into this conversation between Jesus and Peter as if it were an awkward scene in a comedy. Awkward may not be the word for what Peter feels every time he is questioned; heartbroken may be more accurate since this is a reminder of the three times Peter denied Jesus before the Crucifixion.

How are we, then, supposed to feel when we reflect on this passage? If we have denied Christ in any way, then heartbroken would make sense; however, even if we have done so, joy and gladness should soon follow. Why? Because Jesus, as with Peter, will extend infinite love, kindness, and mercy to us as we repent.

It may feel uncomfortable; it may even hurt. However, even if we have done something that makes us feel unlovable, we must never forget that God’s love can and will restore us. It did for Peter, and it can for you and me.

Sarah Boatwright

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Thank you for loving me, Lord. Help me to accept your love even when I feel unworthy. Amen.

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Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.

Proverbs 9:6 (New King James Version)

Sarah Boatwright

Part-time writer, professor, and drummer and full-time wife and mom Sarah H. Boatwright lives and works in Greenwood, South Carolina. Ever astonished every day at just how good God is, she enjoys quiet moments over hot tea with local honey.

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