COLUMNS

His arms are always open

Doug Boock

God loves to restore people to fellowship with Himself. If you used to walk closely with Him but now don't - or if you'd like to begin a relationship with Him - He'd love nothing better than seeing that happen.

God's willingness to restore people to Himself is evident in many places in the Bible, including Mark 16:6-7, when an angel tells speaks after Jesus has risen from the dead. It reads:

"But he said to them, 'Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples - and Peter - that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.'"

The key here is two words: "and Peter."

The fact that God wanted His disciples to know where they could see the risen Christ isn't surprising. What is somewhat surprising - and speaks volumes - is that He singled out Peter when giving the disciples this message. God went out of his way to let Peter know he was still wanted by Him.

This is the same Peter who only a few days earlier turned his back on Jesus, denying he even knew him.

The Bible says that Peter was greatly saddened by his decisions to deny knowing Jesus. Scripture says Peter wept about it.

But the rest of the story - something God wants us to know - is that Peter's failure isn't the end of the story. It's the beginning of a gracious work by God to restore Peter to Himself.

God will do that for you, too. Whether you're a Christian who's failed in your walk with Christ, or have never entered into a relationship with Him in the first place, He's ready to welcome you into His fellowship.

He's calling people to Himself. Will you answer Him?

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"Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear." - Isaiah 59:1

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" . . . you should turn from these useless things to the living God . . ." - Acts. 14:15