Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
Peter's book Healing through Deliverance and a short course in Florida in early 2017 richly informed my work as a psychiatric nurse specialist and as a mother with a demonized son.... Read More...

Seeds of the Kingdom

God’s Restoring Heart

by Dean Gardner

But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
Luke 5:8, ESV

Jesus had been using Peter’s fishing boat as a pulpit, moored a little way from the shore of Lake Galilee so that he could teach the crowd that had gathered to hear him. After He’d finished speaking He instructed Peter to put out into deeper water and cast his nets.

Despite having fished all night and caught nothing, and despite a lifetime of experience which told him that you don’t fish in the heat of the day, Peter obeyed Jesus command and was astonished to find his nets bursting with so many fish that his and his partners’ boats were in danger of sinking with the weight of the catch.

Why did Peter respond to such a miracle by saying to Jesus, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord”? Perhaps he’d already felt an awareness of his own sinfulness as he’d listened to Jesus’ teaching, or perhaps it was simply the impact of the undeserved grace of God overflowing to him in the miraculous catch of fish.

Peter saw that here was more than a teacher. Here was someone whose very words had authority even over nature. He knew that he was in the presence of someone holy and pure, and beside such a one he felt his own sin and imperfection.

Jesus didn’t depart from Peter as he requested. Instead He said “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will be catching men”. Over the next three years Peter made mistakes and blunders as he followed the Lord, finally even denying he knew Him, when Jesus was arrested and led away to be tried and executed. That must have seemed an unforgivable sin to Peter, but in John 21 we see a repeat of the miraculous catch of fish and the risen Lord Jesus restoring and re-commissioning him beside Lake Galilee.

Over the years there’ve been many times when I’ve failed Jesus, even though I love Him and my heart’s desire is to please Him. I’ve reacted wrongly to a person or situation, or some hidden darkness in my heart has been exposed and I’ve thought, “How can you use me Lord when I am like this?” We can even hear the whisper of the evil one that Jesus should wash His hands of us, as hopeless cases.

If you find yourself in such a place today, I encourage you to open your heart afresh to the Lord’s restoring mercy and grace and allow Him to pick you up, and set you on your feet again to follow Him.

Dean Gardner worked part time in the Ellel Grange Ministry Office for four and a half years until October 2018 and is now part of the Associate teaching and ministry team. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife Gemma. In 1988 he experienced God`s amazing grace at a carol service and began a journey of restoration and healing with Jesus. He longs to continue that journey allowing God`s truth to change his own life but also to share that truth with others that they too might know Jesus for themselves.


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