At a coffee shop in Springfield, MO on a random day, I smelled a pastry baking. Immediately, I was taken back to my grandmother’s house. I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was, but something about what they were baking, and my grandmother had baked while I was a kid, connected these two moments in my mind.
It’s amazing how closely tied the sense of smell is to memory.
On the night Jesus was arrested, Peter had messed up by denying Him 3 times. The Bible tells us that when he realized what he had done, and that Jesus was right in His prediction (although Peter had denied it), he ran away and cried (Matthew 26:69-75).
The next time Peter & Jesus interact was after the resurrection. John 21 tells the story of Jesus making breakfast for the disciples. Excited to see Him, and having caught a large number of fish thanks to His help, the disciples must have been eager. In fact, Peter jumped in the water and ran to greet Jesus.
John’s gospel includes one interesting detail. Jesus had started a charcoal fire to make them breakfast (21:9).
We all know how those smell, right? Distinct, right?
The last (and only other time in Scripture) we read about a charcoal fire was when Peter had denied Jesus. John 18:18 reads, “Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them. Standing and warming himself.”
A few moments later, Peter would deny Jesus, cursing at those accusing him of being a Jesus follower . . . and run away crying at his own sinfulness.
Ashamed of what he had done.
Knowing better but still doing it.
Back to the coffee shop.
I was immediately taken back 30 years to my grandmother’s basement when I smelled those pastries.
Where was Peter taken when he smelled Jesus’s charcoal fire?
Yet Jesus embraced Peter warmly.
The grace of God is undeniable.
The grace of God is relentless.
The grace of God covers all your mistakes, all your shortcomings, all your mess-ups.
Those times you ran away crying over your actions . . . even when you knew better.
God wants you to be free of pornography & lust.
No matter what you’ve done or how you’ve messed up, His grace covers it.
His grace is greater than ALL OUR SIN!
Love Him, Worship Him, and Thank Him Today.
Thoughts to Pray/Journal:
- When have you messed up recently? When have you messed up ‘the worst’? Do you recognize that God’s grace covers that?
- What does that make you want to do?
- What do you think was going through Peter’s mind when he smelled the fire? What goes through your mind when you are met with your sin?
- How surprised do you think Peter was? Are you that surprised at how He loves you?