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John 21:15-25 | Restoration and Clarification

April 15, 2024 Valley View Church
John 21:15-25 | Restoration and Clarification
Valley View Church
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Valley View Church
John 21:15-25 | Restoration and Clarification
Apr 15, 2024
Valley View Church

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Sunday Morning | April 14, 2024 | John C. Majors | Louisville, KY

In his final sermon on John 21:15-25 titled "Restoration and Clarification," John C. Majors highlights Jesus's threefold approach to Peter following his denial. Jesus begins by leading with a probing question, calling Peter by his former name, and addressing the heart of the matter. Through this interaction, Jesus restores Peter's relationship with him and clarifies Peter's role in the community. Majors emphasizes that in times of failure, believers should move towards Jesus, focus on serving others, avoid comparison, and seek restoration rather than punishment.

You can join us on Sunday mornings at 11 AM for worship. We are located at 8911 3rd Street Road, Louisville KY 40272.

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Sunday Morning | April 14, 2024 | John C. Majors | Louisville, KY

In his final sermon on John 21:15-25 titled "Restoration and Clarification," John C. Majors highlights Jesus's threefold approach to Peter following his denial. Jesus begins by leading with a probing question, calling Peter by his former name, and addressing the heart of the matter. Through this interaction, Jesus restores Peter's relationship with him and clarifies Peter's role in the community. Majors emphasizes that in times of failure, believers should move towards Jesus, focus on serving others, avoid comparison, and seek restoration rather than punishment.

You can join us on Sunday mornings at 11 AM for worship. We are located at 8911 3rd Street Road, Louisville KY 40272.

Well, good morning everyone. It's great to be with you. What a powerful song. I just-- that song is so hard to sing at one level. I mean, I will make room for you. I hope I will. I think that's a prayer of faith. But it's a great way to enter into a time of worship and to a time of studying God's Word. And this is a week I know many of us have been looking forward to for many months that you finally found out Kentucky has a new coach right? Yeah, I tried to think of, I worked so hard to try to come up with some kind of Pope saves Kentucky joke, but I couldn't quite work it out. Maybe not appropriate at a Baptist church, but I did think what would have been really interesting, I think Kentucky and Louisville both missed an opportunity. Honestly, Kentucky should have hired Pitino, right? Louisville should have hired Calipari. And then we went, had a lot of fun. We've had a lot of talk about in the coming years. There's still hope. There's still time I think. What we really have been looking forward to is our conclusion of our study of the book of John. Yeah, we've been in the book of John 18 months now, roughly 60 or so sermons covering the book of John. And this is the week where we, of course, will still talk about the book of John here and there. But we conclude our series walking through the Book of John over these many months. And it's interesting how the book ends. It ends like a lot of stories end. Most stories don't end at the pinnacle of action, at the high point of what is occurring. Think of any movie you've seen-- the classic Star Wars, the Death Star is destroyed, the movie doesn't end right then. There's still things to resolve. There's still questions to answer. You still wonder what's going to happen with Han Solo and Luke and Leia. Is there some romance brewing? What's going to happen with the Republic? We still got some loose ends to tie up, even though the main action took place. And we see in the book of John, this kind of happens as well. Of course, Jesus dies and we think the story's over. But then he rises again and the disciples get hope and joy and life. But there are some unanswered questions. In fact, if you put yourself in the shoes of the disciples wondering what's going to happen now in particular, you're probably wondering what's going to happen with Peter. I mean, here's the guy who said, I'm all in no matter what, I'll be with you to the end, no matter what. And he outright denies Jesus. That's still got to be dealt with. We can't just leave that out there. What is Jesus going to do? Is he going to reject Peter? Is he going to cast him aside, or is he going to restore him? That's what our passage today, tying up the loose ends of some of what has happened in this story. That's what our passage today is going to talk about. We're going to see him address Peter, but he's also going to address John, because Peter and John are kind of his two main dudes. And so how it affects Peter is also going to affect John. Is John going to be our leader going forward? If Peter's not the main guy going forward? We're going to see all this addressed and kind of wrapped up here at the end of the book of John. So we're in John chapter 21, the last chapter of the book of John. If you have a church Bible that's on page 853, those Bibles are available out in the connection corner. Grab one any time you can keep that. We'd love for you to be able to read along. Follow along with us as we work through the passage today, and we'll be reading starting at verse 15 in John chapter 21. So if you turn there and follow along, as I read John chapter 21, verse 15, when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? He said to him, yes, Lord, you know that I love you. He, Jesus, said to him, feed my lambs. Then he said to him a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love me? He said to him, yes, Lord, you know that I love you. He said to him, tend my sheep. He said to him, the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, do you love me? And he said to him, Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you. Jesus said to him, feed my sheep. The disciples last week were waiting on Jesus to show up. They went fishing. Jesus appears. They come to the shore and I skipped over an important detail last week that was mentioned there. I skipped over it on purpose to highlight it this week. If you look back at verse nine, when they come to the shore. They got out on land. They saw a charcoal fire in place with fish laid out on it, and bread. That word for charcoal fire is different than the normal word for fire, and it only shows up one other time in all of the New Testament. And the other place is in chapter 18, when Peter, in the midst of denying Jesus, is standing, warming himself over a charcoal fire. And so he brings the disciples to the shore. They show up and the setting early morning charcoal fire. It just hints at this issue that we have to address. Peter, you remember the last time you were standing over a charcoal fire? Peter, remember what happened then? This is just the subtle message that's being communicated. It's really interesting how the setting at times can communicate things without you having to say anything. I remember when I proposed to Julie, we went to Nashville. That's where we had first met, and I kind of relived the whole day of when we had first met. We went to the same places, ate at the same places, and we ended up at the waterfront where we first spent time really talking in-depth and connecting. And then that's where I proposed. And then on the drive home, I asked her, hey, did you see this coming at all today? She said from a mile away. How could I not see you if you didn't propose? We were going to have big problems today. The setting, I mean, so much of everything we went through, it screamed something significant. It's going to happen here today. Jesus is creating the environment for him to begin to address the issue. The elephant in the room, the thing that has been hanging over their heads for these few days since his resurrection. Now notice it also said here though, when they had finished breakfast. One thing I love about Jesus is he never seems to be in a hurry. He. Come on up guys. Let's eat. Let's just hang out. Let's just connect. Yeah. This issue’s there. Peter's feeling it. Peter knows it probably all the disciples know it. When they had finished breakfast. Not only did he wait till after breakfast, it's been at least a week, maybe longer. You know, Jesus just doesn't seem to be in the kind of hurry we think he should be. You know, there's there's a lot of times where you face some challenge or issue. I don't know about you, but my tendency is to charge right in and try to solve it, try to deal with it, press into it. And a lot of times that causes more problems. There's a lot of things we think that are emergencies. And of course there are real emergencies. But there's a lot of times we make an emergency out of something that could wait. Maybe if I waited for a better timing or the better, a better setting. It's crazy how much the setting can affect the outcome of an interaction. So they wait till after breakfast. They finish breakfast. Now look at how Jesus brings up the issue. Here's all these simply says, Jesus said to Simon Peter back in verse 15, Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? One of the commentators I read, Josh Moody, pointed out three things about this that I think are real helpful to see what Jesus is doing here. The first and I'm going to put these on screen. The first is that he just simply engages by starting with a question. I don't know about you, but I would have done a different I would have started out, I told you, Peter, I told you, I told you you would deny me. You said you wouldn't. You said you'd be there to the end. I knew better, I was right. Do you see? Let me hear it. Jesus just simply asked him a question. And it's not one of those condemning questions, but is a question that just invites conversation that lets him know I want to address this, but I'm not here to beat you up. Now notice the second thing that happens here. The second thing he brings up the way he engages this with Peter. First he asks a question. Next, look at what he calls him in the passage. He calls him Simon, son of John. The only other time he's called him, that was when he very first met him. Your name is Simon, son of John. But I'm calling you Cephas, Peter, which in English is the rock. He's going back. Let's go back to the beginning. Do you remember when we first met? Do you remember what you were called then? Simon, son of John. This is just a subtle. Let's take it back to the beginning. Let's start this thing over. But then the third thing he does, and this is critical, and this is something I think we all can embrace. Whenever you're pressing into an issue with someone, notice, by the way, he asks this questions, what he is doing is he's trying to get to the heart of the issue. He's trying to press into the heart of the issue. Notice he asks him this do you love me more than these? I'm going to talk about what that means. But the first point to make here is how important it is when you are addressing an issue between you and someone else, or if you're a parent with your child, is to try to get to the heart of the matter. I don't know about you, but oftentimes the temptation is just to deal with the issue that's on the surface. I just want the behavior to change. That's all. But if you don't press into the heart issue, Tim Keller calls it the sin beneath the sin the motivation. And you can't always do that. Look, it takes art, it takes care, it takes time, it takes wisdom. There's sometimes you just got to deal with the behavior and move on. I get that, but over time we want to be pressing towards what's the heart issue, what's going on in my heart? What's causing the behavior if we if we don't go there, the behavior is not going to change long term. It will be grudgingly in the moment. And so Jesus asks him the question that's at the heart of the issue Jesus, Peter, do you, Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? Now the hard part for us is to understand what that word these means, because it could point to a few different things. There's a few different views on this. I'm going to walk through three of them. Who are the these in this situation? These could be the fish. Fishing, your vocation. Do you love me more than you love these things? Your job, your work, your calling? I mean, you went right back to it while you're supposed to be waiting on me. Do you love me more than that? I don't think that's what it is. Because Peter was the first to jump out of the boat and forget about the fish leaving behind. Come right the shore to see Jesus. So it's probably not that. The other thing in the immediate context is the disciples who are right there. Peter, do you love me more than you love the disciples? Your bro's, your guys, your dudes who you've slaved with in the water, the guys who've been there with you all along? Do you love me more than you love them? The problem with that is Peter's not really known as a very loving guy. He's the one that's going, hey, I'm the better one here. Look at it. I'm the best. I deserve the most honor. Not necessarily the one known for how loving and caring is for the other disciples. I think probably where this could land. Do you love me more than these disciples, meaning do you really love me more than the disciples do? One of the passages that draws this out, in fact, I've mentioned this before, but a great way to approach Bible study is to read other Bible translations. I have a number of different ones I read from, kind of a base translation. Obviously we teach from the ESV and you probably have your favorite translation, but it's good to read from the others as well. This gets drawn out real well in the NET Bible. Have you heard of the NET Bible? It's called the New English Translation. It's called the Net Bible. Also, they kind of did that on purpose because when it first came out, it was only online. It was really the first Bible translation to show up, just only online. They before they ever printed a copy, they just put it online and it's all free online. There's tons of great Bible study notes on that, but they had one little word here to draw out, and they're probably crossing the line from translation to interpretation by doing this. But they're trying to draw out what is meant by this word these here. And we're going to put the passage on the screen. Just look at what it says. One little word added at the end. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do? Do you love me more than the rest of the disciples do? Do you really love me more than you say that you do? You have said all along, I'll be with you no matter what. All the all the rest will fall away. But I'll be there. I will die with you no matter what. And you were the only one to outright deny me. Do you really love me more than these do? Now look at how Peter responds to this. Look at what he says. Do you really love me more than these? Look at how he responds. He said to him, yes, Lord, you know that I love you. What I love about that is what he doesn't say. Yes, Lord, you know that I love you more than these. No. Yes, Lord. You know that I love you. You know. You know how I love you. There's just a hint of humility there. Before it was. I'm the first. I'm the best. I'll be the last to fall. I'll be with you to the end. Maybe I can't say more than these now. One of the things we need to address in this passage. And if you've studied this passage before or have heard someone else preach on it, this has been brought out. So I'm going to walk us through a little bit what is happening here in the language that we can't see in English, we only have one word for love. There's only one. We have a lot of words that are similar, but there's only one word that means love. And here's how I know that. Try to use an any other word than love. If your special friend asks you if you love them. John, do you love me? I am deeply committed to you. Okay, that's great, but I asked do you love me? I am crazy about you. I might even say infatuated. Okay, now this is getting weird, but I asked do you love me? I really care about you. Well, now you know. We're just talking about friendship. That's all right. It's not. It's not me, it's not you. It's me. Actually means it's you. You see, we really only have one word for love. But the Greeks, which is the language the New Testament was written in originally had multiple words for love. Part of the interesting part of this verse is that actually, two different words for love are used here. And I've highlighted these in different colors. So you can see and I don't normally do this, put the Greek words up on the screen, but I think it helps for you to see what's happening because they are some of them are familiar. So looking back at verse 15, here's what's going on. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon, son of John, do you love me? The Greek word there is agape. Do you love (agape) me more than these? But Peter responds. He says, yes, Lord, you know that I love (phileo) I love you (phileo). Now, part of what is often asserted here is, and we do know this, agape, phileo have a different range of meaning. You've heard these words. You've probably seen a church, Agape Church. Campus Crusade for Christ, who I used to serve with, named their ministry in Europe Agape because they thought maybe we should drop the word crusade here in Europe. That might not be the best word, might not open the most doors here. Let's call our ministry love instead. Agape Europe. Agape is often seen as more of a high, higher love, a more noble love, a more God like love and more unconditional love. And the range of meaning often includes that idea. Phileo, which you've heard as well. You've heard that word Philadelphia. You've heard of that city. What's the nickname of that city? City of brotherly love. Phileo love is often considered more of an affection, more of a friendship love. You know, you love a good friend differently than you love your your spouse. There's a different type of love there. So some have seen this interaction between Jesus and Peter, and they've said, so is Jesus saying something like, do you love me with an unconditional God like higher love? And Peter, is he then responding with, well, no, I just kind of love you like a friend Jesus actually. Is that what's going on with that difference? It's hard to know. It's really hard to know exactly. Putting yourself back in that setting at that time, understanding the fine nuances between the meaning of words is really difficult to do. However, I do wonder why he didn't just answer with the exact same word. Well, why didn't he just say agape? In fact, you've got to wonder if Jesus didn't wonder that as well, because he does the same thing with verse two, with verse 16. In their next interaction, flip ahead to verse 16 and throw that on the screen, because you'll see this again. He said to him a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love (agape) me? Giving him another chance, he said to him, yes, Lord, you know that I love (phileo) you. And it's interesting in your Bible it probably just says love for both words, even though they're different words. We don't really have another word to draw that out. I appreciate how if you have an old copy of the NIV, they try to do this. I'm going to put that on the screen for you to see. But just adding the word truly. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these? Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. That's just an effort to try to say these words are slightly different. Do you truly love me or do you love me? Twice we get this interaction. Do you agape me? Yes, Lord, I phileo you. And then I think what really gives people pause about this is the third interaction. If you look at the third time, put up that third interaction. He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love(phileo) me? This time Jesus asks him the word that Peter has been using all along. Do you love (phileo) me now? Peter was grieved because he asked him the third time, do you love me? And he said to him, Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you. You know that I love you. I don't know if we can know exactly that Jesus is meeting him on his ground by using the different words and... but there's something going on there. Why couldn't Peter just say the same word Jesus was using? I think there are other hints in here that a little bit of this is happening, this Jesus coming to Peter to call him up, and Peter saying, I don't know if I can fully go there. One of the ways we see that if you look back here at verse 17. He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love me? Peter was grieved because he had said to him the third time, do you love me? One thing that everyone agrees on when they study this passage, even if they differ on whether you should take the differences and those Greek words as significant or not, everyone agrees. Peter denies Jesus three times at a charcoal fire early in the morning. And here is Jesus calling him three times. Peter, do you love me? Peter do you love me? Peter, do you love me? He is clearly calling him to deal with this issue. And when Peter responds, I think we get this hint of what's going on in Peter's heart, because Peter at this time he responds. He says, Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you. I think what Peter is pointing at here by just saying, you know everything. You know that I love you. You know my heart. I don't know that I trust my own heart. I'm feeling a little humbled. I exalted myself before. And now we're in a place where I don't even know if I can say the word love fully and mean it anymore. I don't know if I can trust my own heart. I know I've been there. Have you been there at those times? I remember in college, man, I was so ate up with control, with trying to figure out what it meant to be a Christian by knowledge and appearance. And then you come to know what the real love of Christ is, through his unconditional love for you. It's not about my performance. It's not about how I appear. It's not about what I do or say or don't say. And I remember feeling in that moment, okay, Lord, I know I love you, but I'm not sure I even trust my own heart fully to know what that means. I need you like the guy in Mark chapter nine, I believe. Help my unbelief. Lord, you know my heart. You know better than me. I thought I knew my love for you and I didn't. You see some of what's going on here? I've heard that from some of you at times. I've had conversations where someone will go, you know, I really want to go all in on Jesus. But I'm afraid if I do, he'll, he'll force me and my family to move to Africa and be missionaries. Why is it always Africa, by the way? There's plenty of other places. I know you don't want to go here in the US probably, so, but that happens all the time. There's this sense that I don't know that I can do what he might call me to do. I don't know that I currently have it within me. I don't know that I trust my own love for him. Part of that's healthy. I'm not talking about some kind of OCD. Overanalyzing your love for Jesus, to the point where you think you could never do right and you’re beating yourself up as a result. I'm not talking about that. I'm just talking about just a measure of humility going, yes, Lord, I love you, but you know what that means, right Lord? You really know my heart. I sure hope you do. We just see a glimpse of that here with Peter. Peter coming, I think, with a measure of humility. Now look at how Jesus responds to him each time. What does he say each time after Peter says I love you? He uses three different words two, two different words, but he uses them three different times. Looking back at each verse, verse 15, he ends with feed my lambs.

Verse 16:

10 my sheep. Verse 17, feed my sheep. Here's a word that I think sums up everything that's going on here, the word that we've been wondering. How will Jesus approach Peter? The word that says how he will view Peter, Peter moving forward, the word that flows from this call to serve. Peter, you've been focused on yourself. You've been thinking about yourself. Go serve others. What he's doing in this moment is restoration. Jesus restores Peter in this moment. Restoration. Peter, come serve. Peter, come alongside. And here's what I want everyone to hear today. I don't know what you've been through. I don't know what you've done, but I'm guessing there's a few of us here today that feel like Jesus could never accept me. He could never love me because of what I've done. The shame. There's guilt. There's feelings of inadequacy. There's feelings of unworthiness. And he says to Peter, feed my sheep. Come back in. Tend my lambs. Feed my lambs. He calls him back in. I don't know what you've done, but I promise you, Jesus loves you. He will accept you. And there may be real consequences for your decisions in life. I'm guessing that Peter had a little bit of a stigma hanging over him wherever he went for decades. Is that the guy that denied Jesus? None of the other disciples did. They at least hid. But he outright said, nope, don't know him. Is that the guy? He's supposed to teach us about Jesus? We're supposed to trust him? Imagine the rest of his life. No, no, no. Remember Jesus forgave him. Yeah. We'll see. There may be real consequences to decisions you make. If you end up in prison the rest of your life. That's a consequence to decisions you made. But that Jesus still loves you. He still can restore you. May look different. In fact, he may use you in greater ways as a result. He may use you in ways, He will use you in ways you never could have imagined. But you're not useless, unworthy. Those are the lies the enemy wants you to hear. You're useless. You're unworthy. No one could ever love you. No. Jesus loves you. I heard a theologian once be asked what is... And this guy has forgotten more theology than I'll ever know. What is the most profound theological truth that you have ever heard? Everybody's wondering, what's he going to say? Let me get my pen out. Let me get ready. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so is what he said. It's so beautiful. It's so true. He loves you. And no matter what you've been through, he wants to restore you. He really does. This is what he does with Peter. Now look at the last thing he says to him that points back to the beginning of their relationship. Verse 18, truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself, walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go. Everybody understand? You. I'm so grateful that John clarified what this means to us, because this verse would make no sense. Now at the time, it was understood that stretching out your hands was a euphemism for crucifixion. Much like we don't like to use the word death or die. We'll say stuff like he passed on, went to a better place, Is no longer with us. Those kind of things. Who wants to talk about crucifixion? You will stretch out your hands. But John here gives us the clarification in what he writes. This he said to show by what kind of death he, Peter, was to glorify God. And after saying this, Jesus said to him, follow me. Those are some of the same words he used to call the disciples to begin with. We're starting over. Remember what this is about. Follow me. Come with me. We're still in this together. You're still a part of what we're doing. Jesus restores Peter. There's a restoration. Now, we've talked about Peter, and now we need to talk about John. Because if you're the disciples, you've wondered, okay, you've restored Peter. We weren't sure what was going to happen with Peter. So we wondered, is John going to be our next leader? And here's what he does here. He clarifies John's role. He restores Peter. But now what does this mean for John? Let's get some clarification around John's role. Look at verse 20. Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, Lord, who is it that is going to betray you? And we know we covered this when we studied that section. This is John referring to himself in third person. When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, Lord, what about this guy, our man? Jesus said to him, if it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me. It's a big temptation to be worried about what God might do with someone else. And Peter, in this moment. So you're saying I'm going to be crucified? Yes, Peter, remember you said you would go all the way to the end with me. Don't forget, that's what you asked for. It's going to come. What about this guy? What about this other guy? What's going to happen to him? Now because of the way... the way Jesus responds here. There's a little bit of confusion in the early church, and John just takes a second to clear it up. So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die. But if it is my will that he remains until I come, what is that to you? In this moment he just simply says, I've got a different mission in mind for John than you. And that's okay. He clarifies John's role moving forward. Let me wrap up the book with these last couple of verses, and then we have a couple of application points for us about what does this mean for us today? Because John says this of himself, this is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things and who has written these things. And we know that his testimony is true. Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Where were every one of them to be written I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. John wraps up the book of John, clarifying his own role, resolving the issue of Peter's lingering sin. Will he be restored or not? And two extremely influential guys in the history of the church are now set up for the church to move forward, and much more could be written about that. There's so much more that could be written. What does all this mean for us today? I think as we look at this passage and we think about Peter's lingering pain and sin, wondering what would happen with them, what do we do in the midst of failure? How do we live in the midst of your own failure? What does this section mean for us? Well, let's look at I've got four things we're going to cover. As we look at --what does how do we move forward in the midst of failure? First, number one, move toward Jesus. Move toward him in the midst of your failure. I don't know about you, but when he shows up on the shore and John says, that's the Lord, my temptation would be to sink down in the boat. I don't want to have this conversation. He's going to want to bring up my failure. He's going to want to bring up how I denied him. And what does Peter do? He does the opposite. He's the first to dive into the water and move towards Jesus. And this tells you a little bit about how Jesus, how different he is than us. I think many times I want people to feel shame and guilt for what they've done wrong. But Peter has this sense I've got to move toward Jesus. I got to move toward him. I know he'll accept me. Even in the midst of this. Move towards Jesus in the midst of your failure. Number two, focus on serving others. In the midst of restoration, focus on serving others. You know, that's what he says to Peter. Feed my sheep, tend my sheep, feed my lambs, care for them. Those are two powerful words feed and tend. There is something about getting your eyes off yourself and in the midst of your misery and suffering. There's so much power in that. I hope that we can give everyone here an opportunity to serve in some way where you feel like this is what God has made me to do. Have you experienced that in life? You know what I'm talking about there. Those moments when you're like, I can't wait to do more of this. I feel like God is using me because of what we're doing. I'm seeing him work. I love it when sometimes on Mondays in the morning, I'll take a break from studying, and I might go down and talk to the folks who are cooking for Helping Hands, our homeless ministry, and they're preparing to go out that night and serve to take food out to the homeless. They go downtown to go to a couple of different homeless camps. But there's a problem with this. I know that if I'm going to go down there, I better have lots of time because they're excited. They're happy. They have a lot to say. They got some questions to ask. They want me to taste things and see things. And here's this new piece of equipment we got because we're so pumped up about what we're doing. I love that. It's great. And look, feeding the homeless may not be your thing. You may not have found your thing, you may have tried different things. But I firmly believe God has some area of service like that for you. Where you feel like this is what I was made for, and we're going to talk a lot more about that this fall in terms of the service opportunities in the church and how to figure out how you're wired and where God might have a seat for you. But there's so much power in getting our eyes off of ourselves and serving. Number three, in the midst of your failure, avoid comparison. This is what Peter, right? went to. What about him? Yeah, well, no, no, no, don't worry about him. Follow me. If I have a different plan for him, don't worry about it. Follow me. And here you have Peter. His mission is to go out, travel, plant churches, die on the cross. John. He maybe stays more local, does more writing, lives a lot longer. I like John's ministry path. I think I'll follow that one personally if the Lord allows, but avoid comparison. I'm sure we've all faced this at times. You see someone who's doing better than maybe you are in the moment, and the temptation is to look down on them, to be upset with them, to not like them. My hope is that we do the opposite, that we celebrate what God is doing in their lives, that we say, thank you, Lord, for what you're doing in their lives. I don't know why that's not happening in my life, but you have a different path for me, Lord, what do you want me to do? And a move away from comparison. And then lastly, number four, seek to restore, not punish, seek to restore, not punish. And I get it. There are times where punishment is needed, no doubt. But the heart of what we do should be restoration should be behind that. You've probably heard it said that the the church are some of the best out there at beating up their own. There's other ways, I've heard it said some not as polite. And it's often true. How do we move towards restoration with one another to build one another up? One of the ways that we can point our hearts towards restoration is by taking communion together. And we're going to do that today. And if you're a deacon helping to distribute communion, if you would slip out now and prepare the elements. And they're going to distribute those. And communion here is open to anyone who knows Jesus. If you call Jesus Lord and Savior, even if you're not a member of this church, we'd love for you to participate in communion. When the tray comes pass, just take one stack of cups. There's one cup with the juice, one with the bread. Take that and hold on to that. And once everyone receives the elements, then I'll lead us through taking those together. But here's what I want you to pray for while those are being distributed. I find this moment while I'm waiting to take communion, to be a powerful moment to press into my own heart. Is there someone in your life that needs restoration? It could even be you by the way. Pray for them during this time. If there's a reason you need to go towards someone, pray for them. Pray for wisdom. And if it's you that needs restoration, pray for your own heart as well. So if you would go ahead and start distributing those, hang on to those and pray. Pray for restoration during this time, and then I'll lead us through taking them together in a moment.