My friend Leroy tells how when he was in the military, he was assigned to a barracks with a recruit who despised African Americans. One night after a drinking binge this recruit led his fellow soldiers in cursing and threatening to harm my friend Leroy. He said he was tempted to retaliate but chose instead to confront this hater and to show him unusual kindness. As a result, he won this soldier to Christ and they became bosom buddies. When Jesus told his disciples that His persecution and death were just ahead, Peter boasted he would never disown his Master. Yet when the pressure came he denied three times that he even knew Jesus. Despite his denials, Jesus did not abandon Peter. Instead, we find in John Chapter 21 after Jesus arose from the dead, He posed a penetrating question three times to Peter: “Do you love me?” That probing question served to reaffirm our Lord’s confidence in Peter and assure him Christ was still counting on him to shepherd his people. Today, like Peter, we sometimes fail our Lord. Yet if we truly repent, respond to his discipline, and recommit to follow our Lord, He may still use us for His Kingdom purposes.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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