By now, most people know of Tom Skinner, the late evangelist and activist who once led a street gang in New York. One night as he dressed to lead a gang fight, he heard a radio preacher explain the gospel. Tom accepted Christ as His Savior. His dramatic life-change still speaks of God’s grace. While Christ was here on earth, He made the difference in many lives, one of whom was Simon Peter. Simon met Jesus after John the Baptist introduced Jesus to his brother, Andrew. Andrew quickly went to tell Simon. Simon Peter came to investigate this so-called Messiah. Jesus gave Simon a new name. He gave him the name Cephas, which means “Rocky.” During the first years with the Messiah, Peter was anything but a rock. He often spoke without thinking, was brash and impulsive. Yet he was the leader among Jesus’ disciples, a member of Jesus’ inner circle of three. Later, at Jesus’ trial, he denied three times that he even knew Jesus. But at Pentecost, he preached a sermon and 3,000 people turned to Christ. Peter provided the content of John Mark’s Gospel. Peter wrote two epistles that have blessed people for 2,000 years. When Jesus gave Peter the name Rock, it was not because Peter was at that time a model of stability. It was because Jesus knew what Peter could become if he followed our Lord. It still happens. The world has yet to see what God can do through any person who fully surrenders to God.
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