SHADOW OF PETER

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Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel


INTRODUCTION

Shadow of Peter emphasizes that one's importance may outshine that of another; simply because they are in the limelight, while another is not.  Lesson learned is that if we cannot perform more conspicuous service we can yet serve the Lord.

A person's worth, in serving the Lord, is not necessarily measured by who is in the limelight; rather being in the perfect will of the Lord, one's serving where one has been placed.  (Comment)


SHADOW OF PETER
A PROPHECY GIVEN

A prophecy given: Do you expect me to build my house if not one stone is willing to carry the other? 

In building, the foundation carries the whole house, but one stone is build upon another and if every stone wants to be at the top of the building, or at least where it can be seen, and is not willing to be placed where the master builder wishes to place the stone, it is impossible to build with such unsurrendered stones!

MISSIONARY DISAPPOINTMENT
TURNED INTO TRIUMPH 

An account was given of a missionary who served in a foreign land; putting his own life in peril, having rejected the advice of a government official not to go into those parts.  After spreading the Gospel he left for home feeling he had not accomplished what he had set out to do, leaving the missionary field for secular work.

When he had grown old; a young man from the land he had witnessed, came to the former missionary's homeland, to have a Bible translated into his country's native tongue.  He looked up the missionary; revealing how he had helped turn a whole nation to Christ.

The former missionary's disappointment turned into triumph; learning that revival had come to that land after his departure!  What an amazing account of how valuable one man can be, when led of the Lord to impart the Gospel, despite one's own feelings as to the outcome of that effort, as "Shadow of Peter" reveals.

MISSIONARY EFFORT
YOU ARE NOT HOME YET

Another account is given of a man who had returned by ship from missionary work in a foreign land.  When the ship docked there was a welcoming committee, a huge crowd on hand, to welcome someone with great fanfare.  However, it was not for the missionary.

He questioned the Lord, why the other was in the limelight and he was not.  The Lord replied:  You are not home yet!  One cannot measure their accomplishments by man's standards; or expected recognition, because heavenly rewards are of far more value than any fanfare man may give (Matthew 6:19-20).

KEYS OF THE KINGDOM

A movie entitled "The Keys of the Kingdom" came out in the 50's about a missionary effort in China.  After many failures; a priest was sent to missionary work in China by one who believed in him despite his reported failures.

He started the mission work from scratch to quite an accomplishment during his tenure there.  However, at one point in time, he felt as a shadow of Peter in seeing his friend elevated, who had started in the ministry the same time as he had, having been elevated to Bishop, placing him in the limelight, whereas he continued humbly serving in the position placed upon him.

Again, the words previously mentioned: If we cannot perform more conspicuous service we can yet serve the Lord.  When the priest departed from China, after many years of faithful service, though not elevated in status as his friend, seemingly in the shadow of Peter concept, found his accomplishments to be far more extensive than he had realized.

COMPARISON TO OTHERS

One may feel they are as Andrew, a shadow of Peter his brother, in comparison to others who are often in the limelight as Peter.  However, one man wrote: Even a single hair casts its shadow (Publilius Syrus).  Another: A shadow owes its birth to light (John Gay).

His statement is true that without light there would be no shadow.  Jesus said:  You are the light of the world.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).   

There are many members in a body, and all members have not the same function.  Having gifts differing according to the grace that is given in us, whether prophecy, or ministry, or exhortation: let him do it with simplicity (Romans 12:3-8).

SEEMINGLY INSIGNIFICANT

One may think themselves seemingly insignificant in comparison to another; with little recognition being given, walking in the shadow of Peter, as Andrew.  However, Andrew was one of the twelve apostles of Christ (Matthew 10:2).  He was present on the Day of Pentecost, and involved in the ministry of the early church, though nothing is known of his specific ministry. 

Scripture records a couple of events in the life of Andrew.  He brought his brother Peter to Jesus (John 1:40-42).  He was involved in the conversation about end times with the Lord; along with Peter, James, and John (Mark 13:3-4).  He pointed out to the Lord the lad who had five barley loaves, and two small fishes, in which Jesus miraculously fed about five thousand people (John 6:8-9).

After Christ's ascension Andrew preached in Jerusalem.  Tradition has it that he was crucified because of his rebuke of a person's adherence to idolatry.  He was reportedly nailed to the cross in the form of an X, hence came the name St. Andrew's Cross.

IN THE LIMELIGHT

A Bible commentary noted:  Peter was one of those outstanding characters in the Bible gallery of men, which if all were known would require a book to fully expound on his life and labors.  He became the leader and spokesmen of the Twelve and one of the three privileged to witness the raising of Jairus' daughter, the Transfiguration, and the Lord's agony in the Garden.

He himself became a miracle worker, especially during the time portrayed in the Book of Acts.  He became the leader of the infant Church.  He made a confession of Christ's deity which became the foundation of the Church, and was given the privilege of opening the door of salvation to the Jews.  Peter suffered martyrdom by crucifixion as Christ prophesied he would.

ONE'S OWN ACCOMPLISHMENTS

One can readily see why Andrew was but the shadow of Peter in comparison to recorded works, but the fact remains he was one of Jesus' disciples, had a ministry of his own after Jesus' ascension to be on high with His Father.

One may look on one's own accomplishments during a life in Christ, as not being as significant as that of another, nor having been in the limelight as others, but it does not mean one's ministry is of less importance.  Again, in the body of Christ (the Church) there are many members and each member is placed according to where the Master Builder desires. 

It takes every piece of a puzzle to make a complete picture; if just one piece is missing, it cannot be come to its completion.  Some pieces of the puzzle may be seemingly more important, and noticeable, but it takes all to complete the puzzle! 

The same is true to those who have dedicated their life to the Lord; no matter how long one's service or how important or unimportant it may seem (as in the shadow of Peter concept); of upmost importance in being in God's perfect will for one's life!

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