As Stowell points out, over a fire during a session of the kangaroo court that convicted Jesus of a capital crime, he reneged on his pledge of loyalty to Jesus and denied knowing Jesus three different times. Think of that: Peter denied any acquaintance with the One he had earlier confessed to be the Messiah, the Son (or the very image) of the Blessed, God.
Yet over another fire on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus called on Peter to affirm his belief in Jesus--three times--and Peter knew that, leaning on Christ's grace, he could, imperfections notwithstanding, be used for good by Christ.
Some people refuse to worship or get involved in a local church because they feel that they're not good enough. Pay heed to the wisdom of Virgil M., a member of the first congregation I served as a pastor:
"If there weren't any sinners in the church, it would be an empty place."He's right!
If you're a sinner who can acknowledge your dependence on the mercy God gives to all with faith in Jesus Christ, God has great plans for you!
Learning what they are begins, as it did for Peter, with confession, repentance, and belief in Christ. As with Peter, that happens within the fellowship of Christ's very body on earth, the Church.
If you're an imperfect sinner, I invite you to be in worship this weekend with Christ's fellowship of recovering imperfect sinners, the Church. The Word of God you encounter there can erase the power of sin to keep you from becoming all that God made you to be.
When it comes to church membership, only sinners need apply.
And only sinners who trust that Christ is greater than their sin can be used by God. If you doubt it, just consider Peter.