Most of us have jobs to go to on a regular basis and a car to drive to work and back home. If we are skilled laborers, we have a tool kit full of the tools we need to perform our job. Simon Peter was a fisherman by trade. He had been blessed with a boat and fishing nets to earn a living. Yet, on this night (and probably several others as well), he had been unsuccessful in netting any fish. But then (how often do the “but thens” come along in our lives, and we choose to ignore them?), Jesus asked to use Simon’s boat for His ministry. When Jesus was through teaching the crowd, He said to Simon: “go out where it is deeper and let down your nets”. Simon complained and objected, but then he let down his nets and caught a superabundance of fish. More than his boat could haul. What can we learn from this miracle? Think about the resources with which God has blessed each of us. Do you have a need in your life in some area? Pray about what resource you have that Jesus could use in His ministry and release that resource totally to Him. Remember the question that God asked Moses? What is that in your hand, Moses? Little or nothing can become much when we release it completely for God’s use. In faith, step out to where it is deeper, let go, and let God..
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Do you remember the first person you were infatuated with or really in love with? Do you remember how often and how much you thought about them? From morning to night to morning, they were the last person on your mind before you went to sleep and the first person on your mind when you woke up. You couldn’t wait to get to school just to see that person. Do you remember walking down the hall carefully watching to see that person and to see if they were looking for you? If they smiled at you, do you remember that feeling you got? As that relation grew and liking turned into loving, do you remember never wanting to let a day go by without telling that person that you loved them. That is what God wants from each of us. He wants us to go to sleep talking to Him or thinking about Him and wake up in the morning with our hearts and our spirits longing to spend time with Him. Do you imagine God watching you sleep and smiling? We should because He really is a “good, good Father, that’s who He is”. We should make sure that we speak to Him early and often. We need to tell Him out loud that we love Him and thank Him for all of His goodness throughout the day. If we practice doing this, we will have that “peace that passes all understanding” and the joy way down deep inside that no one can take away.
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? — John 4:10, 11 NLT
This Samaritan woman had gone through five husbands and was now living with a man that was not her husband and she still had not found the peace and the happiness for which she was looking. How many of us have chased after what the world calls happiness and found it to be emptiness? We turn to the world looking for something to fill that emptiness and that void in our hearts. The pleasures and happiness brought by a new possession or a new experience turn out to be short-lived. All the fads and the “new” things promising eternal joy turn out to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors. The devil tells us you just need a little more of this or a little more of that. Happiness is just around the corner, he promises, and we continue the chase. And it will always be a chase, because what we are looking for and what we really need can not be bought. It has already been purchased lock, stock and barrel by Jesus at the Cross and it isn’t for sale. He owns the whole supply and it is given freely to those who give up the worldly chase and turn to Him for forgiveness. Stop running and chasing every new thing. Sit at the feet of Jesus and drink in the living water. Don’t take a little sip and leave, grab the bucket and pour the water on your head. Immerse yourself in His Word and peace and joy from a never ending stream will flow through your mind and body continuously. Get under and stay “under the spout where the glory comes out”. That is anyhwere the unadulterated Word of God is preached and taught. Find a place where you can immerse yourself in God’s Word every day and joy and peace will chase after and overcome you.
165 Those who love Your law have an abundance of peace,and nothing along their paths can cause them to stumble. — Psalm 119:165 The Voice
1 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments — Col. 2:1-4 NIV
Paul continually intercedes with God for the churches that he has planted and for those churches that his coworkers have planted. He realizes that when there are only a few believers present, it is easy for them to become discouraged and start to drop out. He wants them to be encouraged and united in love. All Christians, particularly new Christians need to be encouraged and taught the riches of the Gospel. We do new converts a disservice when we fail to mentor them in their walk with Christ. The world, satan and his gang are going to immediately start a concentrated effort to make the new converts doubt that there has been a change in their lives. We must strive to get them rooted and established in the depth of the riches of the word of God. If we or they are not consistent in our study and our walk with God, it is easy for satan to separate us and make our lives to be miserable and ineffective for God. We must understand and teach others that regardless of our own feelings and the exterior circumstances, there is great wisdom and greater joy in serving Jesus and living a lifestyle that follows His example. Just a glimpse of the vast expanse and depth of His love and power should be sufficient reason for us to carry on.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV
22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. 23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 24 As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. 25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.—1 Peter 1:22-25 (NLT)
The only way we can show our love for Jesus is by showing that love to others. Before we were cleansed from our sins, we only knew how to love the way the world loves. When we showed our love we expected love in return, it was a conditional love. I will love you if you love me. I will do things for you if you will do things for me in return. That is not the way Jesus loves us. His love is unconditional. He always loves us regardless of what we do or whether we ever return that love to Him. That is deep, heartfelt love. It is an eternal love that cannot be destroyed because its foundation is the love of Jesus Christ. Physically, we will all pass away unless the Lord comes back before that happens. Just as we see plants wither away every year, so will our physical bodies, but the love of Jesus and His Word are eternal. We have received and believed that Word, so we will be raised again to enjoy eternal life and love with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. While we wait, let us show sincere love for each other, not only in our words, but in our actions.