After some few days (at least 9, possibly more), the disciples decided to go fishing. They had seen Jesus and knew that He had risen from the grave, but the Holy Spirit had not yet come. For three years they had had a leader and a constant companion. Now, they were like sheep without a shepherd. As most of us do when we don’t know what else to do, we go back to doing what we used to do. Peter, having the strongest personality, seems to have become the temporary leader by default. They fished all night without success. “Busyness” for the sake of being busy is not usually very productive or satisfying.. They were most likely feeling very tired, alone and frustrated. When we have been with Jesus for a while and then we drift away, we have had that feeling. Kinda like you are lost at sea and just bobbing around on the waves. We may not know where we are or which direction to go, but Jesus knows exactly where we are and what we need. We have an advantage the disciples didn’t have at that time. We have God the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Unlike them, we are never alone. If you have these kinds of feelings now or any time, just stop and let Jesus wrap you in His arms. He is waiting for us, just as the disciples will discover that He is waiting for them.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” — Exodus 4:11, 12 NLT
God has given each of us particular gifts and we use those gifts daily in our secular lives but when God asks us to use them for His work, we suddenly pretend we don’t have those abilities. Take Moses, for instance, forty years earlier, Moses had no problem taking charge. He killed an Egyptian who was beating a slave. The next day, he comes out and tells the slaves to quit fighting each other. Those are characteristics of a leader. But, now after forty years of desert training, when God wants Him to use those same talents to free His people and lead them through the desert, Moses suddenly can’t. If you think God was happy with Moses, you are wrong. In fact, He met Moses and was about to kill him and would have except for the actions of Zipporah.(Exodus 4:24-26)
In today’s world, think about the effectiveness of the church if:
Every school teacher volunteered to teach Sunday School
Every CEO or business leader volunteered for a leadership/mentoring position
Everyone who served others in any position served in the church
Whatever talent you have, you used that talent in the church
Just think about this: The Creator of the universe, the Omniscient God would not ask us to do a job that He has not specifically given us the talent and the training to do. If God knew someone else could do the job better than we could, then He would have called them instead of us! The next time we feel that little nudge to volunteer, before we say “no”, think about the results in the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30).
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Eph. 2:10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Jesus is our example of perfection. Perfect in His lifestyle because He was tempted but never sinned. Perfect in His love for us even unto death on the cross. Perfect in His unity with the Father and the Spirit.
God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.-Hebrews 2:10
When we talk about perfection, we are really talking about maturing spiritually. Jesus was, is and always will be the only perfect person. When God talks about perfection, He is looking at us through the perfect blood of Jesus.
20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.–Hebrews 13:20,21 (KJV)
Again, we see that “we” can’t do it, “we” can’t save ourselves, “we” can’t sanctify ourselves. “we” can’t make ourselves holy and “we” can’t perfect ourselves.. But with one act of perfect sacrifice, Jesus did all that for us.
14 With one sacrifice Christ made his people perfect forever. They are the ones who are being made holy.–Hebrews 10:14 (ERV)
God in us is perfecting us daily, so that we will be prepared for the glory that is heaven
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. — James 5:10, 11 NIV
God changed Abram’s name to Abraham which means “the Father of a multitude”. With that name change came a covenant promise that he would be exactly that. He and his wife Sarah waited many years for this to happen. God gave Joseph a dream that he would be a great leader and his family would bow down before him. He was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery and put into prison before that dream came to fruition. Job had it “all”, but God allowed satan to take it all from him and even allowed him to attack Job’s body as well. Job stood firm in refusing to blame or curse God and in the end, God gave him twice as much as he had before. Just as God had a plan for Abraham, Joseph, Job and the others, He has a plan for each of us. Today, we live in a world of “it’s all about me” and “I want all of this and I want it now”. We need to understand that none of us will wait as long as any of these people did to receive what God has promised us. We need to persevere in what we are now and where God has us now if we want to receive the blessings God wants to give each of us. We should do this with praise and joy because what God has in store for us is beyond our imagination.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. — James 1:2-4 NIV
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.–John 16: 7, 13,14 NIV
Jesus had been a Friend, Teacher, Mentor, and Guide for the disciples for the better part of 3 years. Now in In preparing His disciples for His departure, Jesus tells them He is leaving for their good. What could possible be better than walking with Jesus? Who would lead them in His absence? Who would talk with them? Who would strengthen and encourage them now? Jesus told them there is an Advocate coming to do all this for them. The Spirit of Truth that would guide them into all truth. Just as Jesus had said about Himself, He also says about the Holy Spirit.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.–John 5:19 NIV
Why would this be better? As a human, Jesus could only be in one place at one time. He could only teach those within the sound of His voice. The Holy Spirit is not bound by human restraints. He lives inside of each of us and can be everywhere at once. Just think of it, God’s Powerful Spirit (GPS, if you will) with His own network that reaches everywhere and is never out of contact with you or His home station. Powerful enough to direct every human on earth at one time. So, if you are feeling lost, confused or needing encouragement, just stop and listen to the GPS inside you.