In John 21: 1-14 we read about the third and final time Jesus appeared and spent time with the disciples after His resurrection before He ascended to the Father in heaven.
It was approaching evening when Peter told several of the other disciples ” I’m going fishing”. Thomas, Andrew (Nathanael Peter’s brother), James and John (the sons of Zebedee) got on board with him. They fished all night and caught nothing! How discouraging could that be? They were probably exhausted, hungry and disappointed…
As morning approached, they saw someone standing on the shore (they didn’t know or realize that it was the Lord Jesus Christ). Jesus asked them in such an endearing way “Children, have you caught anything?”, they responded, “No”. Then Jesus said, “Cast your net on the other side of the boat and you will get some fish” So they did. But, little did they know that the net would fill so quickly with so many fish, they’d be unable to pull the net into the boat.
Then Scripture says “The disciple whom Jesus loved– (John) said “It’s the Lord!” (v.7)
Immediately Peter grabbed his fisher’s coat, wrapped it about him and jumped overboard. He was naked. The Word doesn’t tell us why. It’s possible he worked so hard his clothing was drenched in sweat or he maybe he quickly remembered some of the ‘unloving’ ( embarrassing) situations he created between himself and Jesus. The other disciples who were close by in a smaller boat grabbed the net and dragged it to shore. Arriving at the shore line, they saw Jesus standing next to a fire with some fish cooking and bread.
The Lord Jesus told them to bring the fish they caught to Him. By this time Peter was at the shore so he dragged the over-flowing net in. Amazed they counted one hundred fifty-three fish and net wasn’t even torn.
Softly our Gracious Savior spoke, “Come and dine.”
I can only imagine what the sense was around the fire that early morning.
In my mind’s eye I see an excitement and unexpected joy just being with the Lord Jesus again. Plus they were weary, hungry and discouraged from fishing all night, so Jesus supplied their need by providing them with a meal. He knew they’d toiled all night and caught nothing, so He blessed them with a miraculous catch of 153 fish– more than they needed!
This teaches me three very important truths about our Lord’s gentle, giving love for us:
1. Our Lord always knows where we are and what we are doing. Sometimes, spiritually, we get lost… but He never leaves– He is always there.
2. No matter how much we “toil”… there are times we will always come up empty. Discouraged and weary, our Lord Jesus is ready to help if we just recognize that He’s with us. He will provide for our needs and bring us comfort.
3. When we’re lost, weary and discouraged… He is ready to give us “exceedingly, abundantly” above anything that we ask or even think. ( Ephesians 3:20)
I know these truths! There are times when I need to be reminded, and I guess today is one of those times. He sent me to this passage of Scripture… I pray this may help you. Our God is a wonderful, merciful, loving and gracious God. This song describes, at least for me, what this Scripture lesson taught me. ♥Streim
Posted in Life Lessons From the Word, Living in the Real World, Security in Jesus, The Joy of His Love
Tagged discouragement, fishing, giving, Hope, Jesus Christ, John, Joy, life, Living in the Real World, Love, music, Peter, Praise, worship
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31
You might be someone who lives in my apartment building, or works in the store across the street. Possibly you are my doctor, or the young intern at the veterinarians office next door. It could be that you’re the lady at the bank or the elderly man I stood next to on the elevator. Perhaps you’re a long-lost friend or it’s conceivable that you’re someone halfway around the world I’ve never met in person but communicate with through this medium of the internet. Even you, my family (immediate and extended) I consider as my neighbor. All of you… every person I know, meet, spend time with or am related to, I consider my neighbor.
I love you all… even if I don’t know you well because God loves you and I love God.
I want to share with you something about myself that I’ve rarely shared with anyone.
In my early 20′s I didn’t “know, think or dare believe” that anyone truly loved me for just being me. My childhood was dysfunctional, so in turn during my teens years I turned to alcohol and guys to try to fill that “hole/emptiness” inside. Then I heard the true Gospel. WOW!! Someone did love me–God!
His love was/is the greatest, genuine, true love ever and I HAVE to share it with you…
John 3:16 was my introduction to the Gospel. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
I liked that, but if God loved me then why was my life so ugly? Didn’t God care about some of the awful, unspeakable thing done to me? Plus I believed in His Son Jesus, I knew that from my early years in Catholic school. I didn’t understand!
Then when I heard Romans 3:23 “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
I thought, “Ya, well so are you mister preacherman–you’re no better than me. Don’t be pointing your finger at me. Sure I swear sometimes, tell little white lies, drink too much, get frisky with my boyfriend, drive too fast, gossip, don’t go to church and wish my best friend’s car was mine (and her boyfriend too–truth be known). I knew that bad people were sinners, like murderers and the people who had hurt me as a child… but not me!
And because I (supposedly) was a bad sinner I was gonna pay for it, huh? “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Now I really started to wonder… God gave us Jesus, I believed in Jesus so I was all set. But, if I had eternal life in heaven… that meant everybody went to heaven. Even bad, evil people like murderers and communists (if they said they believed in Jesus). I remember learning that Jesus died on the cross for everybody, but still it didn’t make sense.
Then something started happening inside me, not in my head where I was trying to figure all this out, but in my heart. The words being read and preached opened up something inside me, and it was like I was listening with my heart, not my ears…
“God made Him( Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God…” 1 Peter 3:18
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
”Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Acts 3:19
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
At that point, I understood (from my heart). I accepted that I was a sinner! God sent Jesus, who never sinned, to pay for my sins because He loved. If I truly was sorry for all the sins I’d ever done and opened the door of my heart and asked Jesus to come in, take away those sins and forgive me, God would give me eternal life with Him in heaven. Amazing! Beautiful!! Simple!!! So… I dropped to my knees, weeping and called upon the name of the Lord Jesus to forgive me… WOW!“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
So many people try to earn a place in heaven with God, but God says that’s impossible!
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
The greatest love we can possibly share with others is with all prayer and earnest the Good News of the Gospel of salvation; for the redemption through shed blood of Jesus Christ that reconciles us with the LORD God, the Father in heaven.
Part of the design of the Gospel is answered, when sinners saved by repentance to God and faith in Jesus Christ, exercise Christian love to all.
If we neglect, put off, ignore, or think someone else is going to share the GOSPEL with the lost, I question the true efficacy of salvation in our own lives. We must live unlike the world– not even showing an appearance of evil in our daily lives Willingly, with a heart filled with joy, to give the love given to us with others!
Postscript: Nine years after receiving Christ as my Savior, I had a very difficult time in my personal life and got very upset with God. Upset to the point that I walked away from His loving relationship and went back out into the world. The same sins that beset me in my youth reared their heads, and I succumbed. I thank God more than any of anyone will ever understand for His patience and not giving up on a sinner like me. In July 2006, I was reluctantly placed (had no choice) in a situation where I once again heard the Gospel message daily. Repenting miserably for almost 26 years of selfish living, He accepted me back into His loving arms. I can say “I KNOW that He will never let go of me” Deuteronomy 31:6 and I will forever worship and love Him with joy… having a definite hope for eternal with my Lord Jesus and Heavenly Father.”
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, ”
1 Peter 1:3
Posted in Living in the Real World, One True Gospel, The Joy of His Love, The Power of the Holy Spirit, Time for Sharing
Tagged Bible, brotherly love, childhood, Christian living, drinking, family, Finding The Savior, forgiveness, friends, giving, God Almighty, Gospel, Heavenly Father, Hope, Jesus Christ, life, Living in the Real World, Love, Obedience, peace, Salvation, Serving God, The Truth, worship
From suffering comes joy! From pain comes peace! From sadness comes love!
I know you may be wondering if I have my wits about me? I’m not writing this just because God’s Word tells us these truths, I’m sharing with you the truth that our Heavenly Father has made aware to me throughout this past year. As a child of the King through the redemption I’ve claimed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ for my sin, I am to live my life “completely for Him–nothing held back”.
Today’s Friday’s Favorite is the last one for 2012.
It is my Christmas gift to you and I pray you KNOW the reality of this song’s message in your own personal life~~ if not, “ask the Father in the name of Jesus” and I guarantee He will show you the Way!
Posted in Listening To God, The Grace of God, Time for Sharing
Tagged Bible, Christianity, Christmas gift, family, Fishers of Men, Friday, friends, giving, Heavenly Father, Hope, Jesus Christ, Joy, life, Love, music, Obedience, pain, peace, Praise, Salvation, sorrow, suffering, worship