Monday, May 3, 2021

Oh How I Love Jesus

"They [Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee (James and John), and two others of Jesus’ disciples] went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Children, have you any food?’ They answered Him, ‘No.’ And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish." – John 21:4-6

I don’t know about you, but it is disappointing when I spend time fishing and all I end up doing is “drowning worms”. These guys were professional fishermen and yet they caught nothing. I am certain it was not for the want of trying. Have you ever done that? Thought – maybe I should try that spot or that one – or maybe go back to the one where I started fishing.  So there is Jesus, asking a question that He knew the answer to.  “Having any luck?” For men, well people in general, to admit that what they are doing is not successful is difficult if not impossible. I think it is a little bit of pride seasoned with self-esteem. I don’t want to admit failure so I will just keep trying.  Someone was once that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome.

So the disciples listened to the stranger calling from the shore and they caught a net full. So guys, same net, same boat, same body of water and only about 100 yards from where they had “put in”.  It was then that they recognized that it was Jesus. Later Jesus asked Peter 3 times if Peter loved Him. You can read about it.  The same question can be asked of us. There is a song that came to mind that is not sung much anymore, “Oh How I Love Jesus”. I thought about that song as I read John 21. We can point our righteous finger at Peter for denying Jesus. But as someone else said, “Then you point your finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at you.”

In verses 13-16, Jesus went on to say that we are to be salt and light.  The habitation of the Spirit of God makes it possible to respond to the world – even when there is injustice perpetrated against you – in a way that glorifies God.  It means that you must lay your pride and ego on the altar.  You must resist the temptation to “strike back”.  Listen it is one thing to not do something but feel it in your heart.  It is another thing to not do something and have compassion for the person giving offense.

The story of the disciples fishing is an example of living life with and without Jesus. Loving ourselves versus loving Jesus. We spend most of our “born again” lives doing what we think is right and best, which is not necessarily in line with the Way. We aren’t catching any fish, but we fish on. Surely my life choices will work, this time! It is a love problem. We love to say we love God, but we don’t live it out.

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” – 1 John 2:3-6

Pretty clear isn’t it? Pretty simple isn’t it? Pretty hard isn’t it? Pretty convicting isn’t it? Living our new lives on our own, not listening to Jesus calling from the shoreline, “Do what I say and you will be blessed!”

Life is full of opportunities for you to show Jesus to the world. But, you have to be ready and you have to be willing.  Are you? 

Believe it – walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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