Archive for April, 2022

Where to Cast Our Nets

JESUS SPEAKING

So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5: 1 – 8)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Although Peter was initially hesitant, he ultimately obeyed Jesus’ command to return to the sea and let down his nets. In so doing he observed a miracle that only God Himself could orchestrate. His nets could scarcely contain the abundance of fish they had captured. Because Jesus promised to make them “fishers of men,” this event is a symbol of the greater calling of every Christian. The gospel is the net that we spread, and the fish are those we have captured for Christ. If we are attentive, God will inform us of when and where to cast our nets. Although we are one body, we are often called to different ministries.

In the early 1800’s, an English missionary named Barnabas Shaw was forbidden to preach in Cape Town. And yet he chose not to leave Africa, but rather to push on into the interior. He purchased a yoke of oxen, put his wife and his goods into a wagon and stared out, resolved to settle wherever he would be allowed to preach. So they journeyed for three hundred miles. Then one night while camping they discovered that a band of natives (Hottentots) were camping nearby. In conversation with the leader Shaw learned that these tribal people were on their way to Cape Town to find a missionary to teach them about the Christian faith. Shaw was the exact man they were seeking. He soon realized that God had been leading him the entire time.

Like Barnabas Shaw, God has called every believer to accomplish some outreach in furtherance of the Gospel. Each of us has been endowed with different gifts, talents and abilities, which we can use to more effectively minister to others. If we are willing to listen, Jesus Christ will show us when and where to cast our nets; and those who are obedient will be fruitful. Therefore we must ask ourselves this important question: What ministry have we been called to accomplish for our Creator?

“Lord Heavenly Father, you are our strength and our redeemer; without You we are lost. As we journey through this life, we ask for Your direction. Where would you have us serve? And to what ministry have we been called? Grant us that wisdom; and give us the courage and passion to become the instruments of Your will. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Guiding Loved Ones to Jesus

JESUS SPEAKS

‘Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has the power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.’ (Luke 5: 17 – 25)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

A group of loyal men set out to carry their paralyzed friend to Jesus. In a desperate attempt to circumvent the crowds, they puncture a hole in the roof, and lower the sick man down to the Lord. The man’s tortured body is healed and his sins are forgiven; thus permitting him to return home. In like manner, those who are faithful, are duty bound to escort their families, friends, loved ones, relatives, and acquaintances to the feet of Jesus Christ. In so doing, they too can be healed, forgiven and restored to a right relationship with God.

“Every atom in the universe can act upon every other atom, but only through the atom next to it. If a man would act upon every other man, he could do it best by acting, one at a time, upon those beside him.” —Henry Drummond—

Although many are called to be missionaries in some distant nation, there’s no shortage of souls that require saving right here at home. Those who are positioned directly beside us in this life are often the most inclined to accept the gospel message; our parents, our children, our brothers and sisters, our cousins, our nieces and nephews, our close friends and even our coworkers. Having been healed ourselves, we must then make an effort to guide them to the feet of Jesus Christ.

“Lord Heavenly Father, may we never be distracted or dissuaded from accomplishing our primary purpose; which includes spreading the gospel message to those You have placed directly beside us. Each day, may we strive to guide our friends and family members to the foot of Your throne, through the blood of our Savior. Open their hearts and minds, that they too might receive forgiveness and be healed. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Our Possessions Belong to God

JESUS SPEAKING

And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought him to Jesus (Luke 19: 29 – 35.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

The book of Zechariah prophesied that the messiah would arrive humbly; “riding on a donkey.” Jesus therefore sent out a pair of disciples to procure an animal for His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The men, upon being confronted by the animal’s owners, did exactly as they were instructed; they simply replied, “The Lord has need of it.” They were then permitted to leave. Much has been written about this brief encounter; many have highlighted the omniscience of God, the wisdom of Christ, and the faithfulness of the disciples. Yet in the presence of God’s glory, there exists a nameless stranger; a generous individual who recognized that his possessions were divine endowments; gifts from God, ready to be used to serve the Creator whenever He had need of them.

It is said of General George Gordon, that when the English government sought to reward him for his magnificent service in China, he declined all money and titles, but accepted a gold medal on which his name and a record of his thirty-three engagements was inscribed. After his death the medal could not be found. Eventually it was discovered that he had sent it to Manchester during a famine, with a request that it be melted and used to buy bread for the famished poor. In his diary that day he had written these words: “The last and only thing that I had in this world that I valued, I have given over to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
       Our possessions are not our own; our time, our money, and our resources all belong to God. We are mere stewards of what we have been given. When the Lord calls, we must be willing to relinquish control of our time, our money, and our goods so that others may know the love of Christ. Be still, and the Holy Spirit will tell you what, when, and where to give. Be generous and faithful, and you will experience the joy of the Lord; and His peace will fill your heart, now and forevermore.
      “Lord Heavenly Father, give us opportunities to use our resources to further Your Kingdom. May we be generous; may we be faithful; may we serve others with gladness and singleness of heart; and may we never turn away from those who are in need. All that we have is Yours. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.” God bless all of you!


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