At Thy Word
Luke 5:5 “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”
Peter and his companions had been working hard all night. Their efforts had not produced even one fish. They had given up and were headed home. But Jesus told them to try it just one more time.
It would have been easy for Peter to reject Jesus’ command. After all, Peter had been a fisherman all his life. Jesus was just a preacher. What did He know about fishing? Yet something, or rather someone, caused Peter to try just once more.
Many people are like Simon Peter and his partners. They have done all that they know to do and yet they’ve come up empty-handed. This breeds a despair and hopelessness that causes many people to quit trying. Yet, just one word from Jesus could make the same tasks that have been unproductive on our own bear great fruit.
The key to success or failure lies in doing things at the word of Jesus. Peter said, “at thy word I will let down the net.” God’s words always get results.
Today, make sure your efforts are directed by God and you will experience the results that have eluded you in the past.
Drawn By His Power
Mark 1:37 “And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.”
This is an amazing statement. Jesus’ ministry was only a few months old and the masses of people were already seeking him out.
This is even more astonishing when you realize that Jesus had not used any of the conventional methods of publicity. In fact, Jesus had already rejected publicity during His first ministry in Jerusalem, John. 2:24-25. There was no natural explanation for Jesus’ success.
God is the one who promoted Jesus. And He used supernatural means to do it. It was not the slick techniques of Madison Avenue that brought the crowds–it was the awesome manifestation of God’s power.
Just the day before, Jesus had cast the demon out of a man at the synagogue in Capernaum, Mark 1:21-28. This caused the whole city to gather at Peter’s house and Jesus healed every one of them, Luke 4:40.
Jesus’ display of the miraculous power of God was the spark that the Holy Spirit used to light a fire in the hearts of these people. Jesus had this power because of His intimate relationship with His father. It is no accident that He was praying while all men were seeking Him.
As you seek to touch others with the new life that you’ve found in Christ, let God confirm His Word with the miraculous manifestations of His power through you.
Ministry In Action
Mark. 1:31 “And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.”
How did Peter’s mother-in-law minister unto Jesus and His disciples? Did she sit them down and preach to them? Certainly not. Yet sometimes people think the only way we can minister to another is to admonish them with the scriptures.
Peter’s mother-in-law apparently ministered to them by serving them. The word translated “minister” is the same word that was translated “deacon” twice in the New Testament, and “serve, served or serveth” eight times.
We can minister for the Lord by doing some of the menial tasks that many consider to be unimportant. Jesus said that even a cup of cold water given in His name would not go unrewarded, Matthew 10:42.
Many people are waiting for the important jobs to come along where they can make a big impact or receive a lot of recognition, while they pass by many lesser opportunities every day. But in the kingdom of God, we won’t be given any great opportunities until we are proven faithful in the small things, Luke 16:10.
Today, ask the Lord to show you ways you can minister to others by serving them.
God’s Idea Of Greatness
Luke 3:20 “…he shut up John in prison.”
John spent 30 years preparing for a six month ministry, followed by one and a half years in prison before he was beheaded. Many people would not consider his life very successful, yet Jesus said John was the greatest man who was ever born, Matthew 11:11.
John’s greatness didn’t lie in his own success, but in the success of another. John stirred up the hearts of an entire nation in expectancy of their Messiah. The ministry of Jesus owed much of its success to the work of John. John had prepared a people to meet their God, Malachi 3:1.
In our celebrity conscious society, few people want to be the backup singer or the announcer who introduces the main speaker. We have adopted a mentality that unless we are in the limelight we have failed. That’s not the way the Lord looks at things.
When the Lord passes out rewards in heaven, we may be shocked to see how He evaluates greatness. Many people who did not receive recognition while on earth will shine like the stars in eternity. The Lord will judge our works on what sort they were and not what size they were, 1 Corinthians 3:13.
Eternal Life – A Quality Of Life
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Most people focus on the part of this verse that promises us we won’t perish. Although it’s certainly a wonderful promise, it is not the focus of this verse. The primary purpose of Jesus’ coming to this earth was not forgiveness of sins, but to give us eternal life.
Sin separated us from God so Jesus dealt with sin. However, His payment for sin was just a step toward His ultimate purpose of reconciling man to God. If someone believes that Jesus died for their sins but doesn’t go on to enter into the close fellowship with God that Jesus made available, then they are missing eternal life.
Eternal life is not a length of life, but rather a quality of life. Eternal life is intimacy with the Father and Jesus, John 17:3. Many people have been done a disservice in being told that Jesus came to forgive us of our sins “period’. If it had been all that He did, it would have been wonderful–and much more than we deserved–but much less than what He actually accomplished.
Today, take full advantage of your salvation and go beyond the basic forgiveness of your sins into intimacy with Almighty God.
He Uses The Usable
John 2:24 “But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men.”
This was the first time Jesus had ministered in Jerusalem. Multitudes believed on Him when they saw the miracles He performed, verse 23. This looked like a perfect opportunity for Jesus to take these people and use them to spread the news far and wide that He was the Christ. Instead Jesus did just the opposite. He didn’t want people proclaiming His gospel in their own ability.
This reveals an attitude of Jesus which is lacking among many Christians today. Jesus is more concerned with the quality of ministry than the quantity of ministry. In contrast, today’s Christians often feel that “the end justifies the means.”
We take new converts and place them in leadership–which is directly opposed to the Bible’s instructions, 1 Timothy 3:6. Many times movie stars or other famous people who have come to the Lord are made spokesmen for the Christian faith. This works to the harm of these people and the Body of Christ as a whole.
Some of you can’t understand why the Lord hasn’t used you, but rest assured the Lord is using everyone who is usable. Instead of looking at the need and begging God to use you, take a hard look at yourself and ask the Lord to make you usable.
God Is Not Cheap!
John 2:6 “And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.”
God has been represented as a God who is on a tight budget and who disapproves of us asking for anything more than just the necessities. However, this first miracle of Jesus disproves that.
Scholars suggest that a firkin was equal to about nine U.S. gallons. This would mean that six of these water pots would hold 162 gallons of wine. That’s a lot of wine!
In a similar instance when Jesus was asked to provide food for the multitude, He once again supplied more than the need, Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:33-44, Luke 9:11-17.
These examples show the Lord’s willingness to meet our needs with plenty to spare. God is not cheap!
Today, don’t limit God to barely meeting your needs. If you have enough, then believe for extra so that you can bless someone else. Let God be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servants, Psalm 35:27.
Sharing Our Faith
John 1:41 “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.”
Andrew was the first disciple of Jesus to share his faith and bring another to Christ. And look who it was that he brought.
Peter became one of the greatest apostles of Jesus. He preached on the day of Pentecost and saw 3,000 born again. He healed a lame man at the gate of the temple and 5,000 were born again as a result. He raised Dorcas from the dead, introduced Christianity to the Gentiles, and wrote two books of the Bible which have ministered to millions of people through the centuries.
Just think of how many millions of people Peter touched, and Andrew was responsible for it all. The accomplishments of Peter recorded in scripture, far outnumber those of Andrew, and yet without Andrew, Peter would not have known Jesus.
In the eyes of God, what Andrew did was just as important as what Peter did. As the one who introduced Peter to Jesus, Andrew had a part in every exploit of Peter. In the day when we receive our rewards from the Lord, Andrew will share in every reward that Peter receives.
Very few of us will shake our world as Peter did his, but all of us are called to share our faith with others as Andrew did. And who knows? One of those that you reach could be the next Peter