Mark 1:16 “Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.”
Jesus never chose an apostle from among the religious system. Every one of his twelve disciples were men that He chose from the secular world. It wasn’t because God didn’t have faith in those who were religious. It’s just that most of those who were part of the religious system didn’t have any faith in God.
One of the most common mistakes religious people make is to put faith in themselves. They think God will use them because of their great holiness or special abilities.
Paul said, “But God hath chose can do something through them, 2 Chronicles 16:9.
Instead of thinking of your responsibilities, just respond to His ability.
en the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.”, 1 Corinthians 1:27-28.
People who recognize their own inabilities are of necessity more dependent on God. That is the way God wants it. The Lord is constantly searching for someone who recognizes they are nothing so He can do something through them, 2 Chronicles 16:9.
Instead of thinking of your responsibilities, just respond to His ability.
God’s Word Has No Limits
John 4:50 “Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.”
Jesus didn’t have to touch the child. He didn’t have to send anything home with the father to affect the cure. All He did was speak and the son was instantly healed.
This man had traveled over fifteen miles from Capernaum to Cana to find Jesus. Therefore, the son was not within ‘earshot” so that Jesus’ words sparked some cord of hope in his heart, thereby releasing God’s power. No, Jesus’ spoken word had so much power that no barriers (such as time or space) had any affect on it whatsoever.
This is hard for us to comprehend. We spend an entire lifetime learning physical limitations and adapting to them. But there are no limits to the power of God’s word. Jesus created everything in this physical universe by His words, and that creation will respond to anything He says.
The Lord gave His Word to the Jews but they didn’t believe it. Hebrews 4:2 says, “…the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” We have been given God’s words too, in the Bible. If we will speak God’s Word in faith, we will get the same results that Jesus did here.
John 4:32, “But he saith unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not
Food is essential for life. Without it we couldn’t grow. We get strength and vitality from food. Yet food can kill us. Improper diets kill more people than any disease.
Our soul needs nourishment too. The things we think on and the desires that we have are food to our souls. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”, Matthew 4:4.
Jesus valued spiritual nourishment more than He valued physical nourishment. He was thrilled to see this woman and the people of this town respond to His gift of salvation. Likewise, we should set our desires on the things of God so that spiritual matters are more important to us than our physical food.
The wrong diet for our souls is the leading cause of failure and depression in Christians. Being spiritually minded produces life and peace. Being carnally minded produces death, Romans 8:6.
In our health conscious society, many of us wouldn’t dream of abusing our bodies with bad diets. Yet in our soulish area, we are killing ourselves by feeding on the wrong things. Treat yourself to a healthy spiritual meal today.
God Looks Inside
John 4:19 “The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.”
This didn’t take any great discernment on the woman’s part. Jesus had just “read her mail”. He told her the most intimate details of her life. Anyone could have perceived Jesus was a prophet after something like that.
This woman suddenly realized that she was dealing with more than just a man. God was speaking to her. What was her reaction? She changed the subject. She brought up a doctrinal issue concerning the proper place to worship–anything to get Jesus’ attention off of her.
We all have a tendency to build walls of privacy around the intimate details of our lives. We are afraid to let anyone, especially God, look inside. But God already knows and He wants all of our heart.
Jesus brought this woman right back to the subject of her personal relationship with God. The place of worship or the forms of worship weren’t important. God was looking for people who would open their hearts–even the hidden parts–for Him to inhabit.
Likewise today, Satan tries to get us occupied with everything except the one thing that counts. God wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth. Anything less than that is not enough.
John 4:14 “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus painted a beautiful picture of salvation in this passage. The salvation Jesus brings is like an artesian spring which doesn’t have to be pumped. It bubbles up constantly.
Unfortunately, not every Christian’s experience matches Jesus’ description. Many people relate more to an old pump which has to be pumped and pumped. Just as a trickle of water comes, they have to rest. They lose their prime. The water stops. Then they have to start all over again.
Yet, Jesus said we would never thirst again. This doesn’t mean that one drink satisfies us forever. But, as we continue to avail ourselves of this water of life daily, we will be constantly refreshed. The well of His life is there, but we must partake.
The dryness in a Christian’s life comes when we substitute other things for the living water that only Jesus can give. Anytime a Christian begins to thirst again, it is not a reflection on the living water that Jesus gives, but rather an indication that we have been drinking from some other source.
“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation”, Isaiah 12:3.
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.
John 1:23, “He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”
John knew who he was and what he was called to do. This was one of the keys to his success.
Unlike most of us, John did not have an identity crisis growing up. He knew God’s plan and purpose for his life from the beginning and he spent his entire life preparing for it.
God has a plan for your life just as surely as he did for John the Baptist. To succeed in life, you must find God’s plan for your life and then devote yourself to fulfilling that plan.
It is not enough to simply “do your own thing” and then ask God’s blessing upon it. Once you know you are doing God’s will, you never have to ask for God’s blessing. God’s will is already blessed.
The Lord created you with a purpose in mind. Your talents and abilities were given you to fulfill His purpose. Although you may find limited success using these talents for your own uses, you will never find your true potential until they are directed by and for the Lord.
The good news is that God wants to reveal His perfect plan for your life to you more than you want to know it. You can rest assured that if you ask for knowledge of His plan for your life, you will receive, Matthew 7:7. He will show you His good, acceptable and perfect will, Romans 12:1.