Bible Reference: John 21:4–6
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)
Bible Text: As the sun was rising, Jesus stood at the water’s edge, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then he asked them, “Young men, haven’t you caught anything?” “Not a thing,” they answered. He said to them, “Throw your net out on the right side of the boat, and you will catch some.” So they threw the net out and could not pull it back in, because they had caught so many fish.
OBSERVATION: When you are secure in your job and have been doing it for a while, it becomes challenging to accept advice from someone else. So could this be some of the same challenges that we face when we are confident in what we feel needs to be done, and someone suggests that we seek God for His direction? Granted, that challenge becomes much more palatable when we have done all that we could, and we are left with, what seems to be, no other options available to us, other than seeking what God may direct us towards. As we meditate on this today, let us place ourselves in the disciples dilemma and honestly consider how obedient we would be.
APPLICATION: Three of Jesus’ disciples, who really struggled with believing and obedience, are now faced with a decision that many of us could very easily face each day. Having fished all night and caught nothing, they were ready to pack up their nets and call it a night. But from the shoreline a man questions them, and begins to tell them what to do. Now I’m sure that many of you have encountered professionals before, and you know what to expect from them. Often men who know what they are doing, yet they are going through times of unsuccessful results, will snap at anyone questioning, or especially telling, them how to do their job. Yet these fishermen faced this exact dilemma. Exhausted, and tired from a long night, they approached the shoreline a man begins to hand out instructions to them. Perhaps they felt like one more attempt could have no worse results than the entire night of fishing did, so the disciples decided to give it a try. Could it have been a God inspired moment? Because through obedience to the Master of the sea and of the fish, the disciples obeyed and saw marvelous results. Interesting that at this point they then realized that it had to have been Jesus on the shoreline instructing them! Could it be that often when we feel like our Christian ministry seems to have plateaued and/or become stagnant, that it might be because we have not yet invited the Master in? We are reminded here in this Scripture that just a word is enough from Him! Reminded that our obedience to His instructions could make a world of difference. Let’s invite Him in friend, and ask for His involvement and direction. Doing this right from the very beginning will achieve God-like results that will make a difference to the kingdom, because He would be in charge. Remember, our ministry is all about Him anyway, and when we include Him perhaps we would not be so centered on our personal agendas. Oh that we may let go and let God have His perfect will in our hearts and lives – for His glory!
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for Your grace! Thank You for Your saving power that reached into a selfish and sinful heart and showed me a better way. As my readers and I come to Your throne today, it is because we acknowledge that we cannot handle this complex, challenging, sin-controlled world that is determined to destroy Your work through us. Of ourselves, we are like the disciples who toiled all night and caught nothing. Praise God, we know the Master! We know the maker of the sea and all that is in it. We know that control of the sea and all its inhabitance is still controlled by You. The same is true with the wonderful world that You created, but which Satan has marred with his deception, lies and sinful acts. Please fill our cups Lord, and make us whole, bold and useful for Your kingdom’s sake as we walk through this dark world. May our words and deeds be used by You to impact all those we will come into contact with today, so that Your kingdom may be enriched as a result of us having been allowed to live here. AMEN!