Thursday, April 21, 2011

Revisiting Easter Thoughts

An old post that I still study from at this time of year:

Do You Love Me? John 21:1-18

Simon Peter was a fisherman. It had been his life's work before Jesus called him. This chapter (John 21:1-18) shows us that he and other disciples returned to that familiar lifestyle when things did not turn out as they had hoped and imagined. Jesus was their leader, their Saviour, their Christ; but, to their limited sight at that time, Jesus was dead.

Simon Peter had been so very close with Jesus. He believed he would follow Jesus to the death, if necessary (John 13:37). Instead, he had run away; he had denied Christ; he had failed.

So there they are - fishing. They had been out all night and caught nothing. Does anyone doubt they had spent those hours in misery, focusing on their failure? They couldn't even catch a fish!

And then they see Him on the beach...calling them back, giving them instructions for success. "Put the net on the other side of the boat." Imagine the grumbling! "We are professional fisherman...we have been out here all night and caught is that going to change by moving the net?" It made no sense, but it worked. Success from simple obedience to Jesus.

How many times do we, as His children, run from Him. We return to our old lifestyles; we go back to doing things our way; we fail to follow Him and lay those old sins at the foot of the cross. OR, we lay down one sin, just to pick it back up again! I know I am guilty of this lack of faith, this lack of trust (Isaiah 53:6).

The road to spiritual success is written out clearly for us. We simply need to apply scripture to each and every part of our lives (Colossians 3:17).

1. study

2. examine ourselves

3. obey & change

4. success

Now picture yourself as Peter on the beach (vs. 15-17). "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?"

My heart breaks for Peter, who had agonized over his failures. Who had given up all his stated convictions of following Jesus only to return to his old lifestyle. "Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee." Jesus repeats his question to Peter (or imagine it is you) three times - "(Kim), lovest thou me?" And each time He asks, we remember the sins we continue to hold onto. We peek into that closet in our hearts where we think we are hiding those areas of our life that we don't want to analyze through God's eyes. We are grieved because we have returned to our old lifestyle, yet again, instead of following Christ.

He gives us simple instruction, "Feed my sheep."

We can't do Christ's work if we constantly run away from Him. We can't "catch fish" from the side of the boat we have chosen. We can't feed His sheep without a solid, constantly growing relationship with Him. We can find success ONLY in obedience to Him.

Verse 18 shows us the difference. When we were young (unsaved) we did as we wanted. Now we are old (saved, growing) and we must follow where He carries us -- where we would not go on our own.Look at each area of your life and examine it under scriptural lenses - i.e. finances, relationships, employment, health, etc.

Is your 'net' on your side of the boat(worldly)? Are you following Christ all the way to the cross? Are your repeatedly returning to your old lifestyle?

Success will come from simple obedience. Cast your net on the other side.

1 comment:

Mrs. Parunak said...

Great post, Kim! Amen!