Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY DEC. 30, 2018

Scripture To Consider:
“So it was, as the multitude pressed about Jesus 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 Jesus 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 Jesus 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 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!’ For he and all who with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.’ So, when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Jesus.”
Luke 5.1-11

Something To Consider:
So the multitudes of people pressed upon Jesus, not to see signs, miracles, or wonders; but to hear the Word of God. A preacher or teacher’s prayer might well be for a multitude of people to press about them, but their duty is to speak the Word of God no matter how many choose to listen. Whether there are two or three gathered in Christ’s name or two or three thousand, a spiritual leader will have good success when others hear or read the Word of God. This is a promise from God’s Word, a lesson of a lifetime every leader in training must learn.

A few lessons ago Jesus gave the Jewish religious leaders a history lesson concerning one of Israel’s greatest prophets, Elijah. Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet [even Elijah] is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months [1,260 days], and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the kingdom of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.” And there Elijah, Israel’s great prophet directed by God, ministered to one non-Jewish widow and her one son.

God has no trouble finding a single man who is willing to speak, preach, or teach to hundreds, or even thousands. It becomes more difficult when God needs a man of God to speak, teach, or preach to just one or two. But wherever two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus, according to Jesus, He is in their midst. How comforting that is and shall be as we approach the difficult times ahead when simply driving several miles to church will become extremely difficult in the midst of the rule and reign of the Antichrist.

Something Else To Consider:
We are not told what it was that Jesus taught the people from the boat that day. We are told what Jesus taught those future disciples in the boat. Jesus told Peter to let down the nets, plural. Simon Peter’s response was, “We have toiled all night and caught nothing.” Nevertheless, Simon partially obeyed Jesus by letting down one single solitary net. The result was a net breaking success to say the least.

How many times have we partially obeyed the words of Jesus? And yet Peter was treated with the goodness of God and the blessings of the Lord with a catch of fish far beyond his imagination. And what did this goodness of God lead Peter to do? The goodness of God led Peter to fall down at Jesus’ knees and declare, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” What is our response to the goodness of the Lord that we do not deserve? At times, our own confession of our own sin may need to be considered!

Romans 2.4 states emphatically, “That the goodness of God leads you [and me] to repentance.” When was the last time the goodness of God led us to repentance? Yes, the goodness of God also leads to net breaking success as we abide in the Vine of Jesus Christ as both our Lord and Savior. The goodness of God leads to net breaking success as we take up our own cross and follow Jesus while denying ourselves for the gospel’s sake.

Something More To Consider:
Simon Peter attempted to obey Jesus without the help of the other boat, his other partners, and the other nets. Jesus was teaching Simon, others, and us, a lesson on teamwork and obedience. Finally, Peter asked for help from the others and the rest is history. God gives us the same choice in life, nothing all night alone, or divine direction requiring total obedience and help from others with net breaking success.

Net breaking spiritual success often follows our being willing to be obedient to God’s commands. As mentioned earlier, Elijah could have argued with God’s command to stay with the Gentile widow and her only son during the famine, but in Elijah being obedient, both the widow and her son were extremely blessed by the goodness of God. Elijah, the widow mother, and her son gained life granting success in the raising of her son from death to life again! The same is still true in our lives as we are obedient to the commands of God. Our obedience to God may be what God uses to grant new life to someone today.

A Few Final Words:
As enduring to the end true end time believers in Jesus, we as was Elijah, are called to become and to remain obedient to all things Jesus taught; not just the things that line up with certain religious denomination’s traditions and false doctrines. But the thought of disagreeing with the dictates and false doctrines of a well-oiled and very organized established religious group is very daunting to say the least. Many times, our choosing to voice our disagreement with the understanding of certain Scripture will automatically get us labeled as a rebel if not worse.

Jesus was declared by the religious establishment as having a demon because He dared to challenge their many false interpretations and their misrepresentation of Old Testament Scripture. As mentioned earlier in these lessons we may be forced to obey the command of God referred to by Paul in 2 Corinthians 6.17-18. “Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean [their false teaching], and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.”

As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and enter into a new year, let us seek God’s guidance and divine direction for the rest of our lives.

The apostle Paul then declared to the people of God as well as to us as enduring to the end believers beginning in chapter 7 of 2 Corinthians, “Therefore, having these promises [of God], beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one. I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.”

Paul spoke the truth to the Corinthian Christians and to us in this 21st century. Paul spoke of cleansing ourselves from the deeds of our flesh and the perfecting of holiness in the fear of God. These are according to Scripture must do works of righteousness if we are desirous of obtaining net breaking spiritual success and the goodness of God in our lives.

But, be not deceived! You will not hear these kinds of messages preached in your average mega church or worldly representation of a so-called church in the days in which we live. If we do not accomplish these things Paul taught and all things Jesus taught, we will not be able to be filled with comfort and remain exceedingly joyful in the midst of the coming future tribulation.

Our Father in heaven, teach us the lesson of net breaking success, and our need to remain obedient to Jesus and the Word of God. In Him Always, Amen!

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