Where Are You Casting Your Nets?

15th February

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish. “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!”

Luke 5:4-6

So often when we pray, we have a picture or image of the way in which we want or expect our prayers to be answered. ‘Lord, please do this and this, in this and this way,’ we cry, yet when the answer to our prayer does not look like we imagined, we think God hasn’t listened to us.

Imagine the scene in today’s key verse from Luke’s Gospel. Peter, a seasoned fisherman, had been out all night trying to catch fish, yet here he is, being told by a carpenter to cast his nets again, in the middle of the day. Peter could have easily said, ‘Jesus, I am the fisherman, let me fish my way’. But he didn’t. Instead of insisting that his ways were better than Jesus’, he obediently obeyed and cast his nets out again, and the catch of fish was so great, his ‘boat was on the verge of sinking.’ Again, in John 21, Peter is fishing after the resurrection of Jesus, and once more was struggling to catch fish. Jesus tells Peter to throw his net over the other side of the boat, and again, miraculously the catch was so big, they struggled to haul in the nets.

Friends, perhaps this morning, Jesus is saying to us too, to cast our nets of prayer once again, into the deep, into the darkness that might represent hopelessness for you, into the empty space of waiting, then watch and see the haul of answered prayers coming your way. Perhaps we too, need to cast our prayers into the other side of the boat, not expecting answered prayers our way, but trusting that His ways are higher than our own. He knows the right answer, at just the right time, in just the right way. Trust Him, just as Peter did, and see the haul of answered prayers and blessings coming your way; so many and so much you can’t contain it.

In The Beginning God….Re-Post

14th February

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 is probably one of the most contested verses in scripture by atheists and Christians alike. Yet if we look back even just 500 years, it was more than probable that this verse was taken as literal as when the writer of Genesis wrote it. Sadly, many have deviated from the truth that it is God who created the world and all that is in it and not some cosmic improbable collision of atoms that just happened by chance. Doubting the truth that God indeed made all creation, puts into doubt our purpose on this earth and our value as created beings by an amazing Creator God.

If we are to assume that we are all one big accident, then how can we possibly live with any morals at all? What defines our decisions? What about feelings, emotions and personalities? Yes, evolutionists, agnostics and atheists all have fantastical and eloquent textbook answers to those questions, yet why do we need to look further than the Bible for our answers. The truth written thousands of years ago, far precedes that of modern ideology and ‘THEORY’. The simple yet incredibly deep truth is clear for all to see, read and live in; GOD created everything.

We are individually designed with a plan and a purpose to be world changers, life givers and beacons of Jesus’ love for humanity on this earth. We are made in the very image of our God. We have His attributes. We carry His anointing. We bear His Name as sons and daughters of His family. We don’t have to settle for the world’s cheap image of chance and evolutionary progress. We have been designed and exist to be in relationship with God Himself. You are not an accident. You have a purpose.

Do You Love Him?

13th February

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “You know I love You.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the question…”

John 21:15-17

When Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples, He dined with them and fellowshipped with them, just as He did before the cross. There was one disciple however, whom Jesus had a special calling for, Peter. Even before the cross Peter was commissioned by Jesus. Yet during the events of the cross and the crucifixion of Jesus, Peter denied even knowing Christ. Yet when Jesus met Peter again in the flesh, He didn’t need to reaffirm His love for Peter, but rather wanted Peter to reaffirm His love for Him. Jesus was re-building Peter’s faith by asking Him to reaffirm His love and then commissioning Him once more to be His evangelist and pastor of His church.

Sometimes when we sin, it is the guilt of the sin that causes us to forget God’s love. Yet God’s love for us never changes. What changes is our comprehension of it. Yet when Jesus approaches again, He doesn’t turn us away but rather pours out His love over us by re-confirming who we are in Him. Don’t let condemnation block your calling or misunderstand God’s love.

Skip To The End Of The Book

10th & 11th February

Weekend Edition

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among His people!” … God Himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.

Revelation 21:1a, 3a, 4

There are no secrets about what will happen at the end of time. God wins. It’s right there, written in the Bible. There is doubt that ultimate victory belongs to Jesus, the King of Kings. Skip to the end of the book, read Revelation 21 and you will see it written. Even greater news, is that finally, there will no longer be a physical barrier between us and God. We will see God in all His glory. He will live among us. God Himself will be with us. And where God is, there is no pain, sorrow or tears. All these things will be gone forever. That is our hope. That is what gives us the motivation to keep on pressing on.

You may be experiencing a tough time at the moment. But know that your pain will not last, no matter how hard it is. God is faithful. Moreover, He is not just the God of comfort at the end of time but also now too. Invite Him in and experience His peace now, to take away your pain and sorrow. He is HERE!

Behold I Stand At The Door

 

9th February

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Revelations 3:20

When you first read this verse, it seems like such an evangelistic message from Jesus, right?! Yet Jesus’ words are to the church in Laodicea, who have been lukewarm in their walk with Christ. Yet these words do not speak of an angry God who wants to disown His children, but a God of mercy, grace and second chances. He says, don’t look to the world for your wants and needs; look to me. Let me in your hearts again, open the doors of your hearts to me, and I will fill you, sustain you and satisfy you. I will exchange your nakedness for white garments or purity.

Jesus was offering His hand of love to the church and He offers us that same grace too. If you have strayed away from Jesus, or are living as a ‘lukewarm’ follower of Christ, open the door of your hearts once more to Jesus’ invitation. Let Him dine with you, fill you and sustain your walk with Him. To Him who is able to do more than we could ask, hope or imagine!

Meeting Jesus

7th February

But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in Him.

John 12:37

Today’s key verse, is almost like a red traffic light or a huge wall in the middle of the road. You have to stop. You can’t go around it. It has got our attention because it has just sent a shocking right hook of truth our way. We are K.O’d. Did I really just read that? Is it a grammatical error? Did people still not believe in Jesus, despite His many miraculous signs? Could this be true? Yet the truth is there in black and white: “despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in Him.” Yet should we be so shocked? We are surrounded by a world full of miracles, yet people still don’t believe today.

The truth is that some people can witness the most amazing miracle, yet if their hearts are hardened and their eyes blinded, they will miss the truth. When we pray for our unbelieving friends and families, perhaps our prayers should be that the Holy Spirit open their hearts and eyes to see Jesus and to see the wondrous miracles around us that lead us to Him. Furthermore, that they would encounter Jesus for themselves.

We too are challenged to daily put our trust in Jesus, not just because of the miracles He does, but because of who He is! May be too encounter Jesus for ourselves.

Our God Hears And Does

5th February

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us..”

Ephesians 3:20

Isn’t it incredible that we have the power to ask for anything in Jesus’ Name and it will be answered. In fact, God often does more than we ask for. He gives us more than we expect, loves us more than we deserve and showers us with more of His grace than we could ever imagine. When we ask in Jesus’ Name, He listens. Jesus Himself said time and time again, that those who ask ‘in My Name’ will be given. Those who seek will find, those who knock on the door will be answered. Friends, we cannot and must not stop petitioning the throne of Heaven for the things God has put on our hearts to pray for. He will listen and answer.

Yet so often, when God does answer we put His ‘answer’ on the shelf of answered prayers, store it in a jar, and almost forget the blessings of our answered prayers. Part of our worship to God is in thanksgiving. It is daily thanking Him for all the prayers that have been answered by His grace and because of His love. We must never forget to keep thanking Him for all the answered prayers. The moment we do, our faith to believe in the miraculous starts to dwindle because we start treating God like a vending machine. Yet when we remember the wonders of the prayers that have been answered, our faith becomes stronger, because we can see God’s hand and see that our prayers have been listened to. Don’t stop asking but equally match our petitions with thanksgiving.

Our God Supplies All Our Needs: Physical and Spiritual

3rd & 4th February

Weekend Edition

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

God will supply all your needs. A bold statement but one echoed by Jesus Himself in the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:11) and again in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 7:11). God will provide for us. That’s a promise. And when God makes a promise, He doesn’t lie. His promises are Yes and Amen.

Yet is this verse purely talking about physical possessions? Well, of course in its context yes it is. Paul is addressing the faithfulness of the church in Philippi and the generous support he had received. Yet Paul notes that even though the support came from people, it ultimately came from God. He then leaves an encouragement for us too, his readers, by saying that the ‘same God who supplies my needs and has taken care of me, will also take care of you.’

But here is where it takes on a deeper meaning, perhaps more than just physical needs. Paul comments that God will “supply all” our needs from His own glorious riches. In other words, everything we have, everything Paul was provided with through the hands of the church in Philippi, was indeed God’s. His provision provided Paul’s support; from the throne room of Heaven, to Paul’s hands. Yet there is even more depth in Paul’s words which takes this meaning beyond just physical wealth. Paul says that God will supply our needs, from His glorious riches, “which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” What is that? It is every spiritual blessing. Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:3 that we are “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united in Christ.” Because of Jesus, we have everything we need spiritually. And these blessings will never run dry. It is from God’s unlimited storehouse, for all His children. Talk about being blessed right!?

A Blessing From The Book Of Psalms

2nd February

But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your Name may be filled with joy. For You bless the Godly, O Lord; You surround them with Your shield.

Psalm 5:11-12

David knew the benefits of God’s gracious love. He knew that he could call upon the Lord in both his time of need and in peace. He had full security in who he was in the Lord. Moreover he had full assurance that because of God’s unfailing love towards him, he could enter into God’s presence and rejoice in the fullness of God’s love.

We too can have that same assurance, security and peace knowing that we are loved by the creator of the universe. We are protected by the Saviour of the world. In addition, we can find rest for our weary souls, in the refuge of our Father’s loving arms.

May David’s blessing, in today’s verse, be relevant for your life. May God truly bless you. May you find refuge in God’s presence. May joy fill your heart. And may you find protection from the enemy as you are surrounded with the Lord’s shield. The Lord is for you and not against you.

May “all who love Your Name may be filled with joy.”