Fire - More Than an Attraction
Monday, May 7
1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, during a post match interview once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” He was referring to how he combatted his opponents strategy. Even though Mike Tyson is not considered a spiritual giant by most people, he makes a very valid point. People have a tendency to abandon there efforts when adversity ‘punches them in the mouth’. In today’s text, the disciples had caved under the adversity surrounding the death of their Rabbi. Their game plan was to follow Him to very end and watch Him win the world for God. Now that He was no longer in the picture, everything that He had poured into them, ‘their plan’ had been forgotten and they were back to living the same life that Jesus had called them out of. What about you? How do you respond when life punches you in the mouth? Are you quick to panic and crawl into a safe, comfortable place and abandon the very things that He’s called you to? Or do you stand even taller and continue to advance in spite of the adversity? God never intended for you to fall back into what He’s called you of.
Tuesday, May 8
4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.
“Bless my mess.” This is how a lot of believers seek God when they start facing the consequences for stepping outside of his will. The disciples were not supposed to be fishing that day. Jesus had already told them that they were no longer going to be fisherman, but fishers of men. But, as you know from today’s text, they were in the boat fishing rather than going about sharing the Good News. Because they were outside of God’s will for their life they were not experiencing the blessing of God upon their efforts. All of this changed when Jesus came on the seen. Looking upon them with mercy and love He performed miracle to show them that He hadn’t changed…in spite of their disobedience. He literally ‘blessed their mess’ to bring them to a place of recognizing who He was and call them back to Himself. Your Savior is that good. He is always seeking you even if your in a place of rebellion. Now, it’s important to not rebel simply to get His attention like a 3 year old might do. You can however, rest confidently in the truth that He is good in every situation and circumstance and He is always seeking you with your best interests at heart.
Wednesday, May 9
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.
When the disciples reached the shore they were very likely expecting a reprimand or harsh rebuke for not being and doing what they should have been. What they found, however, was something entirely different. Jesus had prepared an intimate and quiet setting for those He knew would be tired and weary. It would be like getting caught by your boss at a local restaurant with a friend when you had called in sick. As you show up at work the next day, expecting to face the wrath, he has coffee and donuts sitting at your desk. He then sits down with and begins to have breakfast with you. Jesus is always more concerned with your spiritual well being than He is with the situation He may find you in. He is more concerned with restoration than rebuke. Not that correction won’t come, but correction without relationship will always be taken as punishment. When is the last time you sat down and enjoyed quality fellowship with your Best Friend? Are you in place where your lack of fellowship has made you nervous about seeing Him again for the first time? All you have to know is that He has place of quiet intimacy set up and waiting for you to come and join Him in. He is looking to restore the relationship the you once had and bring it to even greater depths of love and trust.
Thursday, May 10
12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.
There is a greater purpose to fire than simply the attraction of it. Everyone is drawn to fire whether the scenario is good or bad. There is just something about watching a fire burn that people gravitate to. Think about the the disciples' situation. They realize that Jesus is on the shore so they work as hard as they can to get to Him. What do you think would have happened if upon getting to the shore they see the fire Jesus had built with the fish and bread only for Jesus to offer them nothing? What if He had just sat there and ate in front of them. One of the main purposes of the fire upon your life is to feed others. Think about how many times you been in a situation where you know someone has been drawn to you by the fire of God on your life. Now think about what you offered that person while they were there. Did they leave satisfied or hungry? Was the fire in your life beneficial to them or did they go away just as hungry were when they arrived? God has entrusted you with his fire to be a benefit and a blessing to those around you. How are you using the fire of God in your life? Are you content with others simply watching you burn?
Friday, May 11
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
It is very easy to look at today’s scripture and think that Jesus is trying make Peter feel guilty for denying Him on the night that He was arrested. This is far from true. If this had been the case then Peter would have never been given the opportunity to respond to the purpose that Jesus was calling him to through this series of questioning. Each time Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, He came back with a different answer. Each answer played a part in restoring Peter to the purpose that He was called to. It’s never fun having our allegiance questioned but without the question, the affirmation will not come. Each time Peter responded, Jesus gave Him another affirmation, not a rebuke. He never replied to Peters answer with doubt or skepticism. Every response to Peter’s answers was another aspect of the ministry He was establishing in Peter’s life. When go through times of difficulty where you feel as though your faith is in question understand this: It’s your affirmative answer that He will use as fuel for the fire that He is kindling in you.
Saturday May 12
John 21: 17
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Every believer will go through times in their life in which they feel unsatisfied and and unfulfilled. Times in which you can’t fill the spiritual hunger that seems to be continually growing inside of you. It’s in times like these that you can be tempted to blame the pastor’s preaching, or the worship pastor’s singing, or the worship service’s time span for your lack of sustenance. Don’t fall into that line of thinking, it is a dangerous and slippery slope that leads only to bitterness and disappointment as you try to find people and other resources to fill a need that can only be satisfied by feeding others rather than yourself. Many a believer has left the church because their personal hunger wasn’t being filled. The whole time, the real issue was their mindset that they were there to be served as opposed to serving others. The satisfaction that comes from allowing the fire that God has placed in your life to benefit the Body of Christ and those with whom you live and work is far more gratifying then any message you could sit under, worship song you could sing, or book you could read. While all of these things have their place they were never meant to satisfy your hunger, they were meant to teach you how to feed. Spiritually mature people are mature for a reason, they have learned the priority of their Christian walk is to feed, not eat.
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