Daily Spirit & Word, 507: Jesus helps with your present struggles.
40 Days With Jesus: Day 23: Jesus helps with your present struggles.
Oh WOWzer! I know I keep using this exclamation; WOWzer, but it’s what I write or say when something brilliant or amazing happens. (Click here for: the meaning of WOWzer.) Last night’s Street Evangelism was just fantastic. We didn’t get out at our usual time, because training lasted a bit longer than expected. We’re going through; “The School of Biblical Evangelism”, then we go out to share Jesus on the streets. It’s amazing the way the Lord used what we’d been discussing as we went out last night. He, the Lord, put to good use the time we’d spent in preparation, because almost every conversation we had was with a lapsed Roman Catholic person. You know my friends, even though we can’t see the Lord, when we work for Him and do things in His Name, He’s right there alongside us by the POWER of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus WAS with His Disciples too:
As we read the Bible today, we’ll see that Peter has gone back to fishing for FISH: You might ask the question, “Well, what else would you FISH for?”. Do you remember when Jesus called Peter? He said, “From now on you will fish for men”… But today, we’ll see that Peter has gone back to his former employment: Fishing for Fish.
John 21:1-6 1 Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way:
2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.
3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.
5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Jesus appeared to seven of the disciples at a time when they were struggling with something they were experts in. You know my friends, some of the biggest miracles and breakthroughs will be found in the ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ things we do every day in life. When we invite Jesus in, He comes with His POWER to fill our nets to bursting.
“You’ll see your MIRACLE in the ordinary things in life.”
My friends, we can do many things in life: But today’s message shows me that Jesus wants to HELP us in the ordinary things that we do in life as well as the extraordinary things for His Kingdom.
We’ve got two choices today: We can either do it ourselves, or We can do it with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever we do, if we want to be successful as followers of Jesus, we’ll need to take to heart Jesus teachings: He’s already explained to the Disciples that APART (Separated) from Jesus, we can do NOTHING. Here were experienced fishermen, and they’d been out fishing ALL NIGHT (that’s when they go fishing on the Sea of Galilee), then a man on the shore shouts to them and tells them to throw the net on the right side of the boat. Some people have suggested that from the shore you can see the shoals of fish better than from the boat, but I don’t think that’s true in this case. Jesus is GOD, He knows everything about everything, He knows where the fish He created are located. Here’s Jesus teaching about not being able to do anything apart from Him:
John 15:1-8 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
So the teaching is: We must remain in Christ or continue to walk with Christ. It’s a daily taking up of your cross, dying to yourself and following the Lord, that’s what’s required to be a true follower of Jesus. He will prune us when we are fruitful, that’s the Lord’s discipline to keep us from becoming too proud about the great things we’re doing in His Kingdom. Otherwise we’ll begin to think it’s our power, but it’s only because we’re remaining connected with Jesus that the POWER of the Kingdom comes.
Now we all know that PETER had DENIED Jesus. He denied three times that he even knew Jesus. So when Peter tried to go out fishing, using his worldly skill, he couldn’t do it. My friends, I know some of you are probably thinking right now, but there a thousands of people who don’t follow Jesus, who’re really successful in life, right? But wait a minute, success is not measured in worldly terms in God’s Kingdom. He often turns the worlds idea of success upon it’s head. Of course we can do things without Jesus, but what Jesus is saying is that there is NO POWER in what we do, no SPIRITUAL goodness flowing. However, when we’re walking with Him and remaining in Him and He in us, then we can do anything. Just look at how many fish they caught when they listened and obeyed what Jesus commanded, “The LARGE NUMBER OF FISH”.
Jesus Helps You In Your Struggles in Life
They had been fishing all night long, without even consulting Jesus. But my friends, once Jesus has selected you from amongst all the people in the world to be His follower, He’s not going to leave you alone, even if you’ve failed and denied Him, as Peter had. Jesus wants to HELP you too my friends, in the ordinary things that you are doing in life; it might be fishing or working or a craft or a skill that you are naturally good at; what Jesus is showing us today, that with His HELP even the things that we’re good it will be much better with His aid and assistance. Jesus really does want to help you in every struggle that you’re going through my friends.
So my friends, instead of waiting for Jesus or God to intervene, why don’t you CALL upon His Name? That’s what Jesus told us to do when we’re walking and remaining in Him: We can do or ask for anything and He’ll answer our prayer.
My prayer for you today is that you’ll see and experience, as we did last night, that Jesus really is with you and He’s longing to help you to do whatever it is that you are doing. Remain in Christ and He will REMAIN in you.
Points to Ponder on Day 23.
- Are there any things that you have been good at in the past, but currently you are experiencing the “EMPTY NETS”? You try your best but all your getting is EMPTY results? Think about these important areas of your life: family and relationships, work and career, church service and fellowship: How FRUITFUL are they at this moment in time?
- In what areas of your life would you like to see MORE FISH or a BIGGER CATCH? Jesus is waiting to help you too.
- How about your FELLOWSHIP? Is it growing, are more people coming to know the Lord Jesus? What can you do to help your fellowship grow and flourish? It takes your personal commitment to making this happen, and remembering to do it WITH and IN the power of Jesus Christ, who’s longing for your fellowship to grow too.
- You can’t do it alone: Fishing is Bible times was not a LONE-RANGER activity, you had to work at it with a team of fellow-fishermen. They’d worked together ALL NIGHT and caught nothing. Sometimes, when we’re doing things alone and don’t succeed, we’ll tend to give up even trying, but when you’re doing things with others, you’ll keep going longer and you’ll be encouraged along the way. We had that too my friends, some nights we’ve gone out and nobody wanted to talk with us about the Lord. Then we got back, prayed for each other, the next week, everybody wanted to talk. I’ve met so many Christians who’ve said, “I tried evangelism, it didn’t work, so I just pray for people now”. My friends, Jesus didn’t tell us to pray for people to be saved, He told us to go out and seek and save the Lost. When you do it with others it’s less-likely that you’ll give up so quickly. Keep going, Keep connected with each other and with Jesus and you’ll soon be amazed at the size of the catch like the disciples in John 21.
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You today for Your awesome goodness and faithfulness that surprises us every time we experience it. We shouldn’t be surprised, but it’s just so amazing when we know that You are walking with us, that You are actually inside us and You are so faithful that You’ll always be in us from the moment we trusted you as Lord and Saviour. But You’ve reminded me today Lord, that apart from You, though I can do stuff, it’s going to be as if I can’t do anything of Kingdom worth, please Lord Jesus, I want to remain in You and I want You to remain in me too. Lord please help me to keep calling upon You for every ordinary or normal thing that I need to do. I want to see my nets bursting Lord. Come Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
40 Days With Jesus: Day 23: Jesus Helps With Your Present Struggles.