Today’s Reading: John 21:5-6 (NIV)
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.”
Obeying Christ makes all the difference when it comes to successful soul fishing. Look at the disciples: they had been in the boat all day and all night with not one fish to show for their effort. What probably started out as a simple, fun excursion, became even more urgent as the hours wore on. I imagine they were a bit tired and cranky, and maybe a little disturbed by the time the stranger approached them from the shoreline. When He inquired about their catch of the day, I bet their response was a little on the sarcastic side! “No! Does it look we caught any fish to you? Are our nets full? Do you see anything flopping around in the bottom of our boat?”
We can become frustrated in our faith sharing efforts when we rely upon our own steam rather than the Lord’s. We need to remember this is about the Lord – He will welcome all who cry out to Him in repentance and faith. It is by the power and presence of His Holy Spirit that draws people in; we can cast our nets, but if we do not cast them in the power of the Spirit, our nets will come back empty every time.
What made the difference for the disciples? I believe the change occurred when they took the Lord at His Word and cast their nets on the right side of the boat, fully obedient and with the expectation of a great return. This is a matter of faith – not just wishful thinking, but a pure faith completely rooted in Christ’s hope for the world. Folks can tell you what happens when faith is mixed with hope in the Lord: needs are met, bodies, minds and souls are healed, sins are forgiven, and there is a new and unquenchable desire to live each day with His plan and purpose in mind.
Faith sharing begins with a prayer. It is not so much the words we say or how we say it. What the Holy Spirit does in and through our obedience to Christ is more powerful than we can begin to comprehend. Are you ready to take a fishing trip with the Lord? Ask Him to help you today, to use your words and actions to spark a holy flame in another heart. There are lots of opportunities out there to share your faith. Don’t miss out on receiving His very best for your life.
Pray first, plant your seed in obedience, and wait with great expectation for the harvest that will happen. Oh, and be sure to carry a big net because you’re going to need it for the catch.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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