Contemplation of a disciple…..


I was thinking about the disciples yesterday. They seen some crazy things and heard a lot of strange things right? What went through their minds as all these things were happening?

A coin found in the mouth of a fish…. Matt 17:24-27
We all know the story. Peter was asked if his Master paid taxes and his answer was yes. The word continues and says:
“But so we don’t upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the  first fish that bites. Open it’s mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us.” – Matthew 17:26, 27
 
What went through Peter’s mind? Did he get the revelation that Jesus was His source? Was he confident that ALL his needs would be taken care of if he only trusted God because he found a coin in the mouth of a fish!!?? Exactly as Jesus had said! Was he amazed, perplexed? Did he get it, I mean really get it???
Jesus, talking to a Samaritan woman!  John 4:1-42
Jesus does the unthinkable, He talks to a Samaritan woman. His disciples were shocked. What was on their minds?
“Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. The couldn’t believe he was talking with that kind of woman. No one said what they were thinking, but their faces showed it.”  John 4: 27
 
Did they see the bigger picture? Did they realize that Jesus was seeing a much larger picture? The gospel was not just for a select few but for the whole world!!! Did they realize that? Did they know God loved the WORLD and was about to lay down His life for it?? Did they have a clue?? Did they know how much He loved people? He loved people no matter who they were, no matter their bringing up, what they had done in the past. He had a heart for the lost!!!
The “strange” teachings of Jesus.  John 6:51-56
The disciples had a real battle to decipher what Jesus meant. Some of his disciples abandoned him because of His hard sayings. We read one such saying in John 6:53:
“And Jesus said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you cannot have any life in you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood [unless you appropriate His life and the saving merit of His blood]. 
He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has (possesses now) eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day. 
For My flesh is true and genuine food, and My blood is true and genuine drink. 
 
When the disciples heard this, many of them said, This is a hard and difficult and strange saying (an offensive and unbearable message). Who can stand to hear it? [Who can be expected to listen to such teaching?] John 6:60
 
What were they thinking when Jesus spoke these words? How would you have responded if you were in their shoes? “Eat my flesh, drink my blood”!!! They never realized Jesus was speaking about spiritual things. They never realized Jesus knew the future! He was speaking life and they didn’t even know it! How the disciples were tested constantly! We are not called to understand everything about the God we serve but called to trust Him no matter what even when our understanding is limited.
The abundant healing’s Jesus performed. Matthew 8
Part of Jesus mission was to heal us. The disciples saw Him heal people on a daily basis. What were they thinking?
And behold, a leper came up to Him and, prostrating himself, worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if You are willing, You are able to cleanse me by curing me. 
And He reached out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed by being cured. And instantly his leprosy was cured and cleansed.”Matthew 8:2,3
Did they ever come to a realization that He was The Healer! Did they ever make the connection that Jesus wanted to heal them soul, body and spirit? He was “willing” to heal and He is still “willing” to heal us today! He is our Healer. He has not changed His plan for us
 
The death of Jesus (hope lost) Luke 24:13- 20
That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jesrusalem. 
They were deep in conversation, going over all these things  that had happened.” 
 
Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that He was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. 
 
The disciples had lost all hope of victory. Their savior had been crucified. What were they thinking? Did they know the story would turn out differently? Did they know His death would save the entire world? Did they give up on Jesus by ignoring what He told them while He was still alive? Did they dare to believe something as crazy as resurrection?
In their darkest hour, when their chances seemed dim, the greatest victory man would ever experience in ALL of history was about to take place. Jesus death signified His love for them and for us, they just didn’t realize it yet. What were they thinking? Did they regret following Jesus? Were they confused? Were they in despair?
When all hope was lost or so it seemed Jesus had a plan. In the midst of death, life was to emerge. You might have lost hope like the disciples but God has a plan. The darkness you see is not really darkness! Trust Him!
 
I honestly could go on and on but I will stop here. The disciples went though a lot. They had a lot to digest, a lot to learn but God was faithful to them! As He was faithful to them He is faithful to us. Let us take comfort in that fact. We may not understand all He is doing, but we must trust Him. It took the disciples a while to get with the program but eventually they did. Each and every one of them was martyred for their faith in a God. Let us trust in The Lord…..Amen
Rolain.
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When we can’t see God’s plan for us……


When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Luke 5:4, 5

There is a something I have been declaring to God for the past couple of days which says, 

I can’t see Lord! But I make a decision to trust You. 

I have come to a place where there are a lot of things that don’t make sense.A lot of things that are happening that I don’t understand. I don’t have control over a lot of things, a lot! I can’t see the whole picture. But even in these circumstances I make a decision to trust God. Like Peter who had been fishing for the whole night and caught nothing. Jesus told him to cast his net and even though he didn’t understand, he obeyed God. He couldn’t see the end result but he just obeyed. That is how I feel.  

You may be unclear of the future, or unclear about other things that are happening in your life but God is in control. He can be trusted. He sees everything. He sees the beginning and the end. When things get confusing, when things are unclear, you can either fret and panic or wait on God. You can trust God. He has a plan for you and even though you may not see the whole picture trust in Him.

Let us be like Peter and just obey. Let us be like Peter and just trust! 

“Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.”

God bless

Rolain

Don’t Count The Fish!!!


I was at home reading another book called, CHRISTIANITY IN THE CROSSHAIRS by Bill Wilson when something he said hit me. The chapter I read was entitled, “Don’t count the fish”. I think you will find his insights very profound.

The key portion of scripture he uses is in John 21:3-17.
This story takes place after Jesus has been killed. After His death the disciples go back to fishing. In verse 3 we see that they caught nothing. Absolutely nothing! But Jesus comes to them when they reach land and tells them to go try again but this time to cast the net on the right side of the boat. When they obey the Lord they catch a huge load of fish to their surprise. Ok, now that I have brought you up to speed I am going to stop here and let Bill Wilson take over!

– The Bible states that 153 fish were caught. Now ask yourself: How did they know that there were 153 fish? I think it’s obvious. Somebody counted them! Someone counted the fish, and I have a feeling it was Peter. He was always the one doing impetuous things. Without a doubt this was probably a record catch.

– After they had finished their fried fish on that Galilean shore, they all leaned back and just savored the moment. In that moment of contemplation, Jesus broke the silence by asking Peter, “Do you love Me more than these? I’m sure that you’ve heard countless numbers of sermons preached on this subject.
However, I want you to catch this. If you had been fishing all night and caught nothing, then suddenly you were on the shore with ONE catch of 153 fish (probably your record catch), what would your mind be contemplating? It would be on the 153 fish wouldn’t it? You would be overwhelmed and obsessed with the miracle of the catch.

– Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him more than he loved “these”. What were “these”? Jesus was not talking about the other disciples, the world, or anything else. He was pointing to the fish!
Peter, do you love Me more than these 153 fish? Do you love Me more than what I just did for you?
Many of us really like what God can do for us, and it is a challenge not to miss the Giver in the midst of recieving the gifts.

– While Jesus is sitting right there in front of him, there’s Peter,
“136, 137, 138, 139.”
“Hey! Peter!”
“140…”
“Hey! Hey, Peter!”
“146, 147.”
“Hey!”
It is easy to get caught up in the WORK OF THE LORD and totally forget the LORD OF THE WORK.

Hi, I am back. I hope you were challenged by what you just read.
We need to get to a point where we love God for God and not because of the things He has done. I have fallen in this trap so many times.
The fact is this, He has done great things in our lives and He doesn’t want us to follow him because of the miracles but because He is God and He loves us! Let us stop counting the fish and focus instead on the Lord of the miracle!!!

Rolain.