This quarter, we focus on Jesus as Soon-Coming King in our weekly devotional series. This week's devotional comes from Luke 1:26 - 7:50.
In Luke 4 - 5, we see that Jesus found Himself "pressed" by the multitudes that were hungry for a fresh word from the Lord. It would have been very easy for Jesus to get caught up in the urgency that was represented by the crowd, by those who desperately needed deliverance, healing and a genuine touch from Him.
Rather than submerging Himself in the needs of the people, He chose to teach them the Word. In fact, He physically distanced Himself from the pressing crowd, and with that action postured Himself to be more effective.
At this particular time, it wasn't a touch the people needed, but rather a teaching. Notice that He sent His Word, and He healed them.
Sometimes, as a pastor, my greatest gift is not necessarily laying hands on people, but teaching them what the Bible says about their situation. Sometimes my most significant gift to people is to equip them to rise up in faith, to stand on their own two feet and believe the Word of God.
After teaching the people, Jesus asked a couple of disciples who were pretty exhausted from a day of fishing to launch back out into the very place where previously they had failed at their objective—in other words, He asked them to fish where they previously had failed to catch anything.
Peter’s response to the Lord was, “We have toiled all night and caught nothing!” The word toiled indicates that they were weary, tired and exhausted. In so many words, Peter was telling Jesus, “We want to wash the nets and go home, even if it means we have to do it empty-handed.”
To his credit, Peter’s assessment of the situation resulted in a great decision that began with the word “nevertheless.”
Read between the lines what Peter was saying: “I’m tired of ministry, tired of failing to see results, tired of this boat and tired of these nets. I’ve labored all night and have come up empty-handed. When we launched, we all had great expectancy and high hopes. Now this whole thing has gotten a little old! But just maybe, at your word, at this revelation, we will not give up."
The word they received was specific—they were to "go into the deep waters." Their challenge was to believe for what they had never believed before, to try what they'd never tried and to go where they'd never gone. Even though their initial efforts had yielded nothing.
It's been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. But sometimes a change is predicated from a fresh revelation of the Lord. When the fishermen let down their nets at Jesus’ word, there were more fish than they could possibly pull into the boat.
Now that’s an exponential increase!
As we serve our Soon-Coming King, let us not become weary in doing good. Instead, may God give us the courage to face our disappointments and to reach beyond our failures. May we whisper a faith-filled “nevertheless” and see all that God will accomplish.
By: Scott Reece, supervisor of the Southeast District
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