Lessons from Peter, part 2

Jn. 21:7:  “When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore.”

When it came to Jesus, Peter was not afraid to jump!

Only once in the Scriptures do we find Simon afraid and turning his back on Jesus.  All other times, he went for it!

In Luke 5, Jesus got into Peter’s boat and was teaching the people on the shore.  After He taught, Jesus told Peter to let down his net, and it came up so full of fish that it began to rip.  Another boat came to help and the 2 boats were so full that they began to sink…it was madness.

Jesus then asked Peter to come with him to be a “fisher of men.”  Peter left everything to follow Jesus.

Another time, the disciples were alone on their boat.  There was a bit of rough wind on the sea, and Jesus comes walking by on the water.  Peter gets out of the boat, at the Lord’s command, and walks toward Him.

On the morning when Mary Magdalene came to Peter and the other disciple to tell them that the stone had been rolled away from Jesus’ tomb, he and Peter both ran to the tomb.  Peter may have been outrun, but the other disciple didn’t go in.  He just stood outside of the tomb and looked in.  But not Peter.  Peter went all the way inside.

And then later, before the scene I described in my last blog.  Peter had decided to go fishing.  He was on the boat and someone asked from the shore, “Friends, have you caught anything?”  When they said no, the man on the shore told them to let down their nets on the right side of the boat.  Well, wouldn’t you know it…  the net was so full they couldn’t even drag it in.

Jesus’ favorite disciple told Peter, “It’s the Lord!”  And out jumped Peter!

Why wait for the boat?

Today’s lesson from Peter:  When it comes to God, don’t hesitate…Jump…Leap…Run…Go for it!

1 more lesson to come,

jamie

Lessons from Peter, part 1

Jn. 21:21:  ‘When Peter saw that disciple, he asked Jesus, “Lord what about him?”‘

I found a beautiful, deep lesson in some interaction between Jesus and Peter this morning.  And then I found this, and I had to laugh!

Jesus had literally just commissioned Peter to take care of His church.  He had just set Peter apart.  They had just had this beautiful, special moment, where Jesus told Peter to “Feed His sheep.”  It was an individual calling.  A singular, specific commission just for Peter.  A memorable moment.  It couldn’t have been more personal.

Then, Peter turned and sees Jesus’ ‘favorite disciple’ following them, and Peter asked, “Lord what about him?”  Jesus’ answer is just wow:  “What is it to you?”

Peter’s concern is so like ours.  Here he is having this amazing moment with Jesus, literally being commissioned for ministry, by the physical Lord, and He’s looking at someone else, asking, “But what about them?”  “Why does their calling looking different than mine?”

It made me laugh out loud and yet made me feel so much relief.  It’s human nature.  He asked that directly to the face of the Lord.  But take note: what was Jesus answer?

Jesus replied, “What is it to you?”  Can we see that Jesus doesn’t want us concerning ourselves with this?  We know that Jesus had a specific calling on Peter’s life.  A job Peter was created to do.  It couldn’t have been done by another.  Not the way Peter did it.  Peter was made for his purpose.

We, likewise, were made for ours.  Yes, it’s human nature that look to others and ask, “but what about them?”  But what is it to us?  God is calling us to our purpose.  He is calling them to theirs.  It’s time to remember that it’s not a competition or a fight.  We all have our own job to do, as we work to the same end.

Our job:  focus on our relationship with Christ, and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as we do the job He has given us each to do.  Meanwhile, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, as we support them while they are doing their best to do the same.

Thanks for the laugh, Lord,

jamie

Lessons from Peter, part 2

For His sake

“Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water”  Nu. 20:8

Sometimes the things God asks us to do aren’t for our own sakes.  I know that we usually want everything to be about us, but sometimes our lives are suppose to be about Him.  Gulp.

Moses was suppose to speak to the rock.  God had already performed a miracle where Moses had hit a rock and water came out of it.  But, in true Israelite fashion, the Israelites were thirsty again and were now complaining that God wasn’t taking care of them, and that they would have been better off in slavery.

So, this time, God said that if Moses would just speak to the rock the water would come out of it.  He wanted to do something new.  He wanted the glory.  He wanted the Israelites to see something new and not think, “Oh, it’s just the same ol’ thing…water coming from a rock…seen it.”

God wanted the Israelites to see Moses simply be his obedient vessel, so He could be honored.

How can you be obedient today?  What is God asking you to do to honor Him?  He isn’t asking me to do what only you can, and he isn’t ask you to do what only I can.  Let’s simply be willing and obedient…together…during this time apart.

Honoring him now,

jamie

God’s fight

Last night in our class, the teacher talked about David.  She talked about his obedience to his assignment, which was actually just to take bread and grain to his brothers and cheese to the captain, at the camp at the valley of Elah, and to find out how his brothers were doing, so he could report back to his father.

While he was there, he heard about the giant “defying the armies of the living God,” as he put it, and he didn’t like it.  He had confidence that the Lord who had rescued him from the claws of the lion and the bear in the past (when he was guarding his sheep) would rescue him from the Philistine.

When he walked up to Goliath, Goliath mocked him.  Even though Goliath came at him with javelin and spear and was over 9 ft. tall, and may have looked very scary, David said he was coming to him in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, that the Lord would conquer Goliath, that everyone there would know that the Lord rescues his people, and that this was the Lord’s battle.  

David understood that he wasn’t alone.  He understood that this wasn’t his fight.  He understood that this thing he felt like he “had to do” was because God placed him there to be his vessel, through which He [God] would actually work.  All David had to do was be obedient.  

David just went to the camp that day to deliver some food and find out how his brothers were, but God had another plan.  He just needed someone that would be willing to let Him work through them.  Our assignments aren’t always some “giant-slaying” type of thing.  Just deliver the bread.  Just be willing.  God will do the rest.  

Watching God work,

jamie

Good & perfect gifts

James 1:17: “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”

I’m not going to get into theology today.  I’ll simply ask about the good things that have happened in your life.  Do you remember them anymore?  Do they seem like a faded memory, where the bad things seem to overshadow all the good?

When we take time to remember Who it is that gives us the good things, and take time to thank Him, our perspective changes a bit.  Then the good things tend to come to the front a bit more.  Suddenly we realize that if it wasn’t for God, His Deliverance, and perhaps His provision, grace, and mercy, we wouldn’t have made it to where we are today.

Now we can see that it was God there all along, in what was definitely a bad situation, giving gifts, walking alongside us, being exactly who He always said He’d be.  What a refreshing relief.

As this New Year approaches, let’s rest in the fact that He never changes, and that He is still right there with us, guiding us, with His steadfast love; and let’s give Him praise when He does!

Grateful,

jamie

Feeling dismayed?

These all look to You to give them their food in due season.  When You give it to them, they gather it up; when You open Your hand, they are filled with good things.  When You hide Your face, they are dismayed…”  Ps. 104:27-29

Since Creation began there have been moments where the creation has felt like God has hidden His face from them.  All throughout the Pslams you can see the questions, posed, “Why do you hide Your face from me? Why are You so far from helping me?”

Before that, Job asked, “Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy?” We even heard Jesus, from the cross, ask, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Because we look to God for all things, it is in our moments of sorrow, pain, anxiousness, or uncertainty; it’s in the moments of silence that we sometimes feel as though He has hidden His face, and we are dismayed.

As we can see from the reaction of Jesus, and all throughout the Bible, it is a normal, human reaction.  We were created in God’s image, with emotions; and loneliness, uncertainty, grief, and pain are some of those emotions.

What can we do?  Keep looking for Him, seeking Him, and reminding ourselves of all He has done.  Job was looking for him in his darkest moments, when all he wanted to do was die, and he couldn’t find God to the right or the left–he kept seeking.

He spoke of all the works and wonders God had done in the past, and even as he wondered at first where God was, speaking of who God is built him up, and helped him keep close the One he needed all along.  Eventually he found his way back, not just to physical health, but to emotional and spiritual health, too.  This is how it works for us all.

I know there was a lot involved behind the scenes in Job’s story, but seeking God in the tough times the way Job did, praising, and reminding ourselves of God’s works and the things He has done in the past is the best way to find our way out.

We tend to pull away when we go through pain and crisis, and we feel like we can’t find God, but the truth is that the answer lies with Him alone.  He is the One.  He is the Salvation.  He is the Deliverance.  He is the Healing.  He is the Provision.  He is the Wisdom.  He is the Unity.  He is the Peace.  He is All in All, the Great I Am.

Every answer we need to fill the great gaping hole we feel inside is found in Him.  We just have to hold on and seek Him.   God said in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  This is still true today.

Grateful for a God who cares,

jamie

Failing?

I put the location into my GPS and hit start.  “Take the 3rd exit,” she said.  Huh?  I don’t think that’s right.  I didn’t know exactly where I was going, but I knew the general direction.  Now I was headed the wrong way and I was stuck in traffic.

As soon as I was able I turned around, and I re-keyed the location.  It was coming up wrong.  No wonder.  As I tried again I realized that it was no use…the location I needed wouldn’t come up.  34 minutes from my arrival time now, and I was at a standstill.  Ugh!  I had to make a phonecall and get some help.

I finally made it to my son’s longest, most intimidating karate test of his entire life.  (thus far) We made it right on time, and I was then horrified to realize that I had forgotten to bring him a drink.  Seriously!?  He was going to be in there sweating and working for over 2 hours, and I didn’t even bring him a drink!?

Within the next minute, I realized that I had additionally left his sparring gear at home when he also should have brought that.  NO!!

Epic mom fail!

Yes, I made sure he had his GI on, and that it was ironed, and I fed him and got him there…not to mention the fact that we stretched together earlier and I took care of him most of the day, but was I thinking about those things?  Nope.  Just the fails.

It’s so easy for us to see the fails, defeats, and disasters in our lives.  Often those look so much larger than the wins, the rights, and the achievements… especially when they are in the everyday things.  It’s in the wins and the rights; however, that our heart of gratitude and our spirit of thankfulness comes.

It’s in those things that we find God’s hand on our lives, working faithfully, amidst the fails that look so large.  He never left us, He never stopped looking out for us, He never quit working His plan.  He has been there, blessing all along.  He has been there, giving us wins, helping us achieve all the way…did we notice?

I had many mom achievements today.  My list of mom achievements today would way outnumber those couple of things I didn’t get done this evening.

The things that we fail at in our lives, in light of all the things where we win, are nothing in comparison to all those wins.  We are abundantly blessed.  We just need to take notice, and perhaps even begin to literally take note, if that’s what it takes.

God still goes before us, behind us, beside us, and He dwells within us.  He will not forsake us.  How do I know?  Not only did He promise it, but He has proven it to me over and over again.

Winning,

jamie