Launching Out Again

And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”  Luke 5:5

My grandfather was the captain of a destroyer during the war and long after retirement he remained firmly in command of the ship at home. Though we loved him dearly, we grandchildren learned to respond quickly whenever He barked “All hands on deck!” when it was time for chores; or “No excuses sir!” if we got caught doing something wrong. But one of his favorite sayings happened when we made excuses. He would pause with a smile, then point his finger directly at whoever was the excuse maker and say; “No if’s and’s or but’s”

Maybe Peter had a grandfather a lot like mine, because when Jesus asked him to go back out into deeper water to throw his net out again he simply obeyed. When Peter said, “I will let down my nets” he knew that meant that he would need to load them back in the boat, then call his brother and some of his friends and go back out after having worked all night. Last of all he had to throw the heavy, water soaked net back into the water with the possibility that it would just come back in empty again. It would have been a lot easier to say, “I’m so tired Jesus, why not ask John or James?” But none of those excuses kept Peter from obeying Jesus. He trusted what Jesus said by a faith he probably didn’t yet fully understand and launched out.

When God calls me or you to launch out with him we often have plenty of if’s and’s or but’s. “If you first give me this Lord, then I’ll be happy to obey.” or “And what about my sister, why can’t she do it this time?” or even “But Lord you know I always mess this up!” But God did not call someone else. He is not interested in a faster or more efficient way of getting things done. What He cares about is teaching us to trust Him. So instead of wasting time with our “if’s and’s or but’s ; why not just load up our nets, and launch out into the deep? Until we let down our nets we’ll never know what God can do to fill them!

God’s Great Faithfulness

Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul “Therefore I hope in Him!”  Lamentations 3:23-24

The book of Lamentations tells us that God is a Father who never gives up on His children. His people had rejected Him and yet even as they were being led away as captives to Babylon; God was already planning for the return of their children and grandchildren. After times of failure and disappointment in my life I have found encouragement by the  verse that says, ”He is not ashamed to call them brethren” Hebrews 2:11. In spite of our failures, sins and weaknesses Jesus never turns his back on us just as he didn’t give up on the children of Israel while they were in Babylon. No matter where we are Jesus is always faithful, willing to forgive us and help us find our way home.

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When my father passed away and I had to put his financial affairs in order I was surprised to discover that he had put my name on the title to his home. He did this to give to me all that he had. In that same way God is my portion because He has through Jesus Christ put my name and yours on the title to His house. There in heaven waiting for us is a place that is ours because in His great faithfulness He has become our portion and our eternal inheritance.

Maybe this morning you need to just take a moment as you listen to this song again.  God remains faithful in the middle of whatever you are facing or wherever your pathway may lead. May God bless and keep you as you trust in Him and His great faithfulness to us all.

New Year – New Horizons

After a couple of weeks away with time to enjoy Christmas and New Year with the other half I am officially back to writing for 2020. Thank you to all of you who have followed, read and commented over the past year. It is a real encouragement knowing some of the things God has brought me through have been a help to others. 2020 will be a different in that I will be posting only once a week except for around the holidays. I will also be posting once a week on New Beginnings about Nursing Home outreach. I am thankful that a small group of volunteers is beginning to network with me through our local church to help with the outreach in the North Tampa area. If you or someone you know is interested you can check out the weekly posts over at New Beginnings

None of what has been happening would be possible without the help, prayers and support of many people. Last year my resolution was to pray more honestly. In 2020 my desire is to pray more intensely since the time is growing short and only by God’s power can anything be accomplished of eternal worth. God bless you and may you walk closely with Jesus this week.

 

Always Pray

When our eyes first open and the sun peeks in

We can thank the Lord as our day begins

Or when storms close in and darken the sky

We run to find shelter at our Jesus’ side

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If the corn is ripe or if the fields are dead

We can still thank God for our daily bread

And when we sin and fall under guilt and shame

He forgives if we ask Him in His holy name

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Photo by Ivan J. Long on Pexels.com

After we’ve run as far as we can

He renews our strength when we pray to Him

When we stand up strong or when we fall down

If we’ll pray to the end He has promised a crown

It’s not by our wisdom that this battle is won

Nor by our strength that the race must be run

He gives when we ask and when we seek we will find

If we’ll pray and not faint to our life’s finish line!

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint                   Luke 18:1

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