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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"Gone Fishing"

"I'm going out to fish" (John 21:3).

It's wonderful how many people come out to church and express faith on Easter Sunday.  But I wonder what would happen if all the people that showed up for services at churches this last weekend really became committed to Christ and active in the church. I have a feeling the world would be considerably different!

Of course I like to see the church full, but where are these same Easter "followers" on Monday and the days that follow?  I am pleased to see them attending church on Easter Sunday; some perhaps to honor their praying parents, spouse, or children and others as a traditional religious custom.  Maybe they were moved by the message and the powerful and lively refrain to "He Lives" that many congregations sang with great exuberance. (How could they not be?)  But where's their heart today, after we celebrate the reality of the resurrection and worship the ever-living Lord Jesus Christ?

I wonder what that first "normal workweek" following the resurrection was like for the disciples of Christ.  What a tremendous weekend it had been for His followers.  I'm sure the emotional thrills of the events of Resurrection Sunday were still very real.  What an incredible "WOW" day it had been. 

But John 21 records an event that took place after Christ had appeared to his disciples twice.  It happened sometime between the week after the resurrection and the ascension.  Peter and six of the disciples were together.  It was just an ordinary day.  I sense a restlessness in Peter as he says, "I'm going out to fish." 

The other disciples said, "We'll go with you."  I wonder what these men were experiencing in their hearts.  Were they dealing with the reality of living their lives on an ordinary day after such a WOW day?  They fished all night but didn't catch anything. (That sure must have been very discouraging.)  But Jesus met them the next morning and everything changed. (I'll write about that tomorrow.)

The church has had several "WOW" days; such as the day of the resurrection, the day of the ascension and the day of Pentecost.  The next will be the day when Jesus returns.  Since Resurrection Day some 720,000 days have gone by with men and women living and dying for this resurrected Christ. 

We have our personal "WOW" days as well.  Spiritually it includes events like our conversion to Christ.  It also includes days like our wedding, a graduation or the birth of a child.  But the vast majority of our days are ordinary in which we make a daily decision to follow and obey Christ, no matter what the present circumstances are and not based upon how we feel that day. That's the real key to a steadfast, fruitful, victorious, abundant and lasting life of service for our Lord.

Every day, let us determine that like Joshua, we will wholeheartedly serve the Lord!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's Prayer:  Jesus, the events that took place in Bethlehem's manger, at Calvary's cross and in the empty tomb where Your body laid for three days supersedes any commemorative event in history.  We look to the past where we witness Your sovereign power at work in the midst of ordinary people.  And now, as we go about our daily routine of working, caring for our families, and living responsible Christian lives we are filled with anticipation for the greatest promise yet to be fulfilled.   This supreme event will take place when You come down from heaven, and with the trumpet call of God, You first call the faithful ones who have died.  Then those of us who are still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet You in the air.  What extra-ordinary encouragement this brings me today on an otherwise ordinary day. 

Photo ofSorbert Lemon Chiffon ViolaYesterday Brooksyne and I made an interesting visit to a nursery in the eastern part of Lancaster County that has been growing Azaleas, Rhododendrons and other plants continuously since 1922. It was so beautiful. My favorite photo was of a Sorbert Lemon Chiffon Viola. Click on the photo for a larger image.

I want to share the narrative portion of an Easter musical presented by the pastor of a church I so enjoy visiting on the internet.  Brooksyne and I were mightily blessed by this reading and I am sure you will be as well. If possible watch the video.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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