Friday, September 25, 2009
On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
I love this story. The crowds were enamored with Jesus. They wanted to be near him. Luke says that they were "pressing in on him to hear the word of God." It's obvious that not all truly wanted to follow him. Some where there to watch a show. They had heard that he was healing people and casting out demons. But there were some who were drawn to him in such a way that they understood that their life was not as good as it would be if they were following him. This is true surrender, and it's true worship! We believe a lie when we simply think about sacrifice. Peter, Andrew, James and John all left their careers and family to follow Jesus. But they didn't spend their lives in regret. They followed Jesus because something inside them believed that it would be the best decision that they would ever make.
Our next teaching series is on the subject of worship, and yesterday I was re-reading John Piper's Desiring God. I first read it during my senior year of college. As I read it a couple of days ago, I wondered if some of my passion for God has waned. Am I responding appropriately to who He is? Peter's response to Jesus was complete humility. He didn't even deserve to have Jesus in his boat, yet here he was. Do I understand what Jesus has done for me? How often do I reflect on this? As I write this, I'm thinking back to Matthew 13:44, in which Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven (God) is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."
This is the response that I desire to have. Following Jesus is a treasure. I have been given this treasure. I definitely don't deserve it, yet it's been offered to me. Today I desire to follow Jesus more than I desire anything else. Thank you, Father, for your grace. Thank you for continuing to seek after me. I repent of my inferior desires, and want all that you have for me.