21 Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee.[a] This is how it happened. 2 Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[b] Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.
3 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.
4 At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. 5 He called out, “Fellows,[c] have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
6 Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
7 Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” 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. 8 The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. 9 When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.
10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.
12 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. 14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?[e]”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
Peter was a fisherman.
Jesus called Peter to follow Him.
Jesus said He’d teach Peter to become a fisher of men.
Peter followed and got to know & love Jesus.
But when trouble arose, Peters heart monitor revealed a problem; he didn’t love Jesus more than people.
Fortunately, for Peter, his story didn’t end with denying his Lord and Savior three times. After Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, He ate breakfast with Peter by the seashore and monitored Peter’s repentant heart with three questions.
Peter DID love Jesus more than he loved people.
Peter loved Jesus.
Peter loved JESUS with all his heart!
Because of his love for Jesus, and the power of the Spirit he received at Pentecost, Peter became a fisher of men who was able to care for and feed the Lord’s sheep, as commanded.
Do you love Jesus more than people?
Do you love Jesus?
Do you love JESUS with all our heart?
If you’ve read any of my posts you know that I repeatedly sound the alarm on the heart monitor of the American Church. I’ve confronted sin & beckoned believers to repent, not as a high priest who stands in judgement, but as a fellow disciple who’s been convicted, deeply grieved over and repentant for loving people (& myself) more than I love Jesus.
One could assume through my writing that I might be a “negative Nellie”- always pissed off with the Church, constantly tearing down the body of Christ while never building her up. That’s untrue. I love the Church. I love God’s people. I intercede for believers everywhere. I pray for the Bride. And I weep when I see that she is not prepared to meet her Groom. I LOVE the Church. But I want to love Jesus more.
In my last post, Divorcing the Church System, I shared that our family no longer joins a crowd in a building on Sundays for worship & the word. Instead, we gather with a small group of believers each week at home to worship, pray, devote ourselves to biblical teaching, take communion and share a meal.
We began hosting Sunday Meetings last year because God said to. Not because we were angry with our local church family or that we thought we could do things better than our previous leaders. We left the system as a result of continual revelation of Jesus through Scripture and by the Spirit in prayer. We obeyed the Lord when He whispered “host meetings” and “feed the sheep.” What we’re doing is simple; Sunday Meetings are based on Scripture (Acts 2) and are Spirit led.
Catching a load of fish in a day requires lowering a net into the water off the “right side” of the boat. Feeding lambs, taking care of, and feeding sheep every day requires constant, ongoing devotion for years.
Preaching the gospel catches fish. Living the gospel cares for and feeds the sheep. Both are necessary in the Kingdom.
The Church needs fishermen and shepherds!!! Let us not forget that the same Spirit is still empowering the body of Christ to do both.
The old system is broken.
God is doing something new.
Do you not see it? (Isaiah 43:19)
It’s time for more.
It’s time to seek the Father more.
It’s time to love Jesus more.
It’s time to be filled with the Spirit more.
Preach the gospel.
Live the gospel.
God is faithful, He will add to the numbers. (Acts 2:47)
For those who’ve asked: We follow Acts 2:42-47 for our *Sunday Meetings. We also recommend Jeremiah Johnson’s book, “I See a New Apostolic Generation” & Francis Chan’s book “Letters to the Church.” (*a part of At Home Ministries)
John 3:16-21 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[b]”
It’s Valentine’s Day. The day of love. The day we receive and give love. The day we remember the One who IS love. The One who loves the world. The One who lovesyou. The One who loves me. The One who commands me to love Him. The One who commands me to loveothers. The One who loved me when I hated Him. The One who loves me and hates my sin.
Scripture says there’s a time to love and a time to hate:
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 New Living Translation (NLT)
3 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
In this season under heaven, a lot of Christians are saying they love God. But only a few are actually loving Him. Scripture is clear: IF we say we love God, THEN our actions will prove we loveHim. IF we say we love God, THEN our actions will also prove we hate what He hates.
What does God hate?
Proverbs 6:16-19 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family.
If we, as Christians, the Church, the body of Christ, don’t hate the detestable sin of our eyes, our tongue, our hands, our heart, how can we truly love God?
It’s time to hate our sin.
It’s time to kill it. It’s time to tear it down. It’s time to cry about it. It’s time to grieve about it. It’s time to scatter it. It’s time to turn away from it. It’s time to tear it. It’s time to be quiet (and listen to the Holy Spirit). It’s time for war.
If we do not love God, we cannot love people on Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year. And without love,we cannot make disciples.
It’s time to hate our sin.
It’s time to repent.
Acts 19:1-6 (NLT)
19 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers.2 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them.
“No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked.
And they replied, “The baptism of John.”
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.”
5 As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.6 Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied.
Like so many things in my strong-willed life, I was saved bass ackwards.
I was a privileged kid that grew up in a middle-class household with married parents and a sibling who went to church every Sunday (and sometimes other days of the week).
I was a privileged teenager who moved to the bible belt and got “saved” and “sprinkled” in a “sanctuary” adorned with stained glass windows and golden lacquered name plates of financial donors on the pews.
I was a privileged bride who married a groom whose parents were also married believers.
I was a privileged college graduate who lived in a big city with a variety of denominational and non-denominational churches to choose from.
I was a privileged citizen of a state and country founded on Christian principles in which the law allows freedom to practice whatever religion I choose.
But at the age of 23, this privileged girl was still going to hell.
Yes, I had heard the gospel.
Yes, I had engaged in religious activity that was required by religious leaders.
Yes, I had tried to obey the law of Moses (well, in action- but not in heart).
I did not repent.
My heart had not been made right with God (because I didn’t think that I had been wrong).
I just confessed Jesus with my mouth on a Sunday morning at the altar of a building (but the altar of my heart didn’t believe).
I just got a few drops of water on my head and a fancy certificate of baptism, but I wasn’t saved.
I was still a sinner- a deceived sinner that was wrongly identified as a saint.
Lord, forgive me! Forgive the church! Forgive the church leaders for not making me a disciple; teaching me to obey all your commands and baptizing me into the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Mercifully, however, God intervened, like He did on the road to Damascus with a sinner named Paul. Only my conversion was in our bedroom while sitting on our king-sized bed (yep- I met the King of kings on our king-sized bed!). Nine months pregnant and feeling like a beached whale, I was blinded by the light that entered my soul. I was deeply grieved over every sin I had committed against my Creator. I began to pour out the wretchedness in my heart, confessing in detail, every commandment I had rejected. I repented for my rebellion against the Father, which grieved His heart. At that moment, I believed Jesus died, was buried and resurrected for ME. I confessed Him as Savior and I was later baptized under water.
I was now saved from eternal damnation! I would live eternally in heaven when I died on this earth, but I had not received the Helper. I had not received the One who would lead me into all Truth (John 16:13). I had not received the One that would empower me to obey the Lord. I had not received the fire that would cleanse me from unrighteousness. I had not received the One who would gift me with supernatural power to minister to others. I had not received the One who would enable me to make disciples, teaching them to obey His commands and baptizing them into the Father, Son AND Spirit. Instead, I reverted back to religious activity in my own strength. Not only that, I was promoted to leadership in our church.
Lord, forgive me! Forgive the Church!
Mercifully, however, God intervened again, but not like He did with the believers in Ephesus when Paul asked if they had received the Holy Spirit. Instead, I was at home, praying in the living room with my husband when God answered my pleafor help in trusting Him as Savior AND Lord. Heaven opened and spiritual fire poured down all over my body. Overwhelmed with the force of power that was rising from the depths of my spirit, I ran to our bedroom, opened my mouth and began speaking in tongues. The unknown language I heard initially scared me; I didn’t know if I was possessed by demons or possessed by Pentecostals!
Yes, I had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I received the Helper. I received the One who would lead me into all Truth. I received the One that would empower me to obey the Lord. I received the fire that would cleanse me from unrighteousness. I received the One who would gift me with supernatural power to minister to others. I received the One who would enable me to make disciples, teaching them to obey His commands and baptizing them into the Father, Son AND Spirit.
Have you heard the Good News? Have you repented of your sin against the Father? Have you believed Jesus as Lord AND Savior? Have you received the Holy Spirit? Do not be deceived as I was. Don’t think you’ll inherit the Kingdom of Heaven by obeying religious laws. It’s only by His grace that you can be saved. It’s only by His power that you can be baptized into the Father, Son AND Spirit. Don’t wait! Repent. Believe. Receive. Do it today.