Fish and Sheep

John 21:1-17

21 Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee.[a] This is how it happened. 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.

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.

At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows,[c] have you caught any fish?”

“No,” they replied.

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.

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. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. 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.

I wonder:

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.

Fish.jpgPreaching the gospel catches fish. Living the gospel cares for and feeds the sheep. Both are necessary in the Kingdom. sheep.jpg

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)

A House of Prayer

Matthew 21:12-13

12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”

PrayerWhen I was born into the Kingdom of Heaven Jesus began driving out the merchants, money changers and dove sellers. Through the miraculous indwelling of His Spirit, the tables were overturned. After the Holy Spirit overflowed me, I received His power to evict all thieves. I had prayed before. But when I began praying with my spirit andmy understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15) this temple was no longer a marketplace that anyone could enter. It became a house of prayer.

As an infant believer, I met a few prayer warriors within our local community of believers. In my childlike wisdom, I quickly judged these adults as “weird.” Overly wordy. Overly dramatic. Overly excited about praying. I secretly confessed “I don’t wanna be those kindof intercessors. They pray all the time- and on every occasion. Who wants to do THAT?!” As I grew into adolescence and began submitting to the discipline of meeting with my Lord each morning, I started becoming one of thosechurch ladies!

In my youth, I hated to pray out loud with grown-ups who knew WAY more about God than me. I was intimidated by their eloquent words and ability to quote scripture. But the more I met with my Lord in private, the more courage He gave me in public. I began to realize my prayers were not an offering for people- they are for my Father in Heaven.

During my young adult years, I also learned to submit to people in the body of Christ for prayer. By confessing my sins to others, my temple was further delivered from evil. No more religious sacrifices. No more buying and selling. No more tables. No more chairs. Just the Father. Just the Son. Just the Spirit. And me- a house of prayer.

Scripture is God breathed and “is useful for useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16) but I believe prayer is the breath of God that gives life. Eternal and abundant LIFE! It’s the way we develop a relationship with Him. It’s the way we know Him. It’s the way we feel His love. It’s the way we hear His voice. It’s the way we see what is unseen.

Nearly 20 years ago, I met a man at a well. He knew every sin I had ever committed (and was still committing), and yet, in His great love for me, He offered me living water. I drank a bucketful that day, and I’ve been drinking from that Source ever since.

My friend,

He can do the same for you. Meet Him at the well. He wants to talk to you. He wants to offer you a drink. He wants to fill you to overflowing. He wants to fight the merchants, money changes and dove sellers for you, through the power of His Spirit. Just be still- and get to know Him.