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WHEN JESUS COMES ON BOARD

He got into one of the boats…belonging to Simon… – Luke 5:3 NIV

One day Jesus ‘…saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats…belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then He sat down and taught the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.’ (Luke 5:2–6 NIV) Are you sitting today where Peter sat? Your outlook is bleak, your nets are empty, you’ve tried everything you know and you’re ready to give up? It happens; you get to the place where you simply stop expecting anything good. You’ve experienced too many disappointments and you’re afraid to dream, reach, stretch or broaden your horizons. Jesus knows how hard you’ve tried and today He’s inviting you to try again—this time with Him. Even though you’re wrestling with depression and tormenting memories, unemployment, addiction, financial failure or sickness, the Lord of new beginnings wants to come on board. If you listen to Him, He will show you what to do. Now, what He says may not initially make sense to you. But if you’re willing to respond like Peter—‘Because You say so, I will’—you’re on the threshold of a miracle. Today, listen and obey the words of Jesus and watch how your situation changes.

THE APPLE OF HIS EYE ...

Keep me as the apple of your eye… – Psalm 17:8, NIV

In this day and age, people are considered to be important for so many different reasons—titles, position, possessions, where you go, what you drive. But God’s value system is very different from the value system of the world. If you’ve ever thought that God has too many other important things on His plate to be concerned with you and your life, know this today—you are God’s number one priority. You are the apple of His eye, the center of His world! There’s nothing you can do to change that. There’s nothing you can do to be more important or less important to Him. God values you because He made you, and your value will never change.

Always remember, you are significant. Your life is significant. The things that concern you, concern God. He carefully watches over every detail of your life, and there is nothing too big or too small for His attention!

FREED FROM THE LAW

The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. – Luke 16:16-17

The Bible teaches that there are different dispensations or divinely ordered ways of God dealing with mankind throughout the ages. A dispensation is simply a period of time in which God deals with mankind in a certain way.

The Old Testament law was only a temporary dispensation and ruled from the giving of the law (Ex. 20) until the ministry of John the Baptist. When Christ came, He put an end to the law for righteousness (Rom. 10:4). Anyone who advocates the keeping of the law for the purpose of right standing with God is going back to an Old Testament system of law that has been abolished and is making the work of Christ void in his life.

The New Testament believer is under the dispensation of God’s grace. We are not under the law. That doesn’t mean the law has passed away. It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the law to fail. The law hasn’t failed. It has been fulfilled (Mt. 5:17). Christ fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law for us and imputes to us that righteousness is not based on our performance but on our faith in Him. The law was never given for the purpose of justification. It was totally powerless to save. It only showed us our need and pointed us to a Savior.

The law was not made for a righteous man and it still serves a purpose for those who are not born again. For those who do not accept Jesus as their Savior, the wrath of God, which the law produces, abides on them. In this present age, Jesus has come not to condemn men but to bring them grace and truth. Those who do not believe on the Son are presently under the wrath of the Old Testament law, and, unless they repent, will suffer the wrath of God eternally. Thank God for His grace today.

HOW TO HAVE PEACE

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. —Romans 5:1

The Kamppi Chapel of Silence in Helsinki, Finland, stands out in its urban setting. The curved structure, covered with wood, buffers the noise from the busy city outside. Designers created the chapel as a quiet space and a “calm environment for visitors to compose themselves.” It’s a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Many people long for peace, and a few minutes of silence may soothe our minds. But the Bible teaches that real peace—peace with God—comes from His Son. The apostle Paul said, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). Without Christ, we are enemies of God because of our sin. Thankfully, accepting Jesus’ sacrifice reconciles us to God and ends the hostility that existed between us (Col. 1:19-21). He now sees us as Christ presents us—“holy, and blameless, and above reproach” (v. 22).

Having peace with God does not ensure problem-free living. However, it does steady us during difficult times. Jesus told His followers, “In the world you will have tribulation,” but He also said, “In Me you may have peace” (John 16:33). Because of Christ, the true peace of God can fill our hearts (Col. 3:15).

Father, we long for Your peace in the midst of our turmoil. Please help us to rest in You.

THE GOD KIND OF FAITH …

…the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God… – Galatians 2:20, ESV

Faith is all around us. People have faith in so many different things: faith that a friend will be true, faith that your job is taking you on a certain career path, faith that the chair you are sitting on is going to hold you up! Faith is simply believing in something. But there are different kinds, or levels, of faith. We’ve all been given a measure of faith. The question is, what are you doing with it?

The God kind of faith will cause you to believe for things when you don’t even know how they’ll happen. It will take you further than you ever dreamed. It probably won’t make sense in your mind, but you have to allow your spirit to rise higher than your thinking.

Don’t ever talk yourself out of believing. Don’t focus on all the reasons why not; instead, allow supernatural faith to rise up within you. Meditate on His Word that says you can do all things through Christ, and you are strong in the Lord and the power of His might. As you rise up in faith, He’ll take you places you’ve never dreamed, and you will live the abundant life He has for you!

“Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity” (Psalm 118:25).

God operates in the “now zone.” He wants you to prosper now. Don’t wait to activate your blessing, or empowerment to prosper; instead, receive and employ it by faith now!

SAFETY IS IN GOD …

Even while David was seized by his enemies, the Philistines, he wrote this: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4).

David knew that no matter what his circumstances looked like — whether his life was in great danger or not — his safety depended on God. It is no surprise, then, that David wrote in Psalm 27:1-3: The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

When you feel afraid of what other people can do to you, remember that God has ultimate control over your life. However, it is important to note that in order to expect God’s protection, you must be in God’s presence. Notice that Psalm 91:1-2 says, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” In order to be rest in God’s shadow, you must be in His presence — and that means spending time with God, reading His Word, and praying.

Whether the people coming against you are terrorists or just your neighbor, remember that it is God you protects you: The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6).

The principle that safety is found in God is summarized by Psalm 4:8, which says, I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. You may be in dangerous circumstances, but safety is found not in the absence of danger but in the presence of God.

HE FOUND ME

The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. —Luke 19:10

The film Amazing Grace was set in the late 1700s. It tells the story of William Wilberforce, a politician who was driven by his faith in Christ to commit his money and energy to abolishing the slave trade in England. In one scene, Wilberforce’s butler finds him praying. The butler asks, “You found God, Sir?” Wilberforce responds, “I think He found me.”

The Bible pictures humanity as wayward and wandering sheep. It says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way” (Isa. 53:6). In fact, this wayward condition is so deeply rooted in us that the apostle Paul said: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside” (Rom. 3:10-12). That is why Jesus came. We would never seek Him, so He came seeking us. Jesus declared His mission with the words, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Wilberforce was exactly right. Jesus came to find us, for we could never have found Him if left to ourselves. It is a clear expression of the Creator’s love for His lost creation that He pursues us and desires to make us His own.

Amazing grace—how sweet the sound—that saved a wretch like me!I once was lost but now am found,was blind, but now I see.

Once lost, now found. Eternally thankful!

THE RIGHT RIGHTEOUSNESS

And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. – Luke 16:1-18

The unjust steward was covetous. He had not been faithful to his master or to his master’s debtors. He had wasted his master’s goods on himself. When found out, his self-serving nature considered the options, and decided there had to be a change. He decided to use his lord’s money to make friends so that when he was fired he would have someone to help him.

His master was apparently wealthy enough that he didn’t take offense at the steward’s discounting of the debts owed to him, but rather he commended the steward. He didn’t commend his dishonest ways, but he was commending the fact that he had finally used his lord’s money to plan for the future instead of wasting it on himself. Although the steward was motivated by what he would ultimately gain, there was prudence in his actions. This was lacking before.

In this sense, the children of this world (lost men) are wiser than the children of light (born again men) because they plan for the temporal future.

Jesus is telling us to use money (the unrighteous mammon) to make to ourselves friends that would receive us into “everlasting” habitations. The use of the word “everlasting” denotes that Jesus is now talking about our eternal future. The people who have been saved and blessed by our investments in the kingdom of God will literally receive us into our everlasting home when we pass on to be with the Lord.

Our material possessions have been given to us by God so that we are actually stewards of His resources. The Lord gave us this wealth to establish His covenant on this earth – not so that we could consume it upon our own lusts. You have been blessed to be a blessing!

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