“As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.” ~John 21:9-10
I’ve really been enjoying reading through the Bible this year. I haven’t done it in years. Honestly, the last time I read through the Bible, I’m pretty sure it took me about three years. So this has been a great adventure.
For January, for the New Testament reading, John was the first book selected. I love the Book of John. John was a close personal friend of Jesus. He literally walked with Him and talked with Him. He knew exactly what He looked like…what His voice sounded like…His mannerisms. And I absolutely love that he referred to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” Isn’t that how we all feel who have felt His personal touch in our lives?
As I was reading the 21st and last chapter of John the other day, reading a story I have read more times than I can count, something new struck me. It was so exciting to me, I had to call Heidi and read it to her on the phone. It was like I had never heard it before!
So the account goes that Jesus had died, had risen again, and had shown Himself a few times to his disciples after He was glorified, but before He had ascended. At this point, for whatever reason He was absent. Peter decided to go back to what he had always done before Jesus had come along and rocked his world. He said, “I go a fishing,” (v. 3), and the others that were with him said basically, “we’ll come, too.” It was what they knew. It was familiar. It was their livelihood.
You’ll remember that when Jesus first called Peter and some of the others, they were fishing. It was what they did. They were fishing for fish. And Jesus told them that thereafter they would fish for men.
He had intended for so much more for them. He wanted them to be different than they were when He found them at the beginning of His ministry.
But now here they were, after three years of following Him, walking with Him, talking with Him, traveling with Him, and they had gone back to fishing for just plain old fish. So Jesus appeared to them at the edge of the sea and asked if they had caught anything. They hadn’t. So He told them to cast their nets on the other side of the ship and immediately, the net was full, as it always is when we trust Him to guide us in what we’re doing.
But here’s the awesome, amazing, mind-blowing part. Did you catch it in the very beginning when you read the scripture?! Go ahead and read it again!
“As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.”
Did you catch that? He already had fish for them cooked and ready to eat on shore. He had already prepared a meal for them. He had been ready to meet their needs from the beginning.
Yet…yet…He told them to bring what they had. Why?
There’s such a beautiful message here and I never caught it before!
Jesus will always have enough to meet our needs. He has the meal set for us. He is ready and waiting to serve us and nourish us. He wants to commune with us. Yet, He still wants us to bring in what we have, not for ourselves…but for others! It’s interesting that the number of fish is recorded, 153 to be exact. In short, it was way more than they needed to feed themselves.
It’s at this point that Jesus asks Peter three separate times if he loves Him and with each affirmative response that Peter gives, Jesus replies to feed His sheep or lambs. The correlation is astounding, really.
This is what He had called Peter to do…to fish for men. By meeting their needs. By taking Jesus to the masses! And as daunting of a task as that seemed, Jesus was sending Him a message that He would meet Peter’s needs at every turn.
Maybe we haven’t been called to the same ministry as Peter, but we’ve all been called to something for the Kingdom if we’re saved and serving Jesus. As a Mama, my husband and my kiddos are my calling right now! I feel like every day is a struggle to meet their individual needs while just staying sane. But that has recently changed and here’s the secret…
As of January 1 of this year (not because of a New Year’s Resolution, which I NEVER end up keeping) but because January 1 is a good time to start something new, I became absolutely determined to give Jesus the first 30 minutes of my day. That may seem like a very small thing to some of you, but to me it was a HUGE sacrifice. I have spent time with the Lord every day for years, but I always struggled to do it FIRST. To say I am not a morning person is an understatement to end all understatements. I have never, ever in my life felt rested when I awake and I always feel like I’ve been thrown into my day with a giant heave-ho. My kids are all morning people, bless their little hearts, and they ask so. many. questions. in the morning that I just. can’t. process. I finally concluded that I’d much rather start my day sleepy, in the quiet peaceful presence of my Savior so that I, in turn, can handle the boisterous, loud, giggly chaos that my kiddos bring to me at 6:30 sharp.
And miraculously, it has been like manna from Heaven. That little bit of effort I make to get up and commune with Jesus pays off exponentially. He feeds me so that I can feed them. It’s just that simple. Not easy, but simple.
If you are not a morning person, but are wanting to do something similar, here’s what I do:
- Accountability is key! I have a sweet friend who works out at a gym down the street from where I live that is up even earlier than I that has committed to texting me if she doesn’t see my light on. It’s been the extra kick I’ve needed to get up when I’ve been so tired.
- Download the app “She Reads Truth” and follow the “Read the Bible in 365(6) Days” Program. (Thanks, Lisa of “One Thankful Mom”!) Every morning I look to see what I’m reading for the day. (PS – the reading function in this app is super glitchy/clunky, so don’t use it for reading if you want to stay cheerful.)
- Get your favorite morning drink ready. I used to be addicted to coffee, but have recently switched to Plexus Slim and it has changed my mornings! (Visit my website http://shopmyplexus.com/glendajdunaway or see my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NehemiahMama/for more info.)
- Download the MySword app to your phone. I use the KJV with lexicon links so that I can look at the original words for more info. (It’s amazing what all the names mean in those long genealogies!)
- Invest in a good Archaeological Bible to keep open alongside your phone. It has a lot of extra info about places and time periods that put what you’re reading into historical perspective.
Massages and pedicures are nice, but we don’t have to have those things to take care of us! The world screams at us moms that we’re not taking care of ourselves and that we need more “me-time”, but I’m finding that mornings with Jesus are the very best self-care we can bless ourselves with.
I’d love to hear about what you do to make sure you’re getting fed so that you can feed others!
Blessings and much love,