Push Further Out
Pastor Tony R. Nester
What happened that day on the lake to Simon Peter is what will happen to every one of us who comes under the power of Jesus. At first we think we're in charge of our relationship with Jesus. But then, somehow, somewhere, Jesus will direct us to push further out into the deep waters of faith where we'll learn that he is in charge and not us.
The Scripture tells us that Simon Peter first heard Jesus as one of the crowd by the lakeside.
He started listening to Jesus' words and found himself paying more attention than he might have expected.
We don't know why Simon paid attention to Jesus. We don't know anything about his state of mind, his emotions, his problem, his hopes and dreams. But something about Jesus caught him or, to use fishermen language, hooked him.
This is how most of us start out on our faith journey with Jesus. Faith is awakened when we start paying attention to the Word of God we hear in Jesus.
Paying attention to Jesus starts a process that begins to make us different from other people. If, like most of the people who surround us, our attention is all used up by our cell phones, Ipods, and TV's, then Jesus' isn't going to get our attention.
Something has to get stirred up inside of us before we're willing to pay Jesus any attention at all.
Sometimes this awakening comes because something wonderful happens to us. We discover genuine love. We give birth to a baby. We see incredible beauty. And it stirs us to listen to Jesus who tells us about the Father who has created all this wonder and glory.
Sometimes we're awakened by hard and awful things that happen to us or those we love: illness, accidents, betrayal, injustice, death. In our brokenness we start listening to Jesus who tells us about the deep power of God who can lead us into healing and wholeness.
Like Simon Peter we tend to start out as a member of the crowd. We like to be anonymous ...
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