Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him. (Matthew 4:18-22)
If you want to know what a disciple of Jesus is, some commentators have noted, you don’t have to look any farther than Jesus’ calling of His first four disciples in Matthew’s Gospel. Disciples are those who believe in Jesus enough to listen for His voice and respond when He says, “Follow me.” As such, they belong to an elite group of individuals who are becoming more like Jesus, as He promised when He said, “and I will make you.” Ultimately, disciples are those who grow to join Jesus in His mission, recruiting and building other disciples as “fishers of men.”
“Almighty God, thank You for calling us to know You, grow like You, and go with You into the world as Your disciples. Give us wisdom and courage to be Your means of discipling others, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
The rain was pouring down.
Standing alongside a large puddle outside the pub was a bewhiskered old man.
He was drenched, holding a long stick with a piece of string dangling into the water.
A curious passer-by stopped and asked, "What are you doing?”
"Fishing" replied the old man, as he shrugged his shoulders and coughed.
Feeling sorry for the old man, the gentleman offered,
"Come in out of the rain and have a drink with me."
In the warmth of the pub they sipped their whiskies and swapped stories.
Finally, the gent finally got around to the elephant in the puddle, so to speak.
He asked, "So how many have you caught today?"
"You're the eighth," responded the old man.
The LORD give you both compassion and discernment this week!
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. (Titus 3:1-5)
Benjamin Franklin, whose wisdom and humor helped shape our nation, once wrote, “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do.” No doubt Franklin would be astounded by the amount of such foolishness in our current political discourse, even among our leaders! Yet Christians are called to do better—much better. We are called to be obedient subjects who attack no one, but instead are peaceable, considerate, and humble—because in His kindness Christ humbled Himself and rescued us from foolishness that would otherwise damn us. When we engage in the pleasure of passing along smug, self-satisfied slanders and fallacious political attacks, we bring shame to the name of Christ and risk forgetting that we were saved only by the mercy of God, when we deserved only condemnation. As Franklin also wrote, we must “elevate, not desecrate.”
“Heavenly Father, thank you for the freedoms we enjoy in our country! Guide us by Your Spirit, so that we use our freedoms to elevate, not desecrate, the grace You have given us, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
A Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Priest met at a 4th of July picnic.
Old friends, they began their usual teasing banter.
'This baked ham is really delicious,' the priest told the rabbi.
'You really ought to try it. I know it's against your religion, but still:
I can't understand why such a wonderful food should be forbidden.
You don't know what you're missing. You haven't lived until you've tried it.
Tell me, Rabbi, when are you going to break down and try it?'
The rabbi looked at the priest with a big grin, and said, 'At your wedding.'
The LORD guide your tongue to only tasteful comments this coming week!
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.