Dropping Nets

What is in your hand right now? An electronic device, for sure. Possibly a cup of coffee, praise God from whom all blessings flow!

What will you fill your hands with as your day moves along? A computer mouse, a remote control, a paring knife, a child’s hand, a book, a cell phone, a wine glass, a steering wheel…we fill our hands, our time, our minds, our hearts, and our lives with many things in an ordinary day.

Now comes the question. Will those things you will hold bring you closer to God’s holy presence, or did will they in fact keep you far from it?

Most electronic devices come with an ability to monitor your screen time. If you want a moment of clarity about “where does the time go,” check it out. You might be very surprised to see how much screen time you are consuming. This is another fallout of the pandemic. And yes, I realize that right now I am contributing to your screen time, so hopefully it’s not all bad! Indeed, screen time can be good and productive when it contributes to our work and our lives….and then there is Netflix-binging.

In the first chapter of Mark, some ordinary guys were having an ordinary day filling their hands with ordinary work. These guys were fishermen, so their hands were filled with nets.

Mark 1 (Common English Bible)

14 After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, 15 saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”

Jesus calls disciples

16 As Jesus passed alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” 18 Right away, they left their nets and followed him.

The immediacy of their response is noteworthy. RIGHT AWAY they left their nets.

Where is God calling you to put something down so that your attention can be directed toward his kingdom? Where is God calling you to change your heart and your life? In what way is he asking you to trust that this call is good news for you?

And it’s not just things we need to leave behind. Attitudes, entitlements, anger, misunderstanding, self-righteousness…God also calls us to drop these as well.

19 After going a little farther, he saw James and John, Zebedee’s sons, in their boat repairing the fishing nets. 20 At that very moment he called them. They followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers.

Some even left family and co-workers to follow Jesus. Maybe it’s time to leave behind all the people you have disagreed with over worldly issues and just follow Jesus. Maybe it’s time to leave Twitter behind. Maybe it’s time to leave main stream media, Facebook, Words With Friends, Tik Tok, and all those other distractions behind.

What is in your hand often dictates what is in your heart. Following Jesus requires leaving things behind. But you can trust that your hands will be filled with blessings if you empty them of all the worldly things.

Follow Me by Michelle Robertson

Heart-Change

It has long been said that it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. Any woman married to a man would probably add that it is also a man’s prerogative to change his mind. Changing your mind is not gender-specific. Changing your shoes, maybe, but not changing your mind.

As we follow along with our post-resurrection storyline, we discover the disciples continuing their work in Jerusalem, explaining and revealing the meaning and mystery of the resurrection. Peter is addressing a crowd in Jerusalem who is keenly aware of what has transpired. Not all were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection, but they know the rumors and have heard the stories.

Such a crowd is listening now to Peter speak, who is inspired by the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2 (Common English Bible)

36 “Therefore, let all Israel know beyond question that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.39 This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.” 

Change your mind. Use your prerogative. Change how you think about this, how you feel about this, and most importantly, change your life to reflect your new belief. The power of repentance to bring us closer to God can never be understated. It is the only way to receive complete and utter forgiveness of sins.

40 With many other words he testified to them and encouraged them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized. God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day.

Three thousand were brought into the community that day. Can you imagine their profound relief to know that Christ had died for their sin, and they carried that burden no more?

What burden of sin are you carrying right now? What heavy load can you remove with sincere repentance? Where is God calling you to change your mind, heart and LIFE?

This message wasn’t just for Peter’s audience that day, but is a living testimony to the power of God in YOUR life. It is never too late to repent. It is never too late to be cleansed of sin. It is never too late to unburden yourself of something you have carried for years.

It is never too late to change.

Lone Fisherman by Michelle Robertson