Tag Archives: focus

What’s in a Boat Anyway?

Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing.  They say unto him, we also go with thee.  They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.  But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.  Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat?  They answered him, no.  And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye will find.  They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.  Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord.  Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.  And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.  John 21:3-8

ontheshoreHave you ever done something as a pure reaction? With little or no thought, you simply react.  This is the third time we find Simon Peter in a boat.  In Luke 5: 4 and 5, there was no reaction, just the obedience, “Nevertheless at thy word,” before he is called to follow Christ.  In Matthew 14: 24-31, we witness Simon Peter’s moment of unbelievable faith with, “Lord if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water,” that allowed him to walk on water toward Jesus.  Now in chapter 21 of John, Jesus has been crucified and resurrected.  He has appeared to the disciples twice so they know he is alive.  There would have been no surprise.  So what would make Peter react in such a way?  When John said it was the Lord, there was little to no thought.  He forgot the fish in the net.  He paid no attention to what the others were doing.  He grabbed his coat, jumped out of the boat and swam the hundred yards to shore.  Why?

I think it had something to do with his journey.  We often talk about people who are too focused on something as having blinders on.  They can see nothing but their target, whether it’s good or bad.  Peter obeyed and followed a teacher.  He later realized Jesus was the Son of God.  Now Christ had been crucified, buried and resurrected.  And there, I believe, lies one point of this Scripture; after everything Simon Peter had experienced, witnessed and heard since becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, what else could stir him to the point of pure reaction except the glory of the risen Lord?

Too often throughout our day, our focus is on everything except Christ.  Our days are so filled at times it can almost seem to minimize our risen Lord.  So I will pose the question – What are you focused on?  What would merit such a reaction and cause you to jump out of your boat?

Article by C.S. Depew

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Time Management

Have you ever been through a season of disorganization and chaos at some point in your life? It may seem that days went by without notice and before you knew it you missed out on an entire week or even longer. Maybe even now you feel as if you are always rushing to be somewhere, rarely have any time to relax at home or cannot enjoy the things in life that matter to you most.

What is worse, as a Christian you may have spent very little time alone with God and possibly none at all. The Bible says, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13), but in this fast-paced world we live in, it can be easy to get so caught up in our daily routine that we lose sight of our true purpose in life – to worship and glorify God.

So as we swiftly approach the coming holiday season, there are some biblical principles we can keep in mind that may help us stay more organized, allowing us time at home with our families and more importantly, with God.

First, the Bible tells us to be careful of how we use our time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). We are only given so many hours in a day, so many days in a month, and so many months in a year to accomplish the things in life we are responsible for. Among these things we are expected to put God in first place, putting all of our heart, soul and strength into our commitment to Him (Deuteronomy 6:5). By putting anything else in the place where God should be, we are taking from God the honor He so rightly deserves (Romans 12:1), making an idol of that which we have chosen to put before Him, and robbing ourselves of any spiritual growth. Only after placing God first can we begin to prioritize the rest of our lives in regards to our family, church family and then the rest of the world.

Second, the Bible says that we should use our time serving others rather than serving ourselves (Galatians 5:13, 1 Corinthians 10:24). In this day and age we are offered so much entertainment that we can easily fill our lives with things that distract and not edify us. You have heard it said that idle hands are the devils tools, but the Bible says everything that is in the world, from the desire of the eyes to the boasting of the prideful, comes from the devil who is in charge of the world (1 John 2:15-16). We can get pretty wrapped up in ourselves if we are not careful to put others before ourselves and can easily fill up our schedule with selfishness and greed. Therefore, the Bible says we should put away such things (Romans 6:13, Colossians 3:5) and “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12).

Third, the Bible says that we should use our time to focus on things eternal and not what is important in this life only (Matthew 6:19-21). There are many good things that we can get involved in while we are here on this earth but if they distract us from the more important things in life, what good have we done? The Bible says that everything that is permissible is not beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23) and that we should only pursue that which makes for peace and the building up of one another” (Romans 14:19). There is no time to live for tomorrow when your eternity could begin right now (James 4:14), for the Bible tells us not to live life for human desires, but rather for the will of God (1 Peter 4:2).

Perhaps even as you read these very words you are struggling to maintain the use of your time for the glory of God, the good of others, or the eternality of your very soul. And although the Bible has much more to say about how we can use our time wisely, it has only one thing to say about retaining life. By surrendering your life to Jesus, the time you spend here on earth will be meaningless contrasted to the eternity you will spend with our Father in heaven.

Are you weak and heavy-laden, are you burdened by a load of care? Remember the promise Jesus has for us: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

If you would like to know how you can begin in a relationship with Jesus Christ, please contact me. I am always glad to hear from my readers. Write me at michael@michaelwaits.com.

Article by Michael Waits

@michaelwaits

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