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Seeds of the Kingdom

Gone Fishing

by John Berry

I'm going out to fish Simon Peter told them, and they said We'll go with you
John 21:3 NIV

I was walking by the seaside with my grandchildren recently, and we were surprised to see a large number of starfish which had been washed up on the sea shore. Unfortunately they were all dead, and we wondered what had caused it. The grandchildren speculated then tried to revive some by returning them to the sea, but with no success.

I was reminded of another occasion when someone was by the seaside with fish. Not long after the Resurrection Peter and his friends had gone fishing, again without success. Jesus was nearby on the shore and recommended an alternative way of approach to the problem. I must say as a fisherman of some years' experience, if someone unknown had told me I was doing it wrong, and suggested I do it differently, I would have probably put all the reasons why I was in the right and they weren't - the tide was wrong, the wind was wrong, you don't catch fish that side and so on! However, Peter must have recognised that this was someone who did know what he was talking about and so they followed the suggestion with famous results.

It was only after the obedience to the command that Jesus was revealed to the disciples in the boat, not before. With joy they went and joined their Master for breakfast using some of their catch to add to Jesus' own provision (where did His fish come from I wonder?).

Whatever we do in the Kingdom, our experience and expertise must always be subject to Jesus' sometimes radical Lordship. "But Lord" we may say, "We've always done it this way, because that's the way we do it". Perhaps Jesus wants us to try things differently. In Ellel Ministries we often use a prayer we call the Lordship Prayer, where we invite Jesus to be Lord of everything. I wonder how open we are to Him really being Lord in our lives?

So next time you go fishing - physically or metaphorically - ensure that Jesus is really Lord in that activity, and be prepared for some radical advice about how you should do it!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I reaffirm You now as the Lord in the whole of my life.
Lord of my human spirit and all my spiritual awareness and worship.
Lord of my mind, my attitudes, my thinking, my beliefs, and my imagination.
Lord of my emotions and my expression of my feelings.
Lord of my will and all my decisions.
Lord of my body, my physical health, my exercise, my diet, my rest and my appearance.
Lord of my sexuality and its expression.
Lord of my family and all my relationships.
Lord of my work.
Lord of my material goods and my needs.
Lord of my finances.
Lord of my plans, my ambitions and my future.
Lord of my life and timing of my physical death. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.

 

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