Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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February 8th, 2012 – Letting Down The Nets

“And when He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ And Simon answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at Your word I will let down the nets.’ And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.  They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.'” Luke 5:4-8

Devotional Thought For The Day

Peter was the expert fisherman; ostensibly, Jesus knew nothing of fishing – He was only trained in carpentry, and apparently preaching. Peter must have been thinking that Jesus was merely testing his patience, that this was a labor of futility.  After all, he had been fishing all night and knew that there was nothing out there to catch. Nonetheless, Peter at least had enough faith in Jesus, or devotion to Him, to submit to His Word and let down the nets. The result was an unbelievable financial boon.

We don’t know how the Lord financially blessed those who supported Him and His disciples during their three year ministry through Israel and Galilee. We do know that Jesus and His disciples lived from the contributions of others – and that Judas kept the “purse,” the treasury. [Luke 8:3; John 13:29, John 12:6] We know that Jesus knew about finances and monetary resources, and could supply them at will, even in seemingly ridiculous ways. [Matt. 17:27] He was a living example of “seeking first the kingdom of God” and “taking no thought for the things of the morrow” [Matt. 6:33,34], of trusting God to provide all that was necessary for earthly life and existence.

He continues to invite His people of faith to do the same. He instructs us to follow Him, to abide in His Word, to have faith and trust in God, to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and to generously support the work of the kingdom – the preaching, the making of disciples by His baptism and by the teaching of the Word of God [Matt. 28:19,20], and to do so out of our “substance.” This is our privilege, our highest privilege, to take part in God’s great work of bringing people into His eternal, glorious, heavenly kingdom through faith in Jesus – even if we are not full time preachers and teachers of His Word. And this is work that follows us forever, on into eternity, for when we rest from our labors “their works do follow them.” [Rev. 14:13]

Peter did have to “put out into the deep and let down the nets for a catch.” So also the Lord bids us to continue on in our chosen field of employment, our field of expertise. There will be times when we fish all night and catch nothing, and also times when He blesses us to the point of bursting nets. We may think that we are the experts at our chosen field, and that we know even better than God how to make profits and succeed, that He and His servants are naive and ignorant about “business” and the ways of the world. Nothing could be further from the truth! God knows how to take care of His own, to not only provide for all of our basic needs, and enough to enable us to participate in supporting the work of His kingdom, but also great financial boons [in accordance with His will and in His timing, not our own desires and wishes].

I can’t help but call your attention to the fact that Peter and the disciples were able to stay awake and pay attention to Jesus’ preaching even after laboring the entire night. They did not consider their labor more important than the Word of God, nor did they allow their fatigue to get in the way of hearing the Word of God. It was this Word that moved them to obey Jesus – which led not only to their financial boon, but to the deep humility and faith expressed by Peter. It is such humility and faith that commends us to God, and Jesus did not subsequently “depart” from Peter, but immediately called him to follow Him and be His disciple, to “catch” men. His Word, the preaching, had this blessed effect on the hearts of these men, and brought about the circumstances of their financial bonanza. We too should think on and ponder these things, that God’s Word might produce similar effects in our lives.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, help us to trust Your Word that You are taking care of us, so that we need not be weighed down by worries and concerns about the cares and riches of this life. Grant us joy in hearing the preaching of Your Word, and in participating in the upbuilding of Your kingdom. Set our hearts on things above, even as You richly bless our labors and endeavors in this life. Amen.