I have been a Christian for a long time. That is if being a Christian means going to church and trying to behave as much as possible. The truth is, the Church is limited when it comes to changing lives. It obviously plants seeds and provides a place where God can speak. It is the Holy Spirit that brings conviction to our hearts, and allows us to see the reality of the condition of our heart. But unless we surrender and give God full control of our lives, we will not live the life God has planned for us.
I believe that the life God wants us to live is a lifetime journey of transformation. Each day we should be more and more like him. It is his grace that gives us power to be who he called us to be, but we also have to bend our will to His will for his grace to be effective.
I believe with all my heart that growing in faith together with other believers is so important. Being a Christian is more than going to Church, it is a commitment to BE the Church and grow together.
This year, I am starting a new project to grow in faith, and I want to invite as many as I can to join me.
If you are up for the journey, let me tell you how this works.
Each month I will pick a book, an online study that goes along with it, and a YouVersion Bible plan to read.
If you would like to join me, here is what you need to do:
This will be a very easy plan to follow, but it will keep us connected and with a common goal. I encourage you to join me and see what God can do when we seek Him together.
“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. -John 21:3 NIV
I am not sure how Peter felt at this point in his life. For about three years, he had been following Jesus. He saw Jesus heal the sick, bring dead people to life, and multiply fish and bread. He believed in Jesus, He had hope in Jesus, and He certainly had a vision or perception of how Jesus had to become the ultimate deliverer of His people.
Peter had expectations. He probably thought Jesus was going to establish an earthly kingdom, terminate Israel’s enemies, and bring ultimate peace. I am not sure if it was his expectations that made him deny Jesus after he was taken to be crucified. I picture Peter full of fear and a feeling of abandonment; Peter probably felt alone.
So what did he do? He went back fishing. He tried to fill the void by doing what he thought he was destined to do for the rest of his life.
I can’t tell you how many times I have done the wrong thing based on wrong expectations. We react strange when our expectations are taken by surprise. And if you are like me, you probably have said these next words many times: “I didn’t see that coming.”
Obviously, we can’t avoid being taken by surprise in life. As long as we live, we will have many moments that we didn’t see coming. But I think that we will never be able to do what we are supposed to do if we don’t know our purpose.
So here is a thought. Are we living life reacting to everything and anything that comes our way? Or are we confident that God gives us purpose and that no matter the surprises that show up at our door, we know that God is in control?
Peter, along with the disciples had been sent into the world in John 17. But once the sending was in an unexpected way, he reacted in the wrong way and lost purpose.
Wrong expectations lead to wrong actions, and produce bad results.
Even though he was an experienced fisherman, he caught nothing. They tried fishing all night long and caught nothing.
Here is what I love about the story. Early in the morning, Jesus was standing on the shore. He probably saw them struggle trying to fish. Like a Father watches his children throw a fit and waits for them to get over it.
What if all along the way, in our struggle, in our bad reactions, our disappointments, Jesus has always been there waiting for us to turn to him.
Don’t let your expectations drift you from your purpose. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
There is more to the story, but I will finish that later. I just want to leave you with this thought today.
Jesus is watching over you, no matter what you are going through. Lift up your eyes and find him. He is not distant, and He knows what you need. Find your purpose in Christ today.
I don't like going shopping unless I know exactly what I am buying and especially if it involves electronics. But Norma loves it, and she really loves to pull out coupons and get a great deal on whatever she is buying.
I laugh every time they say, "today you saved $40, and here is a coupon for your next visit"
I'm like, "really?" We didn't save a dime, we spent $50!
Truth to be told, stores don't care about what you're looking for as much as they care about what you take with you. They want you to buy something, anything!
So here's my point, each time we gather to worship we are looking for something. But I'm convinced that is not what we are looking for that matters but what we take with us. Unlike the stores, God has something prepared for all of us, and it is exactly what we need. Rejecting what God has to offer is going to cost us. But accepting His free gift of life will save you of many pain and sorrow.
Choose to accept His blessings!