Monday, December 9, 2013

The gift of the fish (Luke 5: 6,7)

When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. (Luke 5:6, 7 NASB)

I've always thought that Jesus gave the great haul of fish to impress Simon and recruit him as a disciple, or maybe to show who was actually Lord of the Catch. This morning, however, as I looked over this passage, two words come to mind. "Pressed down". It's a reference to a verse in Luke 6. We will visit this verse again, but I wanted a quick preview today. 

 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure-pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." (Luke 6:38 NASB)

Here's what happened. Peter was both obedient and generous with what God had placed in his hand (boat, employees, nets, time). He had a nevertheless faith and an obedient heart. He gave freely. He never once said he was tired. He never even mentioned that two word source of downfall to many of us, "NO", to Jesus. In response, Jesus did a miracle that simply demonstrated the way God works. He is immensely generous to us. There is no way to out give God. The fish in that boat, however, suggests it would be fun to try. 

Simon gave freely to Jesus that morning, and without any limits.  Jesus gave back to Simon with that same measure, freely and without limit. In fact, Jesus gave back so much that two boatloads of fish could not contain it. 

The Christmas season is a mixed-up hodgepodge of giving to friends and family, shopping frantically, and leaving Jesus until last. We would do well to pause, be still, and direct our generosity toward Christ and His desires first. I'm not suggesting we leave out those we love. I'm suggesting we focus our attention on Jesus during the celebration of His birth. Look for opportunities to give to Him. There is no telling what He will do in response!

Today, freely give the burden of your loved ones to Jesus. Just let Him have them. He knows your weariness and is eager to take control of the situation. Let Him.