“On Your Mark”
Devotion, Trust and Obedience (Chapter 1 Verses 14-20)
Their call was to enter into intensive training first. The work is catching men, this necessitates faith, trust, with regards to themselves and any future ministry. It means a life-time course in discipleship, sitting at the Master’s feet and learning day by day (Matthew 11.25-30). That of course is something we all, as Christians ought to be engaged in. We sometimes speak of quiet times, but you know you can have a quiet time without the Lord, you can spend time being quiet and it does you no spiritual benefit at all. A time of devotion, with prayer (speaking to God), singing God’s praise, reading God’s word, and perhaps using some good Bible notes, and a time of supplication and prayer, perhaps even followed by a few pages of a good, solid Christian book, would be much better. Just devoting one hour each day to the Lord, it would amaze you how much you can accomplish, and learn from the Lord Jesus.
It meant trusting the Lord for their future ministry (2Corinthians 12.9). In the parallel account in Luke chapter five, we see a mighty miracle performed. What is the purpose of it? As Peter and the others listen to Jesus and do what he says, in spite of what they know about fishing, times, depth of water and so on, as they take the Lord at his word, they are successful, they bring in a mighty harvest. They must learn to have confidence in the word of God, to do what Christ tells them to do, even though it seems foolish to both them, and the world (1Corinthians 1.18-23). It is God’s power, he will bless faithfulness to his word, he has promised to bless nothing else (1Corinthians 1.9; 1Thessalonians 5.24).
They for their part of course must prove to be faithful to what has been entrusted to them, the precious mysteries of Christ (1Corinthians 4.2). It is the souls of people they, we, are dealing with. Therefore the Church in any generation cannot afford to tamper with the treasure given us. If the gospel is a ‘saving’ message, that means there is something to be saved from, sin, in all its ugliness and depravity (Jeremiah 17.9), God’s holy anger, wrath because of that sin (John 3.36; Romans 1.18; Romans 2.5). It is not a game we are playing, it’s serious. If we tamper with that message, if we alter it one degree either way, leave out repentance because we don’t want to upset people, or fail to speak of God’s judgment, because we would rather apologize for it. Then we are in danger. To be faithful is to proclaim all of God’s word (Acts 20.27).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)