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SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES
Inspirational sayings beginning on Monday April 27 through Saturday May 2, 2020
Sunday, April 26, 2020
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “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 21:1-3
A moment of realization happened to the disciples after a long night of unsuccessful fishing. They made the decision to go fishing in order to redirect their energy from being distressed by the recent developments. In the aftermath of the resurrection where they were convinced that Jesus was raised from the dead, they were at a loss for processing what this means for them and what they are to do now. When life altering circumstances change your reality, you have to decide what you are going to do. The disciples were confronted with a choice about what to do and the suggestion was made that they go back to doing what they used to do, something familiar to them to lessen the sense of anxiety, fear and helplessness they were experiencing.
Remember what Thomas Edison said, when your efforts seem to fail, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
We live trying to fill up the emptiness only to find our efforts fail and our attempts do not yield the desired results. Yet, there is something in us that says, "hold on, don't give up, don't give in, and don't give out, just hold on."
Consider when you have had to confront a life altering situation/s to get beyond your circumstance by resorting to what you were accustomed to doing to lessen the stress and strain of what you were experiencing and still did not achieve what you desired.
Monday, April 27, 2020
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. John 21:4-6
Imagine being asked about the choice you have made to alleviate your anxiety whether it is working or not. How's what you doing working for you? Imagine being asked have you accomplished what you intended to get through the adversity you were facing? Honestly, the disciples responded truthfully. No we haven't. We find ourselves like the disciples in that situation realizing that what we have decided to do has not accomplished what we wanted our efforts to produce. We have not been able to make of our lives, our communities, our cities, states, or nation or world what we wanted them all to be. And that is when we hear a word that directs us to make our effort/s productive rather than an exercise in futility. "Cast your nets on the right side." When you look in the wrong place you do not get a right result. The most fascinating feature of this verse is that they did not know who it was who asked them the question and gave the advice, but they followed what they were told anyway. Their obedience preceded their recognition and led to a positive result. Just maybe the Lord has come to you unknown at first but in following what has been said yields a benefit that is astounding.
Consider when you have been redirected by responding to the question "have your efforts yielded the result you were seeking or has your expenditure of energy been fruitful?" and you changed directions that produced a positive outcome.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. John 21:7
Realization comes as result of following the directive you have been given even when in doubt about the reality of the presence from whom the advice is given.
Albert Schweitzer so eloquently makes this conclusion in his book, The Quest for the Historical Jesus (1910; New York: Macmillan Co., 1961, p. 403): "He comes to us as one unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lake-side, he came to those men who knew him not. He speaks to us in the same word: "Follow thou me!" and sets us to the tasks which he has to fulfill for our time. He commands. And to those who obey him whether they be wise of simple, he will reveal himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they will pass through in his fellowship, and, as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience who he is."
Consider how in your ignorance of the reality of the presence of the Lord in your life, you have been guided through the variety of changes which have led to the realization that "It is the Lord," who has been present all of the time making a way out of no way, steering you through all of life's changing scenes.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. John 21:8-9
Did you notice that in these verses, Jesus took care of every need they had? They were laboring ineffectively for fish and Jesus directed them to where their efforts would yield a fruitful result. Additionally, when they arrived on the shore, Jesus had prepared for them what they desired after toiling all night without any success. Jesus gave them more than they imagined, abundantly and overflowing, overwhelming them with what was done. They were weary and cold from a night on the lake and Jesus had a fire prepared to warm and comfort them. Bear in mind, someone puts it this way, our need is the evidence of God's supply in waiting. When we lack, the Lord has our supply! The Lord is able to meet the need of people, Phil. 4:19. "And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
Consider when the Lord has made provisions for you bringing you to the realization that there is no need that you have that the Lord has not already made preparations to supply. (The Lord supplies assurance for adversity, belief for bewilderment, courage for circumstances, confidence in crisis, consolation in calamity, direction in difficulty, grace for guilt, mercy for mistakes, opportunity in obstacles, strength in situations, solace for sorrow, etc.)
Thursday, April 30, 2020
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish but even with so many the net was not torn. John 21:10-11
The Lord invites us to bring what we have been permitted to acquire from following the directives of the Lord to share with one another as he has shared with us. There is a basic attitude about life and living that finds expression in the world. There is the notion that what is yours is mine and I will take it. What is mine is mine and I going to keep it. What is mine is yours and I will share it. It has been said that we do not suffer from a lack of resources but from a lack of human will to do what we can do. Our nets are full and are not broken as we have been given what we have received because of following the directives of the Lord. We all have something we have been given, something that can be added to what is needed to make of life what is has the possibility of becoming.
Consider what you have received when following the directives of the Lord that has been given to you in abundance, enough for you and some to share.
Friday, May 1, 2020
12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. John 21:12
There comes a time when the a single moment of realization becomes so real that you dare not question anything. The Lord is made known to us in the particularity of the predicaments of our lives. It is in the concrete experiences of our existence that we interpret our awareness and perceptions of the reality we experience that shape our understanding, beliefs and faith. Imagine being made unequivocally, convincingly clear in a circumstance or circumstances about the reality of the Lord's presence in your life without a doubt to the extent that all you could do is acknowledge that you know as the disciples "this is the Lord."
Consider an unequivocal, convincingly clear circumstance/s in which you knew beyond a shadow of doubt you could say "this is the Lord."
Saturday, May 2, 2020
13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. John 21:13
The bible as the testimony of witnesses who experience the reality of the presence of the Lord in their lives makes it clear that the Lord is present to us in all of life's changing scenes and seasons and that the Lord continues to make the Lord's self known throughout the length, breath and width of our lives. This attests to the patience the Lord has with us knowing that we have to have moments and more moments to come to the realization that the Lord is present to us. Jesus came to his disciples according to this gospel a third time. There is an idiom which says, "the third time is a charm." The Judeo Christian heritage references the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, as a way of understanding the reality of the Lord's presence continuing to be with us from the beginning of existence to the end of existence in concrete, discernable and specific ways. Jesus captures the essence of this reality.
Consider at least three moments of realization that you were convinced that the Lord was unequivocally present to you.