Formations Lesson for April 25: I Serve a Risen Savior : Friday, April 2, 2004
April 1 2004 by Mike Womble

Formations Lesson for April 25: I Serve a Risen Savior : Friday, April 2, 2004
Friday, April 2, 2004

Formations Lesson for April 25: I Serve a Risen Savior

By Mike Womble
Focal passage: John 21:1-19

As a missionary kid in Nepal during the mid-80s, I have a vivid memory of the abundance of God's grace. One morning as I headed out for my daily chores, my parents were having a discussion about some financial concerns. It seems that our funding source was behind and therefore we felt the impact.

While I rode my bike through streets of Kathmandu, I remember reaching in my pocket and making a huge discovery. Somehow some cash had appeared there; not much, but enough for some fresh fruit and vegetables. It was in U.S. dollars, which was odd because that was something I had not seen for months.

When I told my parents they were stunned and overwhelmed. We chalked it up as a miracle from God. This happened several more times with no reasonable explanation. All I had done was try to fulfill my responsibilities. God had found a way to pour His grace upon our family and bless us beyond our wildest imagination.

In the Bible passage this week, we see a devoted group of disciples who were trying to make sense of their recent experiences of Christ and in the process discovered something about grace and undeserved blessings.

Reality and Abundance

John 21:1-14

Probably as a way to clear his mind, Peter decided to take a fishing trip. The others found that a refreshing idea, and they decided to head off shore for the evening. According to W.M. Thomson, night fishing was the most productive because of the calm wind and glassy seas. Despite optimal fishing conditions, the disciple's efforts were fruitless, or so they thought.

By the time dawn came they were probably exhausted and frustrated. They had nothing to show for their work except sore muscles and sweat-covered skin. When they heard someone shout, "Throw out your nets on the right-hand side of the boat ..." they tried it, hoping the onlooker could see a school of fish from his vantage point.

Jesus knew something about exhaustion and frustration. In the midst of their journey for truth, He offered them hope and renewal. Once the disciples realized who the onlooker was, they rediscovered that the resurrection was real. Their Lord was with them. He even prepared breakfast for them.

The reality of the risen Lord was sure to be a pinnacle moment in their lives. Not only was Christ's presence rediscovered but so was the abundance He gave away to so many during His ministry.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, "My purpose is to give life in all its fullness." In their moment of encountering the risen Lord the disciples also had an experience of abundance beyond their wildest imagination.

Remembering the Call

John 21:15-19

This memorable dialogue between Jesus and Peter is an incredible image of grace beyond imagination. By asking Peter three times, "Do you love me?" Jesus is doing more than showing forgiveness for Peter's denials. He's reminding Peter of his calling.

Just a few years earlier Jesus approached Peter on the same shore and said, "Come be My disciple ..." (Matt 4:18). With the reality of Jesus' resurrection through this dialogue on the shore, Jesus reminds Peter why he was called to be His disciple. Jesus empowers Peter with forgiveness and charges him to complete his calling, even until death.

Experiencing the Risen Christ

What is in your life that brings a feeling of exhaustion and frustration? How did that happen? If Jesus were to shout toward you to throw out your nets on the other side, what would that mean for you? Try something new. You just might be overwhelmed with blessings beyond your wildest imagination.

Peter's conversation with Jesus is a fresh reminder of God's calling for each of us. Sometimes we become so swamped by life's chores that we may forget the calling God has given us. Use this story as a way to renew your calling. Read this passage out loud in a group or individually, then ask: What is your calling and are you fulfilling it? Why or why not?
4/1/2004 11:00:00 PM by Mike Womble | with 0 comments

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