Friday, December 18, 2009

Luke #70 – Gift of Grace Shared

Luke #70 – Gift of Grace Shared
“And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, ‘Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’ For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, ‘Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.’ And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him” (Luke 5:7-11 – King James Version).

My dad had a friend named Charlie when we lived in Texas that was a lot of fun to be around. Charlie loved kids and he did a lot of nice things for us. The first time I met Charlie he asked me to come over to his house; “It’s on the lake; you can go fishing,” he said. Well, fishing or no fishing, I didn’t know that fellow very well and I wasn’t too keen on the idea. My dad said, “Go ahead, boy, it’s all right.” Trying to find something that might interest me, Charlie said, “I’ve got a big, pink yacht over there and you can ride it!” Well, now…that changed things dramatically! First off, I liked riding boats and secondly a pink boat was a sight that shouldn’t be passed over. I decided to go.

On the way over to Charlie’s house he stopped at a convenience store. “Do you want a piece of gum?” asked Charlie. “Well, I guess so; thanks,” was my weak reply. I didn’t want to turn down Charlie’s kindness, but I wasn’t (nor am I now) in love with bubble gum. If I had to chew the stuff I wanted Super Bubble. I got a piece and was blowing bubbles pretty good when Charlie came out of the store. I noticed right away that Charlie had one of those large, plastic buckets of gum under his arm. He got into the truck and presented the bucket to me, exclaiming, “It’s all yours!” Though I neither needed nor wanted that much gum, I liked Charlie from that moment on.

We had not been in Texas long, so I was in want of making new friends. I found out that many kids went to the Dairy Queen every day. I went down to that ice cream shop and handed out gum. I made some new friends with that big bucket of Super Bubble. The bonus was that I was making friends with gifts that didn’t cost me a dime. (For the record…Charlie did have a big, pink boat…it was grand!)

When I reread these verses today I remembered good ‘ol Charlie and that story above. The big boat and the chewing gum served to get my attention and from there Charlie and I became good friends. Charlie was always good to me, so I tried my best to respond in kind.

The great catch of fish got Peter’s attention. From there he went on to become well acquainted with the Lord Jesus. How did Jesus first get your attention?

I cannot help but notice that Peter’s first instinct was to share the Lord’s blessing. Peter and his fishing mates “beckoned unto their partners” and both ships were filled with fish. The Lord has blessed us all in some way and many of us in many ways. What have you shared from His benevolent hand? I gave away gum that cost me nothing just as Peter gave away fish that cost him nothing. The Lord Jesus gives us things all the time (even the air of our lungs and the blood in our veins) and I truly believe He intends for us to share. Has God blessed you with money? Share it. Has God blessed you with the abundance to have more things (cars, property, clothes, houses, food, etc) than you have NEED of? Share them. Every thing we have comes by His grace and we have the RESPONSIBILITY to share those things. If Peter had kept all the fish his ship may have sank (verse 7). He gave them away and both boats nearly sank! We are drowning in things! We NEED to give some of them away before they pull us under!

The story with Charlie stops at things, but the truth of Jesus’ giving only begins with things. Christ then called those fellows to become fishers of men. Sure, they would continue to share the things that God gave them, but a higher gifting was at hand. The giving would be better as well as the gifts. Where once Peter had only fish to share, now he would be given the privilege of sharing the message of life (Acts 3:6)!

Do you want to give away something that cost you nothing? Do you want to have the proper response to the grace of God? Share the grace that has been given you! Share liberally for the supply is unending. Share confidently; “fear not,” the Giver will insure the gift! Share often, it cost us nothing and the price (a dear one at that), has been paid! Rather than material gifts that may weigh us down to near sinking, the gift of life in Jesus lifts us up! SHARE IT! Bubble gum will serve to make friends for a moment; the gift of life makes friends that last forever. Share it!

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