I was thinking about how so many men and women had their lives transformed in the last month through a spiritual retreat weekend. I have watched this over the last 24 years and I continue to be amazed. I know how it changed my life so I get so excited for others to go and get a glimpse of how much Jesus loves them! After the weekend there are many people "on fire" and ready to serve and see what God wants them to do. Some will do that for the rest of their life. But all of us, at some point, get burned out or do not feel equipped to do what God is asking but we know we have got to do it.
I had been thinking about this when I heard a devotional this morning that I needed to hear. I love how God does that! We were told to go back 2000 years ago and think about if we were the disciples. Jesus told us we were chosen. We are gifted. Even though He knows our every doubt and all our troubles, He chose us! He told us He wants us to bear fruit continually. Fruit that will last - not just one time but continually! John 15: 16-17, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other."
Peter knew he was insufficient. But once he received the Holy Spirit, he helped add 3000 to God's children! If we did that much work in a day we would probably think God would give us a crown and let us retire. But God did not tell us to be fruitful period. God said to be fruitful continually. That meant Peter needed to get up the next morning and keep being about His Father's business. Matthew 28: 19-20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Now, in the year 2020, God knows you. He knows your gifts and your abilities. But He also knows our inadequacies with some things. And we know because the devil loves to tell us we are not good enough. 1 Peter 5: 8, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." But God tells us He has given us everything we need. 2 Peter 1: 3, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." Let's ask God to forgive our doubts, our excuses and our rationalizations. Let's ask God to empower us, shape us and mold us in His Spirit.
Think about what all those 12 disciples did. We are also God's disciples. John 21: 17, "The third time he said to him, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, 'Do you love me?' He said, 'Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.' Jesus said, 'Feed my sheep.'" Think of the ripple effect from the twelve disciples. Think of the ripple effect of your small group, your Sunday school class, your church, your revival, your spiritual retreat, etc. That reaches so many people to teach them about God's love for them. We have been chosen to carry that good news and only you can start your ripple effect! We are not carrying that good news because we've got to but because we GET to! Thanks be to God!