I’ve been having lots of conversations recently about who God is and how he is so passionately into relationships rooted in unfathomable love. I think most of us need to be constantly ‘rebooted’ and have updated experiences of the love of the Father that sets our hearts on fire. A presence that moves us to tears because of his goodness and kindness, a power that arrests us and is beyond our comprehension and understanding…. but that transforms our thinking and living; and a passion that gets our hearts racing 🙂

That’s what happened with the first disciples….

When Jesus called Peter and John they were cleaning fishing nets after a fruitless night of toil on Galilee…. He asked to use their boat to speak to the crowd who were gathering and they complied. Many of our experiences of God and Jesus would have ended there – another talk, come back next week. Instead, after speaking, Jesus asks the guys in the boat to go out and cast their nets again. Being seasoned fishermen they knew that it was ludicrous to fish in shallow water during daylight…. but after initially protesting Peter and friends did what Jesus asked – because I guess they discerned something different about him…. even if they couldn’t quite put their finger on what it was.

Well, imagine their surprise when the nets were filled to breaking point with silver fish and the catch almost sunk their boats! I think Jesus just wanted to bless them because they had allowed him to use their boat and he realized they were tired, probably economically challenged and somewhat discouraged. He never intended them to follow him on the basis of theoretical teaching or concepts of God…. He came to reveal a personal, loving, real, and generous God… who loves each of us… steps into our boats…. and encourages us to trust him in the most counter-intuitive actions….

The result of the huge catch of fish broke Simon… who fell at Jesus’ feet begging him to leave because he, Simon, was a sinner and not worthy etc…. Jesus didn’t say anything about sin, or rebellion, or disobedience…. That’s often where the church’s focus is…. change behaviour, keep the rules… strive to love a God you don’t see and never experience… it’s aweful! No, the love and presence of Jesus moved Simon, and when he saw what Jesus could do his whole world began to shift…. and he knew deep down that his life was about to be changed forever….. Later he would respond to a question about leaving Jesus by saying…. “Where else can we go, when you speak I come alive….”

That’s the message I want to continue to grow in and explore, experience, and live from….. As one song says… “I don’t want to talk about Jesus as if he were not in the room…..!” He’s with you right now…. why not thank him for his love and whatever your circumstance ask him to give you a fresh experience in your heart and life of his goodness, love, and generosity for you…. today – so that you know that you know it is him.

Here’s a cool music video to get you going….. For God’s sake don’t confine him to the box of your mind…. Invite him to lead you through your heart and the mind will catch up…. and be renewed in the process. You’ll discover he is kind, fun, adores you with a greater depth than you or I can comprehend… and he likes you and wants to share his life and joy, his power and presence with you…. now…. in relationship… not religion – hallelujah!

John Cox

Christian Author

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