CALLED BUT SCARED

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The Church is very important to God and God takes everyone He has specifically called into ministry serious regardless of their fears! Many times people who has been specially called by God give up because they got afraid! At some point Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.”
They told him, “We are also coming with you.” They immediately went out, and entered into the boat. That night, they caught nothing (John 21:2-4). While they were there, Jesus came looking for them and specifically for Peter!
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You can imagine that! Simon Peter went back to business because that was what he thought as the only thing he could do! Peter was supposedly broke during the death of Jesus (I just think so), he had no money on him and that was why Jesus didn’t ask him to take care of His mother, He asked John to do that instead. No wonder Peter said to the man in Acts “silver and gold I have none” he didn’t say “we have none…” Because John might probably have but he had none at that moment.
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I am trying to picture how Jesus came into their midst, with love in His eyes and beaming smile all over His face! I am sure He walked in like a very concerned father! The same people He had referred to as “brothers” before His death, He called them “Children” knowing they needed Him as a father at this time, He manifested as God the father! Children could get afraid, children could give up anytime especially when there is no physical assurance of their parents! That God has called a man doesn’t mean the man has matured! Calling doesn’t mature a believer like a thunder bolt! It was with these difficulties they were experiencing that they started getting trained for maturity. Jesus therefore said to them, “Children, have you anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” They cast it therefore, and now they weren’t able to draw it in for the multitude of fish (John 21:5-6). Jesus was concerned inasmuch as they had all given up! He didn’t come blaming them and cursing them for giving up! He came with care and assurance. He showed them once again like He did before “I am able to make you! I am able to keep you!” They got fish, a lot of them and they also got food to eat. They needed that assurance…
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A lot of Pastors have given up on Jesus because they got broke in the process, they have all gone back to business because they seem to have lost all. One terrible thing is that as people decide to give up on the vision God has given them, they are influencing other persons following them to also give up! Peter said to other disciples that he is going back to fishing, he didn’t ask them to follow him! But come to think of it, if Peter was giving up, what would be the fate of others? Was it not the same Peter that Jesus said He will build His Church upon the revelation he had? They all followed after Peter’s decision. A lot of believers are carrying the destiny of others in their hands and their decisions can strongly affect that of others. Imagine if Kenneth Haggin gave up, imagine if Reinhard Bonkee gave up! Imagine if Pastor Chris Oyahkilome gave up! Imagine if all the men doing great things in the world today even after they are gone gave up, I wonder what will happen to a lot of destinies depending on them! Peter’s decision influenced others too and all the disciples went back to business!
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Jesus came anyway because He cared for them as much as He cares for the Church which they will all be instrumental to! Jesus had called them specifically for the cause of the Church and Jesus just wouldn’t allow them mind their businesses. Before now Jesus would always come and go and Peter must have felt this whole thing was over for him. He must have wanted Jesus to be there as close as He used to be (Jesus was there all the time, he was yet to realize that) and he must felt so guilty denying Jesus! For him, it was just over! But Jesus wasn’t giving up on Peter either.
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So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you have affection for me?” Peter was grieved because he asked him the third time, “Do you have affection for me?” He said to him, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I have affection for you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Most certainly I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you, and carry you where you don’t want to go.” (John 21:15-18) When Jesus said “do you love me more than these?” I am sure Jesus was saying “do you love me more than these business? More than the pleasures? More than the comforts of life?” And by asking those questions Jesus was also saying “Peter, I want you to love me and only then can you feed, tend my sheep… Leave your business and face mine! This is why I have called you.”
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Yes, Peter wasn’t sure if he loved Jesus that much and so he wasn’t answering the questions Jesus asked. He rather answered questions with questions but Jesus wasn’t giving up on Peter who had lost passion and desire perhaps due to fear, brokenness and all of that! This tells us that the Church is more important to Jesus more than anything else.
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Again we also see that we are all called into ministry but Jesus specifically calls certain people for a greater purpose of the Church! We are called to reach out to the world but some are specially called to reach out to believers who are in the kingdom. Jesus carefully selects those who are to be Pastors and other Ministers with whom He perfects the Church. When Jesus said He will build His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail, He was to do it with the ministers He has called for the Church. Yes, every believer have a role to play, every believer wins souls therefore bringing the blocks but the Pastors, Evangelists, Prophets and so on are putting these blocks in the right places and the body of Christ is being built into a magnificent edifice!
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The Church is worthy of every sacrifice put into it! Jesus showed Peter he would become successful as a fisher but there is something greater that is worth sacrificing his career of fishing! He didn’t start telling Peter “it will be okay…” He was rather telling Peter “nothing is else is worth it… Do you love me in the sense that you can give up on your quest for money and focus on building the Church?” No wonder Jesus said concerning the revelation of Peter saying “upon this rock I’ll build my Church!”
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It doesn’t matter how much you were beaten! Peter was there looking at Jesus been beaten, he had lost hope! If Jesus was beaten and killed without doing anything how much more him? No wonder he denied Jesus! Jesus is patient, He knew Peter would shake strong but didn’t give up on Peter! Jesus calls people into ministry regardless of their fears but He also builds them up as much as they allow Him! That you don’t have a strong heart doesn’t disqualify you if God has called you, Peter was afraid! Yes, he experienced the miracles but at point he got afraid and gave up, causing other disciples to also give up! But Jesus came looking for Peter again just the same way He is looking for people who had given up! No wonder, after that encounter they were willing to wait at the upper room till they are filled with the Holy Spirit! They were willing to just live for Jesus afterwards.
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Maybe it never went as smooth as you thought, maybe you became broke and it became tougher! Maybe those nations God already told you you would conquer with the gospel seem to be closed on you and you start thinking maybe God just changed His mind about using you! Maybe you betrayed Jesus as much as Peter did and you felt God has looked away from you! Hold on a second, Jesus isn’t giving up on you yet!
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God is aware of the toughness but He wants to build you with that toughness so you can build capacity, loose flare for things that doesn’t matter and manage those resources well when they come! Same Peter who became scared and weak got strengthened afterwards! No wonder after they got filled with the Holy Spirit, this same Peter stood and spoke boldly to 3000 men not counting women and children and they all gave their hearts to Jesus. Using the same Peter who was tired and afraid, Jesus began the very foundation of the Church! Peter became the first winner of souls with the gospel of Jesus!
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I think Church leaders have a lot to learn from Jesus! Often times we ignore the weak hearted because we are afraid they would do less! At a slightest sign of lack of commitment we write them off and say “he is not fit!” Oh well, maybe he isn’t fit but Jesus doesn’t call people because they are fit, He makes those He call fit for the calling! Just like Jesus sowed a seed of revival in the heart of Peter with words, we can also call certain persons we feel are giving up in their commitments and talk to them with love just as Jesus talked to Peter. By asking Peter to take care of His sheep regardless of the fear and brokenness, Jesus was saying to Peter “I know you are afraid and weak but I still believe in you, I still believe in your greatness! Just trust me to use you as much as I want to!”
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Are you giving up because you’re afraid and broke? Are you giving up because you have checked and saw no means of carrying out that vision God gave you? Are you tired because you tried and it seemed it wasn’t working? Don’t give up now, don’t decide to just go face your business and leave all these stuffs! It is in this toughness that Jesus wants to build you up so that you become a wonderful edifice! I believe God has spoken to someone today! Why not cry out to God now and tell Him “Lord, I trust you again! Lord, I am available again!” It is much easier for you to stay strong because then Peter never had the Holy Spirit but you do! The Holy Spirit in you is the Spirit of Jesus in you and He keeps bearing witness to your soul that He will never leave you nor forsake you!
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Blessings!
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#GracefulGeorge