Friday, March 25, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: God is still in the business of making miracles!

The Business of Miracles
A devotional by Anthea Kotlan

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."—Luke 5:4-5 (NIV)

I didn't grow up in a Christian home or attend church regularly as a child. However, after becoming a Christian at age 15, I joined a youth group and accepted an invitation to a Christian camp with the other young women.

Upon arrival, I was settling into my cabin and unpacking my suitcase. I realized I had no towel with me for the three-day weekend ahead. I mentioned this to my new friend Tera, and she stunned me with her reaction.

"Here, you can use one of mine."

Such a simple yet generous offer left me standing there stunned. This young lady had met me only minutes earlier, and now she was handing out her possessions to me as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Generosity didn't spend much time at my house growing up. Instead, I knew far too much about scarcity and the need to guard one's possessions and avoid being taken advantage of. However, I knew at that moment there was something in the way Tera lived her life that was completely different.

In the gospel of Luke, Jesus Christ calls his first disciples. While Jesus is teaching on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, he finds fishermen washing their nets after a long night of fishing. They have completed their night shift and are undoubtedly ready to go home. But, instead, Jesus climbs into Simon's boat, continues teaching, and then tells Simon to go back out to fish again.

Simon might have felt frustrated by Jesus's request. What did Jesus, a teacher, know about fishing?

Simon wants to make sure that no one misses the truth. He doesn't think this is a good idea. He reminds Jesus that they have caught nothing all night. But Simon's worldview was about to be changed forever when he accepted Jesus's invitation.

My worldview was also transformed all those years ago at camp by the generosity of one sister in Christ. She would become one of many women who discipled me with their words and actions. I was newly following Jesus and seeing my whole world turn upside down. The Lord knew what I needed. I gained the use of a towel and a lifetime of friendship.

Simon did as Jesus asked. He sailed out into the deep waters, and Luke 5:6-11 tells us a miraculous fish catch happened next. Those freshly washed nets even broke, thanks to the abundance of the haul. Other boats had to come and assist. Everyone saw the overflowing generosity of God and how Jesus was in the business of miracles and had the power to defy the laws of nature.

This moment changed the trajectory of Simon's life. Jesus told him, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”(Matthew 4:19 ESV)

Simon would be catching souls for life in Christ. He would no longer need those broken nets due to the abundance that Jesus offered him. He was ready to leave them behind and follow Christ as a disciple.

How has Jesus invited you to experience transformation? Is He calling you into doing something that doesn't make sense in the natural? Is He asking you to trust Him in a new way? Cast that net out! Don't miss out on a transformational invitation to so much more than you can imagine.

Let's Pray:
Lord, thank you that you always make abundant provision for us when you call us to follow you as a disciple. Help us to see all the ways you are doing this every day. Help us accept your invitations and directives so that we don't miss out on all You are doing. We long to be in step with You by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus's Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Born in the highlands of Scotland, Anthea Kotlan made her way to Texas as a third grader.

After studying the new language at length and mimicking the Houston locals, she found ways to blend in. Years later she floated down the San Marcos River, attended Journalism classes, and completed an undergraduate degree in in Journalism.

After getting married to Bill, she completed a graduate degree in English at Texas A&M. Ever the multitasker, she had two daughters and carried one of them into her graduation ceremony hidden under her billowing graduation gown.

Over the years she has served as a women’s ministry leader in several churches, spoken at women’s events, taught college freshmen English, lead various Bible studies and writes whenever she can on her blog.

Anthea makes her home in Conroe with her husband Bill, a bi-vocational priest and engineer, and spends all the time she can with her two grandchildren, Ian Michael and Margaret Yael.

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