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DEVOTION

God Rewards a Step of Faith

By Scott Presson
Contributing Writer

CBN.com -- One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water's edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish." "Master," Simon replied, "we worked hard all last night and didn't catch a thing. But if you say so, we'll try again." And this time their nets were so full they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, "Oh, Lord, please leave me – I'm too much of a sinner to be around you." For he was awestruck by the size of their catch, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, "Don't be afraid! From now on you'll be fishing for people!" And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.

Luke 5: 1-11

Imagine the spectacle. In a small fishing village, this was the highlight of the month . . . forget the day! Family and friends are carrying the sick and lame; others are limping and maybe even crawling on their own. People have already heard of Jesus and are anticipating His words and actions. What would He do next? What would He say? There’s a push as people try to get closer, but they’re nearly at the waters edge. The crowd is hushed, straining to hear his words. Many cannot even see Him. A sick baby is crying. Seagulls are calling and circling the nets. The waves are slapping at an anchored boat.

Look at verse one: "Great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God They came for the Word." They wanted something to fill their thirsty souls. They wanted a word of encouragement. They wanted to know what we have always wanted to know: Does my life have meaning? Will my hopes and dreams really ever happen? Is it too much to ask if I will be happy? And, well, is there a God and does He really love me?

Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water (vs. 3). Even though he didn’t know Him, Simon listened to the Lord and pushed off, but he’s probably asking himself, Who is this man? He must be someone important because everyone wants to hear Him.

This Scripture doesn’t elaborate on what Jesus taught about that day, but we know what He did next.

. . . he said to Simon, "Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish" (vs. 4).

God doesn’t give a little harvest. The output of God never equals the input. In the natural realm, you plant one seed; you get a tree that produces fruit for half a century. You pick an orange and it’s full of seeds. A grape or an apple, the same thing. Every fall the ground is littered with thousands of seeds from acorns to maple trees. In the spiritual realm, it is the same way. God always blesses us above and beyond what we could ever hope or dream of. HE ALWAYS GIVES US MORE THAN WE HAVE GIVEN HIM.

Simon’s obedience to push out and allow Jesus to preach from his boat reaps a tremendous reward! Simon makes a step of faith. At that point, he does say, “We worked hard all last night and didn't catch a thing.” However, by faith Simon says, “If you say so, we'll try again (vs. 5).

His step of faith pays off big time -- their nets were so full they began to tear (vs. 6).

Again, we see the timeless themes of Jesus. Simon did not rebel against God. He did as he was asked.

He was OBEDIENT! He did as the Lord asked.

He stepped out by FAITH! He did as the Lord asked.

His action GLORIFIED the Lord! He did as the Lord asked.

Obedience and Faithfulness always glorify God. The Word says if we faint not, we will reap a reward in due time. Simon was tired and maybe a little puzzled. He certainly didn’t expect that day to catch one of the biggest catches of his life or to walk away from what was probably a profitable fishing venture and end up with a throne in Heaven (Jesus later told him and the other disciples they would be seated on 12 thrones in heaven, judging the 12 tribes of Israel- Matthew 19:28) and eternal life! That’s what I call a pay-off.

You and I are making an investment of time and energy in the Kingdom of God. Sometimes we are taken from our families and homes to do the Lord’s work. As we are obedient to the Lord’s call in our lives, and as we are being faithful to do His will, God will be glorified in our actions. Millions will realize they are not here by chance but by God’s divine will. Millions will come to the realization that, YES, Jesus is real and He does love them and has a plan for their lives. Thirsty souls will receive the water of life that refreshes. The Holy Spirit will comfort and encourage millions, and fill them with understanding as they realize that God will grant them the righteous desires of their hearts. The pay-off for the Kingdom of God and for us will be huge. Millions will be saved. Millions will be delivered. Millions will be healed. Millions will be blessed.

And all you have to do is listen, obey, and do as God directs.

WHY?

Because GOD REWARDS A STEP OF FAITH. Be blessed today.

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