Sunday Morning Message 11-29-20

November 29, 2020

Daily Devotional from J.D. Walt of Seedbed.com

November 25, 2020

On Our Lives as Fishing Stories 

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November 25, 2020

John 21:6-11 (NIV)

6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.

CONSIDER THIS

“Follow me,” he told them in those earliest days, “and I will make you fishers of people.” In a stunning flash of deja vu, Jesus does the miracle of the great catch of fish yet again. He completes the cycle. First century fishermen fished at night because the fish can see the nets in the light of day. No-one catches fish in the daylight—except Jesus. 

No-one turns water into wine—except Jesus. No-one feeds five thousand people with five loaves and two fish—except Jesus. No-one raises a man from the dead after four days in the tomb—except Jesus. And we could do this all day. 

Still, we are so bent on doing our own thing our own way. We love church consultants and missional strategies and worship styles and biblical frameworks and our endless exhausting ideas. We will do it all night long, repeatedly, come up empty and call it faithfulness. When will we finally realize Jesus plus zero equals everything? When will we start with Jesus? When will we humbly renounce our grandiose plans and dare to believe the impracticality of impossible things in Jesus name alone? When will we finally risk our reputation on Jesus alone—which is another way of asking—when will we become fools for his sake? 

We are at the end of the fourth and final Gospel and still fishing and still catching nothing. When will we give up on all our best plans and risk everything on Jesus alone? 

These are the painful questions of holy discontent; the path of the long journey to the end of ourselves—the way of the Cross. That’s the journey where we learn to trade in our love of results for love of people. 

Jesus said it so plainly. “Greater things will you do than these because I go to the Father.” After thirty years on the job, I still believe him, and yet I want to ask, “Jesus, when do we get to do the greater things?” 

Maybe I’ve got thirty years left; maybe only three. Only He knows. I do know this. Whatever time I have left I am going to go all-in and risk it all on Jesus, which means risking it all on loving those he came to save. He’s worth it. They are worth it. After all, at the end of a long night of trying everything you know to do and coming up empty—that’s when he strides onto the shoreline of our lives and turns it all around. 

THE PRAYER

Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who is risen from the dead and ascended at your right hand. Thank you for this great fishing story. That’s what I want you to make of my life—a great fishing story. Come Holy Spirit and bring me to the end of myself, the letting go of all I think I have to offer; where I find the only thing worth offering is Jesus himself. We pray in his name, amen. 

THE QUESTIONS

1. How do you evaluate the investment of the rest of your life in league with Jesus? What would you trade for some real fishing stories? 

2. When they are standing around at your graveside service, what fishing stories would you like them to be telling? 

3. What is the level of your holy discontent these days? Or are you still struggling with being a frustrated malcontent with everyone and everything else? 

For the Awakening, 
J.D. Walt 
Sower-in-Chief 
seedbed.com

P.S. As I am wont to say at the end of a Daily Text series, the Daily Text is free and yet it is quite expensive. This is a wonderful way to support the cause. And please know, I earn no royalties on these books. It all goes back into the mission of sowing for a great awakening! The Daily Text series on the Gospel of John is on PRE-ORDER TODAY. It’ll be regularly priced at $19.95, but for now we are offering a deal as big as the book. Only $9.95 per copy through November 30 (50% off!). At that rate, you can afford to sow them extravagantly.

Sunday Evening Message 11-22-20

November 22, 2020

Sunday Morning Message 11-22-20

November 22, 2020

Sunday Morning Message 11-15-20

November 15, 2020

11-8-20 Sunday Morning Message

November 8, 2020

11-1-20 Sunday Evening Message

November 1, 2020

11-1-20 Sunday Morning Message

November 1, 2020

Seedbed.com, J.D. Walt Devotional

October 27, 2020

You can go to seedbed.com and sign up for these daily devotional. I share this one as an example.

Daily Text

The Reason Our Joy Is Not Complete 

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October 27, 2020

John 15:7-13

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

CONSIDER THIS

Before the kingdom of heaven is a place, it is a people, and before it is a people, it is a person. In fact, there is no such thing as a person apart from other persons. As the African Ubuntu saying goes, “A person is a person because of other people.” Sure, we can be individual human beings in and of ourselves, but to be a real person is another thing altogether. 

More than anywhere else in Scripture, this final discourse in John’s Gospel reveals to us the interrelationships of the persons of the Trinity. There is no Son apart from the Father. There is no Father apart from the Son. And there is no Spirit apart from the Father and the Son. To speak of the interrelatedness of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is to speak of love. This is why John will later declare in his short sermon (a.k.a. 1 John) “God is love” (4:8). 

The kingdom of heaven is the manifest presence of the interrelated persons of the Trinity. For the kingdom of heaven to be upon the earth, the interrelated persons of the Trinity must manifest their presence through the interrelationships of human beings. The kingdom of heaven does not come through a person but through persons. There is simply no such thing as love outside of relationship. 

“On earth as it is in heaven,” must mean only one thing: the love enjoyed between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit moving, manifesting, and infusing itself in and through the interrelationships of human persons to the end of complete joy. Is this not precisely what Jesus says here? 

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

This is how Jesus will pray for us two chapters later in John 17:20-21. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” 

The love of God is the supernatural logic of the kingdom of heaven. Last will be first, the servant will be greatest, down is the way up, smallest seed becomes greatest tree, to give is to receive, losing one’s life means finding it, ask and receive, seek and find, knock and the door opens. 

If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 

THE PRAYER

Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who has revealed to us everything that matters. Grant that our understanding might become our faith and that our faith might become our experience. Lord, we must know your love to share it and yet the more we share the more we know. Come, Holy Spirit, and bring us into this blessed joy. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen. 

THE QUESTIONS

1. What captures your attention in today’s text and reflection? 

2. “A person is a person because of other people.” React to that statement. See the difference between a human being and a real person? 

3. Why would you say our joy is not complete? 

For the Awakening, 
J.D. Walt 
Sower-in-Chief 
seedbed.com

Lectionary Readings Sunday 11-1-20

October 27, 2020

Joshua 3:7-17 and Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37  • Micah 3:5-12 and Psalm 43  • 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13  • Matthew 23:1-12