Summary: This is one fish story that's true! It shows how we shouldn't limit God's meeting our needs. It affirms our special place as Sons of God and Jesus Himself models how to avoid offending people when unnecessary. Obedience brings blessings!
4. "What? We've both been fishing all of our lives, and our fathers before us, yet I've never heard of anyone catching taxes. No wonder you were sneaking along! Next time I need some taxes, I’ll come have you catch me some! Ha Ha! See you later Peter!"
5. I've talked to a lot of professional fisherman and none of them has ever caught a fish with money in it. It had to be a miracle!
C. LESSONS OF THIS MIRACLE
1. Fact: Peter must catch it -- this encourages industry and endeavor. God doesn't hand everything to us on a silver platter!
2. The fish came up with money in its mouth:
a. There’s a Reward for Obedience.
b. Tax for two. Because Peter did the work of fishing, he therefore got his part/shared in it. God provides for the needs of those who work for Him.
3. Christ could have commanded a BAG of money to be in the fish’s mouth, as easily as a coin of it. This teaches us not to covet, but to be content with our present condition.
D. ILLUSTRATION: Gratitude
1. In regions of Mexico, hot springs and cold springs are found side by side, and because of the convenience of this natural phenomenon the women often bring their laundry.
2. They boil their clothes in the hot springs, and then rinse them in the cold springs.
3. A tourist watching this procedure commented to his Mexican guide: "They must think Mother Nature is generous to freely supply such ample, clean hot and cold water."
4. The guide replied, "No, Senor, there is much grumbling because she supplies no soap!"
5. Let’s be grateful for God’s blessings, whether great or small. God’s methods of provision may be mysterious, but they’re not accidental!
A. ILLUSTRATION: Big Fish Story
1. Jimmy Smith developed an interest in foreign missions while attending Houston Baptist University. After learning of his interest, 2 missionaries invited him to visit their work in Guatemala.
2. Money was very tight, so Jimmy and his wife knew the trip would be impossible unless God intervened. Several weeks later, Jimmy went fishing with a deacon in his church named Gene Alexander.
3. They talked about an upcoming fishing tournament and the $20,000 prize for a particular fish. The deacon knew of Smith's (Jimmy’s) desire to visit Guatemala and promised him $5000 for the trip if he caught the fish.
4. Upon learning of the contest and promise, Mrs. Smith logged it in her prayer journal and began talking to God.
5. Then on the day of the tournament, Gene Alexander reeled in the $20,000 fish as his first catch of the day. Officials speculated the odds of landing that fish as his first catch were one in 6.8 billion.
6. Jimmy Smith and his wife made the trip and God confirmed His call on their lives. They later returned to Guatemala and served there as foreign missionaries!
7. What God can do with one fish!
B. THE CALL
1. Don't limit God's ways of providing.
2. We can expect God to take care of our needs.
3. We should be careful not to offend.
4. Recognize that you’re a Son of God. Walk by faith.
5. Blessings come with obedience. Be content.