Summary: Have you failed or fallen in ministry? God wants you to review, renew and rest in your calling.
WHAT IS YOUR CALLING?
Two Kentucky horse racing stable owners had developed a keen rivalry. Each spring they both entered a horse in a local race. One of them thought that having a professional rider might give his horse an edge in the race, so he hired a hot-shot jockey. Well, the day of the race finally came, and as usual, their two horses were leading the race right down to the last fence. But that final fence was too much for both of the horses. Both of them fell, and both riders were thrown. But that didn’t stop the professional jockey. He remounted quickly and easily won the race. When he got back to the stable, he found the horse owner fuming with rage. He really didn’t understand his behavior, because he had won the race. So the jockey asked, “What’s the matter with you? I won the race, didn’t I?” The red-faced owner nodded, “Oh, yes, you won the race. But you won it on the wrong horse!”
That jockey had the best of intentions. He intended to win the race. But he became distracted from the task. He made a bad decision. Ultimately, he failed in what he was trying to do. You know, often times we wind up doing the same thing in our walk with Jesus. We start out strong with the best of intentions. However, at some point we become distracted and loose our way. At times like this it is important to go back to the beginning and remember how you came to faith and what Jesus has called you to. This was true of Peter:
John 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs ." 16 Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." 17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
1. REVIEWING Your Calling – vs. 1-6
It is important to every so often remind yourself of your calling. This means going back in your mind to the point when God saved you and called you to follow and serve Him. Peter and the other disciples were discouraged. They were waiting for Jesus to appear and they were growing impatient. They began to look back on the good old days of their lives before things became so complicated and frankly who can blame them. The days when there was a daily routine that could be counted on, were there was security of knowing what was next and the satisfaction of running their own lives.
John 21:1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. 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.
Peter was having one of those days and he says in verse 3 “ I’m going out to fish.” The Greek word used here is HUPAGO and can be used to mean I RETIRE. Some authors feel that these words were an indication that Peter was ready to quit preaching and go back to what he knew best, fishing.
The details of what happened next are very similar to when Peter was first called into ministry. Both occurred on the Sea of Galilee, both times Peter couldn’t catch a thing, both times Jesus told him to throw his nets into the water and both times there is a miraculous catch. As we go through life it is important to take time regularly and go back to where it all began.