Tuesday, December 4, 2018
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We were having a fabulous time sailing across Long Island Sound on a large sailboat. The sky was blue with little puffy white clouds, there was a warm, steady breeze moving us along and the kids were making memories. As for me, the sun and the water had me feeling like totally relaxed, or collapsed maybe. Suddenly, Dave, our skipper and host, said, "We're heading into the harbor." Everything in me wanted to scream, "Whaaattt? Why? Why would we do that?" But I didn't. It was his boat. It was his right to do what he wanted with it of course. By the way, he had heard a little static in the radio, but that told this veteran sailor that bad weather was on the way. I can't believe it! Sure enough, just as we sailed into the harbor, the skies opened up with a really nasty storm.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Whose Stuff Do You Have?"
Once upon a time there was another sailor, a professional fisherman, who was ready to go tie up his boat for the day. His name was Simon Peter. He had just had possibly the worst night of his fishing career; he fished all night and literally did not bring back a single fish.
The story continues in our word for today from the Word of God in Luke 5, beginning with verse 3. The Bible says, "(Jesus) got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then He sat down and taught the people from the boat." OK, it's Simon's boat. But Simon lets it be Jesus' boat that day to be His floating pulpit. But then the plot thickens. Jesus tells Simon to "...put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch." Okay, now if you haven't caught anything all night, how in the world are you going to catch anything at noon? Besides, Simon's just finished the tedious, yucky job of cleaning his nets. Why would he want to get them dirty again?
"Simon answered, 'Master, we've worked hard all night and we haven't caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.'" Again, it's Simon's boat, but Simon lets Jesus do what He wants to do with it. Why? Because of a life-changing principle of God's Word and of following Jesus. Jesus has the right to command anything we have for His purposes.
On Palm Sunday, He sent two of His men into the city to find a colt that had never been ridden. His instructions were to simply tell the owner, "The Lord needs it." That colt became part of the great celebration of the Kingship of Jesus Christ because someone recognized Jesus' right to command anything we have for His purposes. Even a little boy knew that when Jesus asks for your lunch, you give it to Him. When he did, that lunch became the miracle that fed 5,000 people.
So whose house is that you live in? Whose vehicle is that you drive? If the word "Lord" means anything, it means that what you have is owned by Jesus, on loan to you. Whose talent is that you have? Whose body is that to decide what's done with it? Your Bible says your body is nothing less than the "...temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20) which means you don't do anything with your body that would degrade or dishonor it. Here's a tough one. Whose child is that in your home? Samuel's mother, Hannah, knew. She said of this baby she had yearned for so long, "For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord." (1 Samuel 1:28) God made our children. God gave us our children. They are His, on loan to us. Should God call a son or daughter of yours into His service, don't make the mistake of standing in their way.
The consistent pattern in Scripture is that when Jesus commands the use of something that we have for His purposes, He does so much more with it than we ever could. So what is there that He's loaned to you that you've been holding on tightly as if it were yours. That's called hijacking; taking from the owner what belongs to them, to be used for what you want instead of what they want. Surrender it all to Him. He died for you. He gave His life for you. He has a right to everything you have. And you can be sure that someone who loved you enough to die for you will never do you wrong.