Tuesday, October 7, 2014
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"I want to give you a boat!" Well, that's what Carl announced to me actually. See, he wanted to give it to the youth ministry I was working with at the time. And I was grateful, but I wasn't quite sure what to do with a boat. Carl had this little fishing boat, and honestly it was pretty run down. He couldn't use it because he had had a heart attack. And now he gave it to us to sell and get what we could for it. Well, we were really in a tight time financially, and so I accepted the boat. I asked a boating friend of mine how much it was worth. He said, "Boy, I think you might get $1,000 for it." And that's exactly what Carl said he would have sold it for.
We needed the money, so I recruited this work crew of 20 people, who went down to the Jersey Shore, we scraped off barnacles, we got new bottom paint on it, we scrubbed it, disinfected it, put up new curtains, serviced the engine, did the total makeover on that boat. Look what God did. We sold it for $4,200! Man, did the value of that vessel change when it changed hands!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Changing Hands, Changing Value."
Our word for today from the Word of God is in Luke 5, and I'm going to begin at verse 1. We're reading from an incident from the life of Simon Peter. "One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret with the people crowding around Him and listening to the Word of God, He saw at the water's edge two boats left there by the fishermen who were washing their nets. He 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." Now, later we are told that as Simon went out that he caught the greatest catch of fish he'd ever seen in his life. It was miracle day on Simon's boat.
Now, Simon didn't know this, but this is about to be a crossroads day in his life. Later he's going to know it. In fact it would re-chart the course of the rest of his life. He woke up a fisherman that day; he went to bed a disciple of Jesus. And it all started when his boat changed hands. His vessel was officially out of service that day, not doing much. He'd been out all night, hadn't caught anything, mending his nets, washing his nets, ready to go to bed. It's just another fishing boat as long as it's under Peter's command.
And then Jesus came. What was just a fishing boat suddenly becomes a pulpit for the Son of God. An ordinary vessel becomes a vehicle for God to do His work; to carry His message. You may not have a boat, but you probably have something that Jesus would like to put to work for Him.
I remember when my wife said, "I'm going to offer my camera to the Lord. I don't know what you can do with this, Lord, but you know I'm pretty good with a camera." And she's very gifted. Well, she ended up taking that camera on two mission trips and doing some wonderful media presentations for missions. She did many presentations for our ministry, showing what it meant to be a lost young person, and recruiting a lot of people to help with that. All because one day she said, "It's not my camera. Lord, I don't know what you can do with it, but it's Yours to do what you want." And the Lord did a lot with it!
It's just like that boat we were given. That camera really became more valuable when it changed hands, when it was taken out of her hands and put into the hands of Jesus. What do you have like that? You got a car, or computer, or some skill that you could teach people, maybe a house God could use, an apartment, maybe some recreational equipment? I don't know what it is. Maybe you can't even see how the Lord would ever use it.
I'm pretty sure Peter could never dream how the Lord would use a fishing boat. But the Son of God did wonderful things with that fishing boat, and as a result, even more with Peter's life. Look around you. What is there that you could surrender to Jesus for His use? He wants to make something you have, something you do, a vehicle for His work.
Turn it over to Him. Put it in better hands than yours, and you're going to be amazed at how much it can be worth in the miracle-working hands of Jesus Christ.