Rolling Up Our Sleeves

Never forget “professionals” built the Titanic and an “amateur” built the ark. — G. K. Chesterton


One of the things Jesus is famous for, is asking uncomfortable questions that would cut right through someone’s excuses, and get to the heart of the issue.

The question that always made me squirm is, “What do you want?”

That question always made me stop in my tracks, then ask myself, “What do I really want?”

The Main Thing

One of the main things I found out quickly when I went on staff at a big church, is that almost everyone had a “good idea” of what “the problem” was.

They would call, ask me a question, but rarely did they want to hear my answer.

They already had “the answer” (and usually could hardly wait to tell me what it was) and who should be doing what.

The WHO was usually me, or someone like me.

They just called me to deliver the WHAT.

So, I learned quick…

If I had taken all their great advice, added it to my “To Do List,” there wouldn’t have been enough hours in the day! And frankly, I was already working somewhere between 60 to 80 hours a week, sooooo…

So I knew, when people would start giving me their great ideas, I would take their idea and then say them, “Wow, that is a good idea. When can you start?”

Out would come all the excuses of why, they couldn’t–but, someone else, should!

What is your “Great Idea”?

You’ve got one.

(Everyone does.)

So, if Jesus were to meet you, then ask you, “What do you want?” what would you say?

(Makes you think, huh?)

When God asked me one day, “Got any fish?” (John 21:5)

I squirmed.

I had convinced myself that ministry for me was game-over.

I had gotten very comfortable sitting on the sidelines.

But, one of the things I found out “doing ministry,” is most folks consider themselves unqualified, inexperienced, or inept, when it comes down to the actual doing of ministry.

(I had once thought so, too, until I stepped out to find out.)

Now, was I just making excuses, too?

Is help on the way?

So, here are a few more questions for anyone else who is clinging to the edge of the boat,

  • If you see the problem?
  • If you think you know the solution?
  • If you love Jesus?
  • And say you follow Him?
  • Is your help on the way?

Yeah, walking on water is scary stuff, but…

  • If not now, when?
  • If not here, and now, where?
  • If not you, then who?

Maybe God showed you the problem because you are the answer He’s looking for.

Look, here is where most of us squirm…

When God asks us, “Got any fish?” John 21:5

Most of us attending churches today say, we know the time is short (or we should,) because the signs Jesus told us to watch for are everywhere.

We look at the mess this world is in and we know how crucial the Gospel is.

We don’t really doubt the Harvest is RIPE.

Rolling up MY sleeves

Right now I’m going through the forty day devotional, “The Chosen”.

Today, they were talking about a conversation Jesus had with Simon Peter,

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:18-19

Jesus wanted His Peter (and you) to know that all the power and authority of heaven was behind him.

(He wants you to be assured of that too.)

Just look at the scruffy bunch of misfits Jesus chose to begin this huge mission of liberating the hearts and souls of the whole world.

  • Unlearned, smelly fishermen.
  • A hated tax collector.
  • Beggars and prostitutes with the worst credentials ever!

Jesus used them ALL to advance His Gospel.

And, you think He can’t use YOU?

You have His call:

Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:14-16 KJV

You have His power and authority:

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:16-20 KJV

You have His Spirit within to help you:

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:26-27 KJV

Perhaps it’s time to roll up your sleeves, take your assignment, and get to work.

Never forget, God always has the last word in your life so maybe He’s calling you?

Quoting The Chosen,

… the same power that transformed the unruly fisherman (Peter) is at work in all who believe. Jesus accepts us as we are, but He knows who we’ll become by His power, and He’s making us what we’re not yet.

Can Jesus count on you? Is your help on the way? Is it past time to roll up your sleeves?

“Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said; and none of us dared ask him if he really was the Lord, for we were quite sure of it. Then Jesus went around serving us the bread and fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to us since his return from the dead.

After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others?” “Yes,” Peter replied, “you know I am your friend.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the question: “Simon, son of John, do you really love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I am your friend.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. Once more he asked him, “Simon, son of John, are you even my friend?” Peter was grieved at the way Jesus asked the question this third time. “Lord, you know my heart; you know I am,” he said. Jesus said, “Then feed my little sheep.” John 21:12-17 TLB


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