October 6, 2020
John 21:19-23
 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”  Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)  When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”  Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”   Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
New International Version (NIV)
As a fisherman who recently caught fish out at our church’s Pampell Retreat Center, I can verify that fishing often seems easier than following Jesus.  After the resurrection, while they waited for another chance to walk with Jesus, Peter went fishing.  For good or for bad, Peter was a leader.  Six others joined him for a long frustrating night.  They fished but they did not catch.  Then Jesus came, told them where to fish, fed them breakfast and reminded them of their calling. 

Peter Marshall once wrote, “When Jesus calls us, we can never go back to ‘business as usual.’”  Christ’s call consumes us.  He is not a hobby that we return to weekly or periodically.  Jesus Christ is Lord.  Peter who had denied Jesus would have another opportunity to die for Jesus.  Peter’s main work was to follow Jesus through the finish line.

Still, Peter couldn’t help himself.  “What about John who knows that you love him?”  To be clear, Jesus loved all the disciples.  John was so amazed at Christ’s love that it became his identity.  If Peter had to die, what about John.  “Not your business,” Jesus replied.  Each of us has a one to one relationship with Jesus.  We pray for others, but it is not our business to figure out how God will work in their lives.  Our business remains the same.  “Follow me,” Jesus still says.  Fishing may be easier, but following bears fruit that lasts.

Remember the young man at Howard Payne University, diagnosed with cancer, who received a phone call from his University President?  “David, what are you doing today?” asked the head of the university.  “Playing games with God,” he answered.  “That doesn’t sound like you, David.  What game are you playing with God?”  “Follow the Leader,” the young preacher responded.  Two questions for us this Tuesday:  First, who is your Leader?  Second, are we following him now?
Pray with me:         
Father, we are distracted by so many things today.  Help us to get this one thing right today:  enable us to follow close behind our Leader and to be covered with the dust of our Rabbi.  We release others to your care and recognize that what you do with them is not our primary concern.  But today we ask you to empower us to put one foot in front of the other and follow you.  That is all.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:5-6
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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