Editor’s Note: Today’s AMI Quiet Time is provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Church in San Diego.
Devotional Thought for Today
“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. 7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
“Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” – Jesus Christ
Some years ago, a group of men from church dedicated an entire Saturday fishing for…fish. More than 20 men put on their lucky shirt, lucky hat, lucky whatever, and rented out a good-sized boat with all of the proper equipment, along with a professional crew cast off from the shores of Newport Beach. Given that the entirety of the catch would belong to the church family, we anticipated a delicious seafood dinner that evening upon our return. After spending hours and hours deep sea fishing, we returned with a handful of mackerels (fish you can catch on a pier any time). That was a sad day for the men.
We really could have used Jesus that afternoon showing up and telling us to cast our reels on the other side, and then find ourselves fighting to reel in yellowtail tunas. Wouldn’t that have been nice?
Of course, this story in John 21 is more than just a fishing story. It’s a reminder to the disciples that from the very beginning, they were called to be fishers of men. But it was also a reminder that their fishing excursion could only be successful with Jesus and never without Him.
I’m not sure how often you actually name and pray for someone who is unchurched or dechurched, but at Kairos, we’re on a great prayer experiment. We are committing a few moments before our staff meetings, ministry leaders’ meetings, small groups, etc., to name and pray for people who are disconnected from our Lord. (It’s not as easy as you might think since it’s a totally new practice.) We figure at least two things will happen as we embark on this new habit of prayer. One, God will answer our prayer and bring salvation to those we are praying for. Two, God will cultivate our church’s heart to care more genuinely for the unsaved.
“Catching fish” has not been easy for us in the past. Of course there were some each year, and we praise the Lord for even one. But John 21 paints a picture that when we fish WITH Jesus, miraculous catches are nearby. We have spent lots of time training for evangelism, reading about evangelism, learning apologetics to answer the skeptics, and devising strategies: ALL good things. But we figured that it might just be easier if we fished with Jesus. And perhaps the reason we haven’t seen many saved is simply because we haven’t actually asked God to save them. So now we are praying—praying more often than ever before for the unchurched and unsaved.
Prayer: Dear God, this morning I pray for __________________ (name an unsaved person(s) whom you can potentially have spiritual conversations with). I pray that You would open up his/her heart to You. Grant to me the courage to share about You and Your love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Lunch Break Study
Read Eph. 6:18-20: And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Questions to Consider
- What is the main topic of these three verses?
- What are the things that Paul is directing the Ephesian believers to pray for?
- How can you apply these words in your own life?
- Paul repeatedly uses the word “prayer” in these closing sentences of Ephesians. Clearly, Paul understood the role of prayer in preaching the gospel.
- Paul directs the church to pray on all occasions for all of God’s people. He particularly asks for prayer on his behalf to fearlessly preach the gospel. It’s difficult to imagine that the great Apostle Paul struggled with fear, but for many of us who fear preaching Christ, the victory comes through prayer.
- Perhaps you can pray for your pastors.
Who are some people that God has placed in your life so that you are better positioned to engage in a spiritual conversation? Spend some time praying for him/her and asking for boldness to share the gospel.