Center of Hope Devotion – October 8, 2020

Dear Friends,

"Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch." — Luke 5:4

We learn from this verse and the story from which it appears of the necessity of human agency. The catch of fishes was miraculous, yet neither the fisherman, nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but all were used to catch the fishes. So it is in the saving of souls, God works by similar means. God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save those that believe. When God works without instruments or human agency, doubtless He is glorified; but He has chosen to use the plan of human agency as the means by which He is most magnified in the earth. Means in and of themselves are an utter fail, look at the response: "Master, we have toiled all the night and have caught nothing."

What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen working within their special calling? These were not unskilled workers; they understood the work. Had they gone about the task unskillfully? No. Had they lacked industry? No, they had worked, and catching fish is hard work. Had they lacked perseverance? No, they had toiled all night. Was there a deficiency of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in mass.

What, then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the means of themselves apart from the presence of Jesus? "Without Him we can do nothing." But with Christ we can do all things. Christ’s presence enables success. Jesus sat in Peter’s boat, and His will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the net.

When Jesus is lifted up in His Church, His presence is the Church’s power—the shout of a king is in the midst of her. "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me."

Thought for the day: Let us go out on our work of soul fishing, looking up in faith, and around us without fear or anxiety. Let us toil till night comes, for we will not labor in vain, for He who bids us let down the net, will fill it with fish.

Anchored in Hope,

Pastor Phil Johnson