Pause for Thought

Sunday 5th May: Easter 3: John 21: 1-14

Later, by the Sea of Tiberius, Jesus again revealed Himself to the disciples. He made Himself known in this way:  Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.  Simon Peter told them, “I am going fishing.” “We will go with you,” they said. So they went out and got into the boat, but caught nothing that night. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not recognize that it was Jesus.  So He called out to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” “No,” they answered. He told them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it there, and they were unable to haul it in because of the great number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it) and jumped into the sea.  The other disciples came ashore in the boat. They dragged in the net full of fish, for they were not far from land, only about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus told them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”  So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many, the net was not torn.  “Come, have breakfast,” Jesus said to them. None of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” They knew it was the Lord.  Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after He was raised from the dead. ………

The disciples were still wondering what they would do following the incredible events in Jerusalem, and so they returned to what they used to do, and went fishing – with little success.  Jesus then appeared on the shore and called to them to put their nets out on the right side of the boat and it miraculously caught lots of fish – at which stage they realised that it was Jesus calling them.  God talks to us and calls us in many ways and in unexpected places, and it is sometimes difficult to recognise his voice – but he perseveres as he wants us to hear him and to follow where he is leading. 

Do you feel that God is calling you to do something – perhaps something you are reluctant to undertake?  Have courage, as he never asks us to do anything without providing us with whatever we need for the job;  so step out in faith, knowing that he will be there with you the whole time and you may well discover unexpected results from your actions.

 

Sunday 12th May: Easter 4: John 10: 22-39

At that time the Feast of Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple courts in Solomon’s Colonnade.  So the Jews gathered around Him and demanded, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  “I already told you,” Jesus replied, “but you did not believe. The works I do in My Father’s name testify on My behalf.  But because you are not My sheep, you refuse to believe.  My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand.  My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.”

Jesus answers the queries of the leaders who are trying to trip him up so they can accuse him and get rid of him.  Jesus tells them that those who believe in him follow him and do what he calls them to do.  Those who do not believe, do not hear his voice so don’t know where he is leading. Jesus’ important message is that those who believe in him are loved by God and no-one can take them away from him. 

Sometimes we feel that life is hard and we are left floundering with no help around – but God is with us, even more in the difficult days.  He is there to let you know you are loved and cared for, and  he want s to help you to do whatever you are called to do.  Just ask – and though the problems may not instantly disappear, you will find ways of dealing with them – with God’s help. 

 

19th May: Easter 5: John 13: 31-35

………Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify the Son in Himself—and will glorify Him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little while longer. You will look for Me, and as I said to the Jews, so now I say to you: ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus' important instruction to us is to ‘love one another’.   It is often easier to dislike or even hate than to love …  but we are called to love, including loving ourselves!  Even with the many differences between us, it is still possible to accept these as areas in which we may not agree, but still we can ‘love’ each other – look out for each other, help each other when times get tough.

People are often there for us when we need them, and so we too should be ready to step out of our comfort zone and offer help when we can see it is needed. Do you know anyone who is needing help at the moment?  A smile? A phone call?  A visit?  

 

Sunday 26th May:  Easter 6: John 14: 23-29

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words. The word that you hear is not My own, but it is from the Father who sent Me. All this I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.  Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. You heard Me say, ‘I am going away, and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe.

 Jesus wants his disciples to know that although he is leaving them, he is giving them something precious that will help them in their work – his peace.  God’s peace is something deep-seated within us and we are only aware of it when we are trying to do what he calls us to do.  However hard, whatever challenges we meet, deep down inside us His peace is with us at all times. 

Sometimes we get a gut feeling that we really are doing what is right, even though we cannot see how things will work out.  Jesus promised us his peace – and it is ours for the asking.   If you are feeling anxious and concerned – ask God to help you.  The worries may still be there, but he can and will give you an inner feeling of strength and security – and peace – to help you.




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