Today’s guest post is by Poncho Lowder, a college pastor at City Bible Church, cofounder of the Bible and Journal App Company, and author of Pursue God: How Do You Develop a Thriving Relationship with God?, which, for a limited time, you can get for only 99 cents!
For many people, Easter is the one day they set aside each year to be with Jesus. Some people are bothered by this fact, but I’m inspired and motivated by this! My hope is that this one encounter could catapult them into a deep relationship with Jesus like what happened to Peter in Luke 5. This one encounter stirred up a new passion in Peter; so much so that he chose to walk away from everything to follow and serve Jesus.
One encounter with Jesus can change your life
The story goes that Peter and his crew had just finished a long night of fishing. A fisherman by trade, Peter had experienced an exceptionally bad night. They had caught nothing and undoubtedly, he was exhausted. It was most likely shaping up to be one day he’d rather just forget about. We’ve all had days like this, where we fail to be productive and nothing seems to go as planned. But sometimes, even amidst these failures, Jesus intervenes.
Luke tells the story like this:
“On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat” (Luke 5:1–3).
One can only imagine Peter’s frustration at Jesus’ request. He’d just finished an unproductive night of fishing and was most likely ready to go home. Now, he not only had to sit through a sermon, but Jesus had the audacity to tell him to go fishing again! “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch,” Jesus said after he finished preaching. In this moment, Peter had to choose between heading home and getting some sleep like a rational man after a hard day’s work or responding to Jesus’ request. He chose to respond.
“Simon answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets’” (Luke 5:5).
This response led Peter to a supernatural experience. The nets that had been empty all night began to burst at the seams because the catch was so large. Not only was his net full, but his friends’ boat was overflowing as well! This natural catch of fish opened his spiritual eyes to the supernatural reality of who Jesus was. It was this one experience that caused him to leave everything and pursue God!
“But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’ For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.’ And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him” (Luke 5:8–11).
Immediately, Peter was awakened to who Jesus was and also his own flaws. He saw himself as unworthy, but Jesus pulled him closer and proclaimed purpose and destiny over his life. Imagine witnessing such a miracle and then being told that you would do even greater things! Jesus awakened Peter to the plan he had for his life.
It’s up to you: invite someone to Easter Sunday
Jesus wants to do this for you, your neighbors, friends, and enemies! This is what I’m hoping for as people step into church for the first time this year for Easter Sunday. I’m inviting everyone I can to church Easter Sunday. I pray that they have an encounter with Jesus that leads them into deep water, and ultimately causes them to pursue God wholeheartedly.
Take some time today and ask God if there is anyone in your life that you should be inviting to church Easter weekend. Read Luke 5 and let your faith be stirred for the people God puts on your heart. Unsaved people are very open to going to church on Easter if invited by someone they know. Let’s not pass up on this awesome opportunity we have to introduce people to Jesus!
Today’s guest post is by Poncho Lowder, a college pastor at City Bible Church, cofounder of the Bible and Journal App Company, and author of Pursue God: How Do You Develop a Thriving Relationship with God?, which, for a limited time, you can get for only 99 cents! For many people, Easter is the one day they set aside […]