In the mountains where we live in Southern Brazil there is a large pine tree native to that area. It is very tall and magestic, but instead of dropping pine needles like those I grew up with in Florida, this pine tree drops three pronged branches. They have very sharp points and you have to use a pitchfork or thick gloves to clear them. And they must be cleared from our cow pastures so the cows can get to the grass to eat.
Not one of my children liked the task of clearing the fields or yards of those pine branches! Sam and Wyatt have spent hours gathering them into piles and burning them over the past six years.
But do you know one good thing about those branches? We could break them up and use them for kindling in the wood burning stove during the winter. I can’t tell you how many times I have awakened to the sound of Mark snapping those branches and getting a fire going to warm the house.
Most tasks that require elbow grease are not genuinely fun are they? But all tasks that are done properly usually have a rewarding outcome.
“And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.” Matthew 17:24-27
I love it how Jesus takes care of business in these verses. He does a lot. He proves a point to the tribute collectors, He shows that He is God, and He takes time to teach Peter a very valuable lesson.
He gave Peter a task.
Jesus could have pulled the money from His pocket and performed a miracle, but He didn’t. He sent Peter to do something Peter already knew how to do: Go fishing. But not just dropping nets from the boat! Jesus wanted Peter to use a hook and catch a certain fish, the first fish. Peter was given something to do that would require effort, but also bring GLORY to God.
You and I are no different.
We all have different tasks to perform and jobs to keep us busy here in this world, but ultimately it isn’t about proving how we can work, but how it will glorify God!
Jesus didn’t give Peter something hard to do or something Peter had to study to find out how to perform! Jesus met Peter right where He was at in his life and simply told Peter what He wanted from him.
God has worked in my heart this week about a ministry that I have been praying about and talking to Mark about ever since I felt the first burden about it over 3 years ago. I realized that just talking about it isn’t going to get it done. I am going to have to put my hands to the grindstone once more and go to work.
I heard a preacher say, “There is so much we can do for the Lord around the world, but we need to put ourselves into it.” He is right. God will use the one willing to work and serve.
I have decided that I will make myself available to Him in yet another task. What about you? Is there somewhere or something that God has been nudging you about in your life?
Wonder what He could do through you and me if we would give in and tell Him, “okay, whatever it is, I’ll do it!”?
Let’s do it!
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
READ THE BIBLE THROUGH WITH ME IN 36 WEEKS!
Today’s reading: Genesis 42-43 / I Samuel 26 / Psalm 24 / Matthew 25