The following is a part of our weekly devotional series, which is a companion to the 2013 Foursquare Life Journal. This week’s Bible reading comes from Jer. 21, 24, 27-34, 37-39 and 45-49; Ps. 67, 74, 79, 105 and 118; John 21; 1 John 1-5; and 2 John 1.
Car horns were blasting, and tires were screeching, as I turned to face the busy street in front of the church. I saw a small dog, seemingly without a care in the world, crossing the busy street. I was glad to see that the pup was not hurt in any way.
My attention turned back to watering the church lawn, when I saw the same pup had come up and was trying to get a drink of the water. The water was flowing from the hose too forcefully for the dog, so he would quickly move away. It was only when I found a container and put some water in it that the pup was able to drink.
The Holy Spirit taught me a lesson that day: That little pup was oblivious to the danger of a busy street. However, the pup knew he was thirsty. He knew where to get water—but there was only a certain way that he could drink.
That little episode took place almost a year ago, but the Holy Spirit reminded me of that lesson today as I read John 21.
The disciple Simon Peter blurted out, “I’m going fishing!” I can identify with his frustration and discouragement that Jesus was not around any longer. For me, personally, when ministry is not going just right or how I think it should, frustration and discouragement “walk right in and sit right down.” I think, though, that the basis of both Simon Peter’s and my frustrations is not that God is not present, but that we are not fully engaged in our mission.
Jesus used the afternoon of fishing to bring the disciples back on track with the mission—reaching the world with the Good News of God’s love. This mission begins with loving those who are not yet part of God’s family and continues with nurturing and loving all who are part of God’s family.
I believe the key is to love people the way Jesus wants us to love them. In order to do that, I believe it will take an intentional effort on our part to discover, with the help of the Holy Spirit, how people need to experience the love of Christ. We dare not assume that what worked for us will work for everyone.
Like the little pup, many people today are living their lives far from Christ’s Living Water and oblivious to the danger they are in. Like the pup that was looking for water, people are searching for something they need. I had what the pup needed—water—which he only could drink from a container. As Christians, we have what people are looking for. If and when they take it will depend on how we try to give it to them.
When we are engaged in the mission, the Holy Spirit will show us how to love—really love—those whose hearts He has turned to God.
By: Frank Saldana, senior pastor of Pecan Valley Family (San Antonio Pecan Valley Foursquare Church) in San Antonio, Texas.
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