Retreat! In His Word 10-2-17

In His Word 10-2-17
There was a time when I would number these weekly devotional articles, then after a while I started dating them only. Who cares how many I write it is the content that is important, right?

30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. 
John 20:30-31

While reading in His Word today I read John 20 and 21 I realized that Jesus gave the disciples the perfect retreat.  
In Chapter 20: Jesus appears to the group and shows Himself to be real to Thomas, as well as the rest of them. He goes on to tell them why He had to die and in verses 30-31, John states the purpose of his book. His purpose was to convince the readers of Jesus being the Christ, the Messiah who came to seek and to save the lost. So this portion of Jesus’ retreat is the ‘get to know God and gain eternal life’ portion.
He goes on to take them breakfast by the sea! What a greater place to enjoy time with Jesus? He showed himself to a few of the guys who had been with Him in his time as man. He spoke to their hearts and their bellies by inviting them to breakfast on the beach, but not before He gave them a blessing of a catch by telling them not to give up but to try another way.
Sometimes we think we have to do things the way we always have done them; but God says “put down the nets on the other side of the boat” but it does not stop there because then He fills our nets with so much that it is hard to pull it ashore! We can feel overwhelmed with the goodness of God at these times; times of refreshing and renewal can become heavy if we try to hold it all ourselves.  

Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.
 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.
At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
 Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.
 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.
 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. 14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
John 21:3-10

When we long to get to Jesus, yet we have responsibilities and blessings that are weights to us we often may want to do like Peter did and strip down and dive in to get there sooner! Either way, the lugging the fish to shore or the swimming in worked for Jesus in John 21:7-11.

Peter gets to shore then goes and helps to drag in the nets anyway and they bring fish to Jesus to fry for them.

Jesus already had the fish.

 It was frying in the pan but he told them to bring their fish as well. He knows our needs.  This is where He feeds their body. He then brings restoration to Peter’s repentant heart and strengthens him in his desire to love Jesus with all his heart. John 15: 17-20 Jesus responds to Peter’s cry that he does love Jesus with a direct order of service for him to get into. He specifically tells him that he needs to get on it and get the job going to feed his sheep; Peter needed to get moving on sharing the life story of Jesus and the purpose of Salvation coming to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles.  He had to love on everyone who was there to here of Jesus and to become followers of ‘the Way’. He had to give them the Truth, and the Life; eternal life comes only from the name of Jesus. Peter was given his commission to serve Christ Jesus in this mighty way. He received this commission on the beach, while he and his friends and coworkers sat there listening as Jesus spoke to them all, he was singled out.  
When we go on a retreat we are not there just for the fun times, but for the focus times! We are there to take specific time out to listen to the Holy Spirit, to find the Way, the Truth and the Life for ourselves.
I have been on quite a number of ‘retreats’ in my Christian lifetime and find that the beach is one place I love to meet with Him. I think my ideal retreat would have a beach camp fire to sit around in the morning, that we could sit there and read the Word, and pray as the waves wash in and pull back out. There is a peacefulness in the morning by the ocean, or bay, that can draw us ‘to think on these things,’ instead of the worries and troubles that seem to load us up during our work weeks. Life can be heavy, we can be loaded down with a ton of fish; family, work, desire to do it all. Yet when Jesus calls to us to come sit with me on the beach and we can eat that food I just provided for you to bring in we want to jump in the water and come to be with Him.

Peter wanted to forget about the troubles of the fishing boat that was moving too slow and get to Jesus fast! He wanted to apologize, no doubt, for denying Him as He said he would do. He wanted to love on Jesus and probably had a lot to talk to Him about as well. I know I would have had a ton of questions.
Sometimes we just need to get to that spot where we can sit and talk with Him; other times we have to pull the load in first. The good news is that everyone was fed!
Even those who had to row the boat in, and pull the net to shore were fed both physically and spiritually. Jesus did not leave before feeding them both ways.

When we have a pile of laundry to do, or a pile of people to drop off to school, or work itself before we can get to that T.A.W.G. time we are longing for it can feel like we will never get there in time. The good news is that He is there waiting for you and I to finish the work that we started.
He also knows that there are times when we will toss caution to the wind and swim to Him!
Think for a moment about a time when you worked so hard to get to Jesus, then when things just seemed to be going way too slow you dropped everything and got alone with Him.
-          Did you struggle to get there? 
-          Did you embrace Him with your whole heart?
-          Did you listen with your spirit to hear His still small voice?
-          Was it so worth the swim?
I do not think I can walk on a beach after the vision of this scripture; seeing Jesus sitting at the fire on the beach fish frying and just enjoying his buddies; without feeling His presence.
Sometimes we cannot get away to a beach, but we can find our beach wherever we are, at any moment. Jesus is there waiting; He is calling to you. “Bring the fish that you caught and we will eat!”
Bring your work to Him, and He will feed your soul.
Are you ready to have your soul retreat today?
1-Start in the Word – seek the Lord while He may be found. He is all over the Bible!
2- Sit for a moment or two and just think about the things you just read; seek Him for guidance, direction and love on Him.
3- Begin to thank Him; in psalm and song, in word and prayer worship the Lord.
4- Listen for that still small voice speaking to your heart and mind, and know that it is Him!
Then feed His sheep!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for meeting with us and giving us a daily retreat time with You. Give us each day our daily Word that we may indeed be fed and come away refreshed and renewed in the spirit, in Jesus name, amen

Read some more: John 20:1-31, John 21:1-25, Mark 4:1-41 and Mark 9:1-50