The Kitchen Table Devotions
The Game of Life Day 18
And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4
We don’t really know what we’re made of until we “put out into the deep” and find out what we really believe. Anyone can say all sorts of things from the shore. As long as our feet can feel the land, we don’t really have to believe what we say we believe. This experience on the deep waters helps us to deal with our false beliefs and shape our true beliefs. Anyone can have an opinion about fishing from a boat or even with a bobber but only those who “go” fishing know what it’s all about and what it takes to fish.
Finding our vocation in life that satisfies us in life will require “putting out into the deep”. Our values shape our vocation. Values do that and for Peter, he found out what valuing the word of God can do to fuel and fulfill our lives. Who we believe determines what we believe and what we believe determines how we behave. We discover what we truly believe on the deep waters of life. It’s not about being foolish, it’s about having faith in the One who is true. When we know the truth, we can face the test or the things that test our fortitude. Our future is not determined by what others say but by what Jesus says. That day on the water in front of everyone after a night of failure, Peter trusted Jesus to go back onto the deep waters and fish again. It was on that day, the third time he had been with Jesus, that Peter found his calling in life and for life. It was the day he found the One he could trust and obey.
The Kitchen Table Devotions
The Game of Life Day 17
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, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 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
I’m always amazed at how Jesus doesn’t give up on His plans and promises for us. This is the third time Jesus has encountered Peter, James, and John. The boys were there on the shore washing their nets. They had worked all night and had nothing to show for it. They were preparing for the next outing. At this moment Jesus is ready to fish and they are washing their nets. There is nothing wrong with preparing but don’t let preparing be all you do. The church is notorious for preparing but seldom fishing.
Look and listen for Jesus. He doesn’t give up on us. He has something He wants to do for us and through us and it will be both amazing and fulfilling. If we’re looking and listening for Him, He will get into our boat and show us His powerful passion and purpose. Two things must happen 1. We must be willing to put our boat back in the water. 2. We must be willing to let Jesus get into our boat with us.
If we are willing to surrender our time and treasures to Him, He will prepare us and take us to walk and work with Him. Keep looking and listening for Jesus. He makes life fulfilling.
Kitchen Table Devotions
The Game of Life Day 16
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, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets Luke 5:1-2
A lot of people spend their time and days wondering what they should do or should have done with their lives. Some even spend years wondering what God wants them to do with their lives. They spend their lives looking for that “one” thing rather than looking for the One who can prepare them for many things. The Bible tells us to “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Think about that, the God of the universe wants you to be happy in life, with life, and for life.
I think there are a lot of mundane Christians and mundane churches because there are a lot of mundane choices in life. This story in Luke is so good because it says that people were pressing in on him (Jesus) in order to hear the word of God. The word of God will prepare us to find and live a life of purpose, passion, and power. When a person has those things working for him, he can do a lot of other things. Knowing what to do in life begins with knowing who to listen to in life. Learn to delight yourself in the Lord, His word and His will and God will prepare you for the work of a lifetime, I don’t care what do. God’s word and will are beautiful, giving us a greater hope and heart for life.
Kitchen Table Devotional
The Game of Life Day 15
But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:49
This is a big game with big consequences. We can blame others for our troubles but we’re the ones who must live in those troubles. Some of these decisions we make in life can last far beyond the life we live. The prophet Jeremiah reminded the people of God of this truth over and over. (Jeremiah 16:11-13) We only have on shot at living this life, chose to live it well. There is judgment woven into life. We reap what we sow! Judgment might be built into this life, but judgment doesn’t have to build this life.
The one who hears the word of God but doesn’t honor the word of God is in trouble. Jesus called this man a foolish builder. Jesus said that these people build their homes on sand and a home can stand on sand for a while until the tides and storms of life move the sand. There are tides and storms in life. Build well by choosing well.
This is a big life with big consequences, choose well, chose what is good and right and true. Paul writes, “Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:8-11 ) Believing is choosing! What or who are you choosing to believe?
The Kitchen Table Devotions
The Game of Life Day 14
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock Luke 6:46-48
There’s a place in Proverbs that says, 1 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5)
Jesus said that the wise man digs deep and builds on the rock, on what is true and sure. Listen, this life is our responsibility and how we build our house, or our life is of our own volition. Anyone who wants to build their life on the truth will have to dig deep. They will draw close to God. There’s a place in Hebrews 7 where God says, Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25) Don’t just believe, know what and why we believe and then we will truly believe and know God. We must choose to draw near to God. The Bible says Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded James 4:7-8 Dig deep and know God!
Kitchen Table Devotions
The Game of Life Day 13
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. Luke 6:46-48
There’s a verse in Isaiah 59:18 that says, “According to their deeds, so will He repay.” Jeremiah also wrote, “your ways and your deeds have brought this upon you.” (Jer 4:18) Later Jeremiah writes, “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jer 17:10”
We are responsible for what we do with our lives. Those who believe in God build their houses or their lives on His word. We build according to what we believe. We can’t hide that. We can make excuses and we can blame others and if we allow the devil to give us a reprobate mind, we can boast in what we are building. Here’s the deal, we get to choose. That’s how God works. God gives us this freedom and so we must build wisely, and we must pay attention to where we build too. We can’t build a strong house on shifting sand, it won’t stand the times and troubles of life. There are laws in nature that cannot be denied. God no longer moves on man in wrath, Jesus took that for us. But we cannot deny the laws of nature. We reap what we sow, and we can’t hide what we have built. It is the fruit of our deeds. What we build becomes the fruit of what we believe. It’s our life and it’s our choice but it’s also our home. Chose wisely.
Kitchen Table Devotions
The Game of Life Day 12
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock Luke 6:46-48.
We are responsible for the house or life we build in this life. Remember that and don’t let someone else determine what is built. We will be the ones who are judged by and for what we each have built. Don’t get mad, that’s just the way it is in this life. Have you ever noticed that Jesus never really delved into a person’s history to determine the future of their lives? He just meets us where we are and gives us the choice to go forward with Him. There is no blaming others for what we’ve built, we are responsible, there’s only believing now for what we want to build.
We build the life we want to live even though many of us would deny that reality. Reality is that many people build to belong to that neighborhood with those neighbors rather than to be with God and be in His will. Everyone wants a beach home! The desire to belong interferes with the job to build. We must be honest about why we are building where we are building. We must be honest about why we’re building where we’re building what we’re building. Dishonesty decays and destroys the foundation of our lives, our homes. Dishonesty with God, ourselves, and others makes for bad decisions. Jesus wants to know why we call Him Lord and don’t look, listen, or live for Him. We must be astute, or we will find ourselves in a great place but with no place to live. Look at, listen to, and live for Jesus.
The Game of Life Day 11
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
There’s another word that we need to understand before we head out the door, volition. Volition is a decision or choice made by the will. Here’s what we need to understand. No one else is responsible for our decisions other than us. We are and will be responsible for the decision we make in life. The life we are living right now is the one we have chosen.
Each on of us is responsible for the choices and decisions we make along the way. And the truth is that our trust is in what or who we trust and even that is our choice. We all get to chose who or what we trust and turn to in life. God gave us that privilege and He gave us His word to chose for our lives. That has always been the case with God in this life. He wants us to chose Him and He chose us and demonstrated His love for us so that we might believe in and chose Him as our source of truth to trust.
Jesus basically asks, “Why do lie?” Why do we call Him Lord and not do what He tells us? Well, it’s a faith and trust issue but it’s something we all do along the way. And until we get honest with ourselves, we are going to struggle with being responsible for the lives we choose of our own volition. Each of us is building a house or a life of our own volition and because we don’t know everything, we must choose who we are going to believe and trust. Remember, it’s our choice, be honest about it and choose wisely!
The Game of Life Day 10
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
How we look at this life will determine how we live this life. Jesus ends this conversation with two visions for this life. One is a vision of a man who builds his life on God’s word and builds a life that can stand the times and troubles of this life. The other vision is of a man who does not build his life according to God’s word. The times and troubles of this life leave that life destroyed. Once again, the difference is what we treasure in our hearts. God’s word lets us stand at God’s window on life. That is what we need in this life is a vision on this life. Some of us need a vision of what will be and others of us need a vision, maybe, of what is or what will be if we do not make a change. Those who treasure and trust God’s word do not have to use their time looking at disaster or defeat. Those who hear and honor God’s word can talk and think about what is good, God, and possible. Those who do not hear, and honor God’s word are left talking and thinking about what and why of life’s problems. Do not let anyone take God’s word from your heart! His word is His window on life and with it you have a vision for life and in life.
The Game of Life Day 9
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-45
Vision for many people is about following someone else and living by someone else’s values. Vision for the believer is about following Jesus and choosing to live in His values for themselves. The Bible says that God has plans for us. (Jer 29:11; Eph 1:5) And when the Bible talks about “hope”, it’s talking about having plans, having a vision. In fact, love creates hope that inspires faith. A believer has hope and a vision, not only for their own life but for the lives around them and the lives that will follow them. To live without a vision for life is to live selfishly.
There are good trees and bad trees, and we won’t find good fruit on bad trees. To eat bad fruit is to believe a bad lie and to live with bad vision. We eat bad fruit and participate in destructive things because we do not have a vision or hope for anything better. Start eating good fruit and you will get a vision for what is good. The Bible says that those who live on God’s word (a good word) will be able to see the difference between what is good and what is bad. Jesus said that a good person lives from a good heart. What is in the heart? In our heart is where we find what we value and what we value is what we talk about and live for in tis life.