No Turning Back – This Year

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John 21:7
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.

I can’t help it. When I read this verse I picture a scene from Forrest Gump. Forrest is on his shrimp boat when he sees his hero, friend, mentor, and leader on the dock—Lieutenant Dan. Remember that? And without hesitation, Forrest just jumps off his moving boat and swims to Lieutenant Dan. To me, that is an amazing, touching scene. A man was so overwhelmed by the presence of his leader, that without thinking, he jumped into the water with reckless abandon.

Was Peter much different? John barely gets the words out, “It is the Lord,” and Peter is off the boat and swimming to shore. It’s beautiful! He was alone, dejected, and feeling regret, but then there was a turning point for Peter: Jesus! He can’t get to Jesus fast enough. When I read this verse, I feel so much excitement and empathy for Peter.

John 21:8
The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore.

What a simple verse this is, but I find it almost comical. Who among us hasn’t sped by someone in our vehicle only to be stopped at the next light and have that person pull up right next to us? It is kind of humbling and humiliating, right? Where’s our patience? I can totally imagine the other disciples in the boat watching Peter swim for 100 yards, wondering why he isn’t in the boat helping them. What they didn’t fully understand was how life-changing that swim was for Peter—more on that in a bit.

John 21:9-12
9 When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. 10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. 12 “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.

That’s right, Jesus was on the shore preparing breakfast. Think about that. The savior of the world, the resurrected King, the son of God was making breakfast! Throughout the Bible, we consistently read about Jesus serving others and making people feel welcomed. I imagine it is exactly the situation that Peter (who had just denied Jesus three times) needed.

My friends, this is the turning point for Peter. This is that moment when Peter changed from fisherman to “rock.” Peter dedicated his life to Jesus and transformed into a full-time evangelist. Peter jumped into that water and swam toward Jesus—and he never looked back! I pray for that kind of peace and purpose for all of us.

Questions:
What are some of the ways you could move toward God this year?

How might you be able to serve others before you serve yourself?

Next Steps:
2021 is upon us. It is a start to a new year. Develop a plan and establish goals on how you might be more purposeful in moving toward God in 2021.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the examples you have given us. Help us to put these words and messages into action. Use us to make change. Show us how capable we are, and give us the courage, faith, and strength to follow through. It’s not easy to deny ourselves, so we pray that your example may inspire us to impact your kingdom in a supernatural way. Amen.


This post was written by Mike Bilik. Mike is a father to 3 amazing daughters and one awesome son. Spare time is rare, but given the opportunity, you are likely to find him with friends hiking, hunting, or fishing.


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2 replies
  1. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    He jumped out of the boat and swam to shore, never looking back. Either you’re all in, or you’re out. Jesus is, or he isn’t. Half measures avail us nothing. I’m all in! Thanks for writing today Mike.

  2. Andrea Odendahl
    Andrea Odendahl says:

    Well… From this day forward, I will always have a visual for John 21:7. I love it! Thanks, Mike. You are a talented writer.

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