Closing The Gap

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Closing The Gap

 

 

 

Hello everyone and thank you so much for joining me today. My name is Roderick caesar the third on the lead pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica queens new york and I’m so excited that you decided to join me for the full gospel hour. Right here on global seven my prayers that you will be blessed. You’ll be encouraged and inspired by this message. Thank you so much for joining and God bless. Thank you for your goodness. Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you that you love us lower and above and beyond. We can think fathom and imagine you love us. Thank you God that you go to great lengths to bring us back to you. Yeah, thank you for your love. Thank you for the love of God! Yeah, we serve a good guy and I’m grateful for his love, grateful for the fact that he takes us in, cleanses us and makes us new if he doesn’t give up on us. The overwhelming, never ending reckless love of God amen he is jealous for me. He loves like a hurricane and I am a tree bending beneath the weight of his wind and glory and and all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory and I realized just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me and all. Oh how he loves us. So sing! Oh how he loves us. Oh how he loves us, so sing! Oh how he loves singing, Oh how he loves us, oh how he, oh how he loves us. Oh how he loves us. Softly listening together softly, just saying he loves us Sing, say he loves us. Oh how he loves Oh how he loves us here. Uh sing it again. Oh one more time sing. He loves us all. He loved Okay. He loved Oh how he loves us. He loves us. Oh how he loves us. Oh how he loves. Thank you Lord for your love. Thank you for your goodness. Thank you for your grace. Thank you God that you see us, thank you God that you are with us. That we can feel the weight of your glory and not be consumed. God thank you father for your love and affection towards us for us. It’s overwhelming, cannot fathom it, but we are grateful and we love you in return. Thank you Lord, thank you Lord. Mm We’re in this, this season of looking at what has happened in the life of jesus, in the gospels after the resurrection of christ we realized that he’s made appearances too, the disciples at various times made appearances too many other people. And in the book of John Chapter 21, we’re going to take a look at another one of these appearances John chapter 21 vs one through 14 Tyler today’s sermon is closing the gap, closing the gap so grateful for the love of God that closed the gap between us and himself. If you if you’re reading you can turn to your bible so you can just follow along with the screen, John chapter 21 vs one through 14 and this is uh let’s just read it. After this, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the sea of Tiberias and he revealed himself in this way Simon Peter thomas called the twin Nathaniel of Canaan of galilee, the sons of Zeb buddy and the two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, I am going fishing and they said to him, we will go with you. And they went out and got into the boat. But that night they caught nothing just as day was breaking, jesus stood on the shore. Yet the disciples did not know that it was, jesus, Jesus said to them Children, do you have any fish? They answered him No, he said to them cast the nets to the right side of the boat and you will find some, so they cast it and now they were not able to haul it in because of the quantity of fish. The disciple that jesus loved, therefore said to Peter, it is the Lord when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment for he was stripped for work and threw himself into the sea for uh threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came onto the boat, came in the boat dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from land, but about 100 yards off. When they got onto land they saw a charcoal fire in place with the fish laid out on it and bread and jesus said to them, bring out bring some of the fish that you have caught. So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore full of large fish, 153 of them, and although there were so many, the net was not torn, jesus said to them come and have breakfast now none of the disciples dared to ask him, who are you for. They knew it was the Lord jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them and so with the fish, this was now the third time that jesus was revealed to his disciples after he was raised from the dead, closing the gap. Dear God, I thank you so much for this time, I thank you for who you are, I thank you for who you have called us to be. I thank you Lord, that uh as you have continued to show us to show yourself mighty and strong that you would be glorified in this message that you would be glorified as we speak, glorified as I share and that you will just do what only you can do in the lives of your people. I pray that we would be drawn closer to you uh in this word and in this time and in this service and that you would have your way. I pray that as the word goes forth, Father, that changes would be made in the lives of people and that you would uh just be glorified throughout this message. In this day we thank you, we praise you, we give you glory. We ask these things in jesus name. We pray Amen Amen. And a man, today’s message, as I’ve said, is called closing the gap. Closing the gap, the space between where you are and where you need to be the space between where you are and where jesus is. There’s many gaps that are in our lives, gaps that we are aware of, gaps that we are unaware of. But I think it’s important that we close the gaps that we close both, but specifically the ones that we can do something about and specifically as it pertains to our relationship with God. Uh in closing the gap, the gap is a space between one uh people, a space between things, a space avoid that can be filled, a void that can a gap that can be closed. Uh and we realized that jesus always does his part to fill the gap between us and him, Always 100% of the time. He always does his part. He did his part. He said it is finished why he’s got no more, no more work to do, he did it, he did all that needed to be done and the spirit is here active living, moving, working, convicting, convicting us of sin, drawing us closer, drawing us to repentance. So there’s consistent effort on God’s part to close the gap. But what about us? There is a responsibility that we have. If God does 90% and we do 10 own 100% of our 10, Take 100% of our step that we must take to close the gap. The text says that after jesus, after this, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples. The text that we looked at last week with thomas and how uh what we what we realized is that thomas had to deal with his doubt and he was doubting the fact that if jesus really alive, oh, I don’t know, uh if he’s alive, I’m not going to believe it until I see him and place my hands in his wounds. And Jesus shows up and gives thomas exactly what he asked for. And thomas then believes, then says, oh yes, you’re alive, yes, I’m believing now. And Jesus says, look, it’s wonderful that you believe when you see me but blessed are those that believe who don’t, that’s us blessed are those who believe that we’ll never have the opportunity to see me in the flesh that that is us and after this happened after thomas’s doubt is dispelled and after he now rises up and says, okay now, I believe after this happens after Jesus reveals himself, it vanishes again and the text says that after this moment, he reveals himself to the disciples by the sea of Tiberias and this is how it happened. He revealed himself in this way, we realized that Peter was there thomas the same, same thomas who said I’m not going to believe unless I see him, that thomas, you talked about him last week, he was there, Nathaniel was there, uh the Sons of Liberty, that’s James and john and two of the other disciples were together and Simon says to the group, hey guys, I’m going fishing, they all say that’s not a bad idea, let’s go, we’ll go with you, they go out into that into that boat. And what we realize is that, that the first verse says after this, Jesus revealed himself to the disciples by the sea of Tiberias. After jesus resurrection, he revealed himself to the disciples in many different ways, uh at many different times, I should say in many different instances. So we see the woman going to the tomb and uh realizing that jesus isn’t there, they see him and think that he’s the gardener and then he says, no, it’s me, go tell my brothers tell them that I’m here, tell them that I’m alive, that’s jesus revealing himself to the women that were at the tomb, they leave and go spread the word and say, hey jesus is arisen, he’s alive and we saw him, his tomb is empty, his body is gone, Peter and john get up from their table where they’re hearing this and they can’t believe it, they run a mad dash to the tomb, they they they get to the tomb, john gets there first but doesn’t go in, peter uh they, they end up looking and seeing that jesus body is not there, it’s not there. And then Jesus then shows himself again to the disciples while they’re eating and shows himself again to the disciples While there, those two disciples we talked about that are on the road to Amelia’s, he reveals himself time and time again and then when thomas missed out on, on jesus showing up, so he reveals himself again, shows up when thomas is there and now we see their fishing and he decides to show up yet again in the lives of the disciples, Jesus didn’t just come back from the dead and say hey I’m here, let’s resume with business as usual, we’re gonna go to this town and I’m gonna do some miracle’s gonna heal, some people are gonna go to this town and you guys can be my disciples again and we’ll get the gang back together. No, no, no, he didn’t resume with business as usual because the mission was accomplished, he says it is finished, so notice when he resurrected, he didn’t just say hey let’s go to everybody, let’s go hang out, let’s go, you know uh continue because he knew that he was not staying notice when he reveals himself to the women and I believe it was uh Martha from, I’m not mistaken who clung to him. He said don’t clung to me because I haven’t yet ascended to the father, I’m not staying here so don’t hold onto me so tightly. So I believe that the goal was different. The mission was different and the dynamic of relationship between the disciples and Jesus had shifted. The dynamic of relationship between Jesus and the disciples had changed not for the better. It wasn’t a bad change, it was just different and you have to operate differently because Jesus is now resurrected. All the power is he’s got the power complete nothing is withheld from him. And he’s not staying. It’s not a part of the plane he says what I have to depart so that the helper can come. He knew that, look, I’m not always going to be with the disciples, I’m not always going to be with him. And he told them this that another helper would come, John Chapter 14, he promises the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you love me and keep my commandments, I will ask the father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever. Even the spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him for he dwells with you and will be in you. So Jesus says, look, I’m going to ask the father for this, this helper to come, Why would this help? I need to be here. If jesus would always be there because jesus knew look, I’m not gonna look, I have got a time where I’m gonna be here for and that time is coming up, it’s coming up so I’m not going to be here always. So he shows up, reveals himself and draws and draws back, shows up, reveals himself and goes away, shows up, reveals himself. The text doesn’t go into great detail about where he went about what he was, what he did after he vanished. But we do know that he showed himself. I’m alive. I’m here. You see me record this, write this down, feel uh speak eat, let’s hang out and then he would just leave. But we realized that what he was doing was getting them accustomed to the fact that he would not always be there. They got glimpses of how things used to be. But those glimpses were anchored in the fact that this was something quite different, quite different. And with that example, the question that I have for us is can we hold on to and still be sustained from the moments that God showed up in the way that we wanted him to because even today, yes, we have the spirit. Yes, God is always with us, never leaving us, never forsaking us, God is with us and ever present help in time of trouble. And sometimes he shows up the way we want him to. Sometimes he does what, what thomas said, oh unless I, unless I get these confirmations, I’m not going to believe in God shows up and gives you exactly what you asked for. Other times. We may wish to see him or wish to have him show up in a specific way and he does not do that, but it does not mean that he is not there, but can we still trust him in those moments? Do we still cling to him just as strong in those moments when our desire is not met the way that we think it should be met. And so when he shows himself to his disciples, look who’s there, Peter is there thomas, is there Nathaniel, is there uh two other disciples, the son of two other disciples, plus the sons of Zeb Buddy James and john are there and Peter says I’m going fishing, they say I’m gonna go with you think with me for a moment upon hearing about Peter specifically Peter’s journey that Peter and john upon hearing that the tomb was empty, ran to go and see for themselves. They heard this news, they could not believe this news, they got up and ran to see it for themselves, they saw the fact that it was empty, they saw the fact that the linen was left at the head rest, they saw the fact that jesus was not there, I couldn’t believe this, and then later on he reveals himself to them and vanishes and reveals himself to them and vanishes and thomas places his hands on the wounds and then he leaves again. But for the other disciples and also for Peter, there’s still this gap because they don’t know what’s going on, I don’t know what’s happening, they just know that jesus was dead and now he’s not, he’s dead and now he’s here, there’s still a gap that needs to be closed and how many of you know, sometimes that closeness doesn’t always mean understanding just because you’re a friend with someone, just because you’re uh in our friendships and our relationships and our marriages and parenting in our co worker relationships, all these different things. You can be close with someone but not fully understand how they work or understand how the dynamic works and we see that because especially because there’s a shift here, they’re trying to to to see make this make sense, What does this mean? Now that you’re resurrected, he’d show up and leave and show up and leave and they’re trying to figure out their role in this dynamic in this relationship to him, They know he’s risen, but what does that mean for them? What does that mean for? Israel, what does that mean for the jewish people? We know he’s risen, but is he now going to come and do the things that they that he heard them say he was going to do. There’s a gap between their understanding and this new reality because something has changed, Something has changed. And in the midst of all this change, in the midst of all these uh these, these shifts, they want a little bit of normalcy, a little bit of something they can understand. And so one thing that hasn’t changed is that fishermen are going to fish right? And so we see that Peter says to the disciples, I’m going fishing in the space between jesus showing up and then disappearing and then showing up later in that space, Peter is the one that says to the disciples, I’m going fishing, not let’s go fishing, I’m going fishing, I’m doing this and then they say okay, we’ll go with you, sounds like a good idea. Peter’s relationship with Jesus was a different one jesus took some time extra time to invest in. Peter. Peter was one of the three, One of the 33 of Jesus closest his friends out of the 12, Jesus had three friends that were closer than the rest closer than the other nine. Peter James and john Peter got the chance to see jesus transfigured on the mount, Peter got the chance to see certain miracles that jesus performed that the others were not privy to, Peter got the chance to have a special uh conversations with jesus on this rock, I will build my church. Uh I got the chance to, to, to say uh you are the messiah, the son of the living god and Jesus says, look blessed, are you Peter because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you. This has only come from on high. Peter was close with, Jesus had a very close and intimate relationship with jesus and what we realize is that he had a peter James and john uh closeness of the three, he saw him transfigured. He saw these other aspects of the other nine weren’t able to see. But in that closeness, he also got arguably the harshest rebuke that anyone’s ever gotten from jesus, where he looks at Peter right in the face after Peter says, you know, you’re not gonna die, you don’t have to do this, this isn’t what you gotta do. Uh familiarity breeds contempt and you know that’s that’s a phrase, but I believe that Peter was so familiar or got too too familiar that he just thought he could just say what he wanted to say. He thought he meant well, and Peter is very known for being from meaning well in saying, hey jesus, you don’t have to die, but he didn’t know what he was saying so much. So that jesus looks Peter in the eyes and says get behind me, satan rebuke you satan he says this while addressing Peter and it’s interesting because Peter at that time were saying something that Jesus wanted to hear, he didn’t want to go to calvary, he didn’t want to have to die, but it was the only way. So we had to say what needed to be said. But let’s take a look at their last interaction before Jesus was killed, before Jesus was crucified, jesus and Peter, their last interaction uh Jesus said to Peter that Peter, you’re going to deny me three times on the night that I’m betrayed. You’re going to deny me three times. And Peter so boldly says no, no, I’m gonna die with you, I’m going with you, whatever it is, I’m going to the grave writer diet, let’s go, let’s do this. And she just says no, no, no, peter, you don’t understand, it’s going to happen. And if we look back into Luke Luke, chapter 22 when Peter was arrested when jesus excuse me was arrested, they seized jesus and led him away, bringing him into the priest’s house, the high priest house. And Peter was following at a distance, Jesus is arrested in the garden. Peter takes his sword to cut off the ear of servant jesus heals it, they lead him off and Peter doesn’t run away with the rest, but he follows at a distance and when they had kindled a fire, everyone’s in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, A whole bunch of different individuals from different walks of life are sitting down here and they seized Jesus and led him away and different people here, Peter talk, look at Peter’s face and say, hey you were with this jesus guy, he’s the one that’s being put on trial right now, you were with him. This happens three different times and three different times. Peter denies it and says, no, I don’t know what you’re talking about, no, get away from me, no, leave me alone, you’ve got the wrong guy, verse 60 of luke, chapter 22 Peter says, man, I do not know what you are talking about the last time and immediately while he was still speaking, the rooster Crowed and Peter is at the courtyard, jesus is on trial, but jesus is on trial in a way where in a place where he can still look and see Peter at the courtyard, they’re still within eyesight of one another, perhaps, maybe even within earshot. And so Peter at him deny. When he denies jesus, the rooster crows, The Lord turns in verse 61 and looks at Peter while he’s on trial, he looks at Peter, they lock eyes and when they do this. Peter remembers the saying of the Lord, how he said to him before the rooster Crows today, you will deny me three times verse 62 says, and he went out and wept bitterly and that was their last interaction. The last interaction before jesus dies on the cross and then he shows up and resurrects and he’s back and everyone’s excited and everyone’s happy and confused and wondering what’s going on. Three days later Peter receives word that the tomb is empty, he runs to see it for himself, wonders how could this be, wonder what’s going on, Jesus reveals himself again and retreats, reveals himself again and retreats, and Peter, he says, you know what, I’m just gonna, I just want to, I want to do what makes sense to me, I want to put my mind at ease, I’m going to do what I know what to do when everything else is spinning, I just want something secure, so I’m gonna go fishing now. There’s nothing wrong with fishing, fishing is not sinful, it’s a wonderful thing, a beautiful thing, it’s what Peter knew and what it made sense to Peter and sometimes in our lives we just want to zone out, I just want to check out, just want to do something that we know do something that we can do with muscle memory or do something that makes sense to us, that we know how it operates and how it functions, sometimes getting your hands dirty and getting the work in uh specifically with Peter as a fisherman and a trade perhaps made him feel better, something he understood, I’m going fishing, he says and there’s nothing wrong with it because we see this is what the disciples were doing when jesus called them when she just called them in luke chapter five, if we go back to luke five verse one through 11, the disciples are fishing and they’re trying to get some fish, they’re trying to get some fish. And jesus is teaching the disciples from the boat teaching excuse me, people from the boat and uh when he finished speaking he says to Simon, he says look go out into the deep, go out into the deep and put your nets down for a catch. And Simon Peter says to him, look we’ve worked all night long, we haven’t caught anything but because you’ve said so I will let down these nets and when they had done this, when they let their nets down they had caught a large number of fish, so much so that their nets were breaking, they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them, they came and filled both of the boats with fish so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at jesus knees saying looked apart from me for I am a sinful man o lord for all who were with them, plus he plus him, they were astonished at the catch of the fish And so were James and John the sons of 70 who were partners with Simon and Jesus said to them and to Simon, do not be afraid from now, on you will be catching men and when they had brought their boats to land they left everything and followed him. So this was the call, this was the Come follow me moment. So three years ago he calls them while they’re fishing. Three years ago, he says, look, you’re no longer going to fish for people. Excuse me, Fish for fish, you’re going to fish for people. And now he’s showing up a little bit here, showing up a little bit there. Their lives are kind of in a in a bit of a turmoil because they don’t know what’s going on. And as a result of this, the mission is no longer the focus. The mission is no longer the focus, there’s a gap, there is no clarity in their part as to what they are doing and to what the next steps are. So they decide, okay, well let’s go back, let’s go back, let’s go fishing. Let’s go back to what makes sense. And God is only going to let us get so comfortable in what used to be. He doesn’t want us to forget the mission. You know what doesn’t want us to forget what he’s called us to God doesn’t want us to comfortable enough in a pattern to say, okay, well let’s just go fishing and stay fishing. Let’s just go fishing and stay fishing and not be fishers of men and just fish for fish, jesus will only let us get so comfortable before he decides to get our attention. Simon went back to get fish to go fishing and they all went with him and like I said, there’s nothing wrong with it. And for us in our lives, whatever fishing is for you, there could be nothing wrong with it. But in those seasons of being unsure. In those seasons, when you need stability, sometimes you run two different things. Be sure that those things are not things that God has called you out of that God’s called you away from. But we see here that jesus showed up again before they got too entrenched in it and they fished all night long. The text says in verse three, Simon, Peter said to them, I’m going fishing. They said, we’ll go with you. They went out, got into the boat. But that night they caught nothing. They fish all night, but catch nothing. Do what I love, I do what comes naturally. I do what makes sense. But there’s no fruit. There’s no fruit. The boat is just as empty as it was when they left. There’s no fruit. You’re toiling, You’re working, you’re putting an effort. But there’s no fruit because there’s a gap, There’s a gap. They’re going fish fishing. Yes. And it’s what they used to do. Yes, that’s what they love to do. Yes, They’re doing what comes naturally, but feeling unfulfilled doing what comes naturally. But not seeing any fruit. Not seeing a harvest. Not seeing any fish doing the work. But feeling uninspired. Close the gap, doing what comes naturally. But feeling unsettled. Close the gap taking the steps, but getting nothing in return. It’s time to close the gap. How much did it felt for them to leave with empty nets, fish all night and wake up in the morning and those nets still be empty. It’s not a good feeling, Verse four, they were fishing all night and just as day was breaking, there’s a change in the story. Jesus shows up just as day was breaking. This shows you they were working, working, putting effort into its oil into it. But just as day was breaking, jesus stood on the on the shore yet. The disciples did not know that it was jesus, he’s a far off. Maybe they couldn’t see him, well, maybe their eyes were kept from seeing him like the disciples on the road to M. A. S. We don’t know, but they did not know that it was him and jesus said to them Children, do you have any fish? Have you caught anything? You’ve been out there all night and they answered him no, no, we haven’t. And he says cast your net on the right side of the boat and you will find something so they cast it and they were not able to haul it in because of the quantity of fish. Imagine this with me, this is what they do for a living, this is what they do by trade, this is what they’re accustomed to. I were accustomed to fishing, it’s muscle memory, we haven’t done it in a couple of years since jesus called us from fishing fish to fishing for men, but we know we know what to do. So they’re going, they’re trying to catch fish, nothing. This random person on the shore comes up and says, do you have anything, no, cast your net to the right side of the boat and cast your net to the right side of the boat and you’ll find something, they do that and they’re not able to pull it in because of the quantity of fish. The gap is now closer to being closed because when jesus shows up there in alignment, when jesus shows up and speaks, he’s drawing them closer to him. When jesus shows up, he wants to see results, he wants to see results. And so he sees them, he sees them struggling, he sees them toiling, he says, have they gotten anything? No try it this way, they try it God’s way and they see the results. And immediately at seeing the results, in verse seven, john, the disciple whom jesus loves says to peter, it is the lord, it’s him and peter, here’s that, it’s the Lord. He puts on his outer garment for he was stripped for work as a fisherman, uh he’s dressed for work, which is kind of half dressed, so to speak. He puts on his outer garment and throws himself into the sea. What I love about peter is his willingness to do whatever it takes to close the gap. In this moment we see him jumping from the boat into the water and swimming to jesus before Jesus died before Jesus was betrayed before Jesus was hung on a cross. We do know that Peter was also not hesitant to close the gap to get to jesus when jesus was walking on the water, he’s walking on water, which is not solid, but he’s all the solid you need, and he’s walking on this water. Peter turns to jesus and says, look, if that’s really you tell me to come out on the boat, tell me to come out on the water, jesus says, yes, it’s I come and Peter takes steps and walks on the water. It’s not a perfect walk. We see that he he did fall, but he walked on water and closed that gap and got to jesus. And in the same way peter that has that same spirit of I’m not gonna let anything stop me from getting closer to God, I’m not gonna let anything. Even my past failures stop me from closing this gap, Peter says, look, you’re not leaving again before we get a chance to reconcile, you’re not going to just up and disappear again before we get a chance to truly close this gap, forget the fish, it takes all the disciples on board to try and pull all this fish up as soon as he hears is jesus, what fish, he jumps in this water swims to jesus and says this is what is truly important in our lives is closing the gap that is between us and the Lord. The top priority, the top priority in our lives before he does this, he is sure to make himself presentable. He puts he’s dressed for work so he now dresses himself to be able to be seen by jesus. He makes himself presentable because jesus told them what you’re not gonna fish for fish anymore. You’re going to fish for people and it’s not a sin for them to go and fish for fish, but for them in this time he said, you know what what he called me away from is where I’m at right now. So let me get presentable. So that when I see him well, no, it’s all good. He presents himself, makes himself presentable, puts on his outer garment and swims to jesus. He closes the gap, he closes the gap. What are we willing to do to close the gap between us and God? What are we willing to do to close that gap between us and the Lord? I’m not talking about if you’re uh unsaved. If you are, we’ll have a time for that where you can come and draw closer to the Lord and accept him as your Lord and savior. But as believers, we can be saved in christ and they’re still be some gaps. They’re still be some areas where we have to draw closer. they’re still be some strongholds that we have to truly conquer because we are more than conquerors. They’re still be some areas where we’re not experiencing and feeling and knowing the true love of God in our lives. It’s not because he’s not extending that love, it’s because maybe we’re not receiving and there’s some gaps that need to be closed. So peter swims out and closes the gap, stops what he’s doing and closes the gap. And verse eight the other disciples come later, they dragged the net full of fish for they were not far from land but about 100 yards off and they close the gap and when they get on land, watch this, there’s a fire in place with fish laid out on it and bread. And Jesus said to them bring some of the fish you have just caught in verse nine, they come out on on to the land, they’re all there and they see breakfast is ready. They see the master of the sea who says peace be still to the winds and the waves. He’s already caught his own fish. He’s already got some fish prepared breakfast prepared. So you got something to, you can add something to this fire. Got some breakfast ready, Got some fish, she’s got some bread and he says bring some of the fish that you’ve just caught. So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net assure Full of large fish 153 of them, mm hmm And although there were so many, the net was not torn, This is a full circle moment for the disciples, John is sure to let us know that the net is not torn here because if you look in Luke’s account of when the disciples were first called in Luke, chapter five. when they had done this, when they pulled up all of their nets, it says there was such a large number of fish that their nets were breaking, the nets were breaking. It’s because these are two different types of calls, he’s calling the disciples back to himself, he’s calling the disciples specifically Peter back to him. And so what we realize here is that the first call is before he calls them to be his disciples, he’s showing them what he’s capable of, they had some trouble fishing, they couldn’t get anything, he said throw your nets down and they did and when they pull up the nets began to break. So he’s flexing, he’s like, look, I’m God of the sea and I’ll let you know this because you’re not gonna have enough strength. Uh these nets are not gonna have enough strength to hold these fish and so everything is breaking and falling through and they’re getting the fish up and then they marvel and then they decide to follow him. So the first call shows them what he’s capable of. The second call, this call this full circle moment of jesus, calling them while they’re fishing again three years later, calling them to himself again is him affirming himself in their lives as messiah, as king as lord, as miracle worker, I show up when you need me, I’m here, I’m able and the nets are not broken, but I’m letting you know, hey it’s it’s still me and then he says to them come and have breakfast, come and have breakfast, What I love is that jesus is always willing to bond over a meal. We see this with the disciples on the road to mes when they sat down, uh they talked with him, they had a whole conversation with him and didn’t realize it was him, not until they sat down with the bread and he broke the bread and gave it to them and they said oh my gosh, it’s the Lord, here we see the same thing happening, he realizes that the disciples are tired, realize the disciples are hungry, realizes they’ve been fishing all night and many times we do this, we, we spin our wheels trying to figure things out, spin our wheels, trying to make things make sense, spin our wheels, trying to make things add up and we end up with no fruit and jesus instead of saying how are you gonna do that, why come on, come on, he has breakfast ready and provides the miracle and in our lives sometimes uh jesus, the Lord speaks to us, gives us a word of encouragement, a word of clarity, a word of hope, something to uplift us in those times, he says to them come and have breakfast come and eat and john makes a note to say now none of the disciples dared ask him who are you because they knew it was the Lord. Sometimes God is so present and showing himself so mighty and so strong that they didn’t need confirmation and we don’t either. Sometimes God is so active in our lives and so present that we just know this situation this move, this, this, this is God, this is God, there’s a gap that’s closed now there’s no more questions, we know that this is God, that’s moving, You had questions two weeks ago, you had questions a month ago, you had questions a year ago, but right now, I know that this is God moving, I know that these are prayers answered, I know that this is a move of God because it can only be God that moves in this way, none of them dared to ask who are you because they knew that it was the Lord, are we so intent in closing the gap that we know that God is moving, that we know that it’s God that is working and when the gap is closed, understand it’s always a process and always a work in progress, There’s always work to be done, there’s always work to be done, it doesn’t mean that everything is all complete, but it does mean that there is a better understanding than there was prior and the relationship is stronger than it was prior. We see that in our regular everyday relationships, our relationships can grow stronger with time. They can also go in the opposite direction, But we see here because they made a consistent effort to close the gap. The relationship was grown stronger and we’ll see as we continue to look that jesus had a special connection and special time with peter special connection, special time with john. But as I close and as the team comes up, I want us to look for a moment at ourselves and ask ourselves this question, what what steps do we need to take to close the gap between us and God. God took the first steps. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. He dwelt among us. He took those first steps, but not only did he live among us, but he died. He gave his life, laid his life down so we could find life in him. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. He died on calvary to initiate a relationship. He took those first steps. But as we know, just being in relationship does not always mean, understanding, being in a relationship does not always mean that you get it in your situation in your season. Yes, you may be forgiven. Yes. God may have drawn you from, from death into life, but there may be some things on this journey on this step, we need to understand that we need to figure out are you closing the gap between the time you were forgiven and now this time where we’re working to be truly free. Are you closing the gap between you being bitter and holding onto things and being blessed and letting go of things? Are you closing the gap between you being someone that walks in defeat and someone that says, look, I’m more than a conqueror and I’m walking in the strength of God, a full surrender. A full and complete surrender to jesus is the only way that can happen. So I encourage you today. Like Peter. Don’t hesitate. Don’t wait jump into the water and swim, swim and get to jesus. Close the gap, whatever it means for you, whatever it looks like for you to do what must be done to close the gap today, let’s pray, I’m gonna say two prayers, one for those that need salvation and one for those that are saved. First is this if you’re here, you’re you’re listening, you’re watching and you don’t know, jesus christ as your Lord and Savior. There is a large gap that separates you from him. You have not acknowledged him as Lord acknowledged him as king in your life. You have not acknowledged your state as a center far off from him. You have not asked for forgiveness from your sins and repented of your own righteousness. If that is you, I’m going to ask you to text save to the number at the bottom of your screen. Text saved to the number at the bottom of the screen and we’ll be able to be in contact with you and leads you to a fruitful and a meaningful relationship with jesus christ. I’m gonna pray for you at this time. Dear God, I thank you for those that have heard this message but do not know you as Lord and savior, be with them and strengthen them father in this season on this journey, Lord as they are becoming more like you as they are being open and honest about who they are, where they’ve been and I pray Lord that you would continue to forgive them, strengthen them and strengthen them and cleanse them from all on righteousness Lord, we thank you, we praise you, we give you glory. We ask these things in the name of jesus christ, we pray amen and amen and for those of us that know christ. If you have a relationship with jesus but you realize, hey, there are some gaps hey, I need some, some, some questions answered uh, or maybe I have some issues that are unresolved or maybe I’m holding some anger and resentment towards God or towards uh someone and I need to really be able to uh close that gap between me and God. If that’s you, I’m gonna ask you to join me in prayer. Dear Lord, I thank you for your sons and daughters. Thank you for those that are listening. Those that are watching those that are right now, be with them and strengthen them, strengthen us in this moment. Lord, I pray father that for those gaps that need to be closed to bring us closer to you that we would not hesitate to do that, not hesitate to close those gaps, not hesitate to jump into the water and make the necessary swim, whatever that looks like for us, whatever situation needs to be addressed in our lives and our relationship with you. Whatever sin father is keeping us from being whole or or being free. Lord, I pray that we would lay those down whatever situation that maybe we’re holding on to uh that is causing us resentment against you. I pray that we would lay that down father and I pray Lord that we would do the work, do what needs to be done so that that gap can be closed. We thank you, we praise you, we give you all the praise, all the honor and all the glory. We ask these things in, jesus name and everyone said amen and amen, God bless you and let’s close the gap today, Thank you Hello again and thank you so much for tuning in to the message at global seven. Once again, my name is roderick caesar the third, the lead pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle. My prayer is that you were blessed and encouraged by the message. And if you want to contribute and give to the ministry, you can text b g t f i 277977. Again, you can text GT 50 277977. We’re so thankful for you and my prayer is that God will continue to strengthen and empower and encourage you as you listen to this message, we hope you tune again later and God bless you. Thank you so much.

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