... 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 net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." .... John 21:4b-6a
I don't mean to be a downer today, but I need to remind you that this week you need to make sure you file your taxes. For many in the United States, April 15 is not really a happy day. It's a day that oftentimes brings unexpected expenses and real anxiety. For many people the phrase "The only thing certain in life is death and taxes" gets right to the heart of the emotion of this week, maybe of all things in this world. Is that what it all comes down to? Is this the real thing that defines all of life -- death and taxes -- with an occasional fleeting moment of joy along the way?
No! Thank God, no!
But let me ask you an even more pointed question: does Jesus really care -- not just about the big things in life -- but about all the things you face, day in and day out? His answer is "Yes!" And if you don't believe me, then just read in the Bible where He says in Matthew 6, "Don't worry." You really matter to God and He cares not just about your eternal life, but about the day-to-day things you need too. In fact, Jesus even says that He has come to bring life, to bring abundant life (see John 10). That sounds like a Savior who cares about you personally, doesn't it?
Well, that's what the disciples of Jesus learned in our text for today. That's what Jesus is calling you to learn about Him today too. He comes to bring abundant life into a death-and-taxes world. Through His life, death and resurrection, He comes to bring forgiveness and love where there is only sin, pain and selfishness. He comes to bring you not just an eternal life with Him, but a different way of living life in Him right now. In fact, in this lesson for today, you might say it demonstrates that Jesus keeps coming and coming and coming until people see the kind of life and salvation He wants for all to receive.
Maybe today is a day of sadness for you. Maybe you are anxious about the issues of this week. Maybe you think that God has very little concern for the day-to-day struggles of your life. Maybe you don't think He really cares at all. Like the disciples learned that day, even death on the cross couldn't stop Jesus from coming for people with a life and salvation that He wants you to have today and forever. Death and taxes? No, grace, forgiveness, eternal life -- that's what is in store for all who put their faith in Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, this world can overwhelm sometimes. There are days and weeks and months that seem to pile on with struggle, grief and pain. How wonderful to know You are with me in all things and that You keep coming with Your blessing, Your grace, and Your peace. So today, I pray, strengthen my faith in You, in my life. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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