Pastor’s Letter – August 11, 2020 – Toil vs Blessing

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

Luke 5:5

Dear Church and Friends,

Once upon a time there was a man who, as a child, loved pirate stories. He loved to think about the ships, the gold, the heroism, the islands, the natives, and the dangers at sea. Then one day, while browsing through an antique shop he found a treasure map neatly folded in the back of an old Bible.

He immediately bought the Bible and rushed home to study the map. After much research he discovered that the map pointed to a deserted island in the Caribbean. He work tirelessly to raise enough money to buy the island. Once he owned the island, he spent the remainder of his life systematically searching for the treasure, never to find it.

Solomon tells us about the vanity of labor, “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Eccl. 2:11). Just like the man in my story, we find Peter and company vainly working.

Notice the language Peter used. He said they, “toiled all the night.” There was no joy in his labor because the promise of a big catch had evaded him once again. No fish meant no money, no money meant that debts would increase. Peter was a frustrated, unhappy man searching for the promise of a treasure that was not there.

Then entered the Word of God. Peter trades an empty promise for a real one. He is tempted to hold onto the first and ignore the second, but thankfully he doesn’t. What he discovered was the Word of God is more certain than any human hope for success and wealth.

Peter never imagined such a catch of fish! The Word of God is more abundant than any human hope. Paul expressed it this way, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:20). This abundance points to the glory of God which led Peter to say, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Every one was amazed, Christ was glorified in the catch, and Peter and his companions stopped searching for a vain treasure. Let’s stop searching for a treasure that is not there and humble ourselves before the Lord of Glory so that He might be glorified in our labor.

Music: Little Mountain Church House by Carl Jackson and friends.

Consider supporting Creek Road Baptist Church through the Amazon Smile program. Use this link to select Creek Road Baptist Church as your designated charity. Once you have made this selection simply begin using Smile.Amazon.com (instead of using Amazon.com). No credits are available using just Amazon.com.  Please contact the church office or Pastor Dave if you need help or have any questions.

Prayer Request: Please pray for the following.

  • Dan Pruitt, Fort Bragg, N.C. Dan Pruitt is a Battalion Chaplain (Regular Army) serving in Fort Bragg, N.C. Please pray for me and a team of chaplains as we plan to launch an evening service at All American Chapel this fall or winter. Also pray for wisdom as we navigate uncertainties during this season of COVID-19. Pray for revival and baptisms.

Catechism: Craig’s Catechism (1581) [The Second Part of God’s Honor.]

Question 133: What if Satan and his instruments should have freedom over us?

Answer: We should then be in a most miserable state.

Question 134: What should this fatherly care produce in us?

Answer: Thanks for all things that come to us.

Question 135: What other things should it produce?

Answer: Boldness in our vocation against all impediments.

All my best.

And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

Luke 5:10

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Published by David B. Smith

Author, podcaster, pastor, and Big Pappa to my grandchildren.

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