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Follow Me,

16/09/2017

No storm, waves quietly caressing the shore, breakfast made by the Master was done.  Walking by the Galilean Sea with the Risen Christ, hanging on every word still not rid of all the guilt of abandoning this great Friend, Peter hears Jesus say “Follow Me!”

Joh 21:19  Now this he spake, signifying by what manner of death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. (ASV)

Men, aren’t you glad for Peter?  I am.  The ups and downs of his life are recorded for us in God’s Word.  One of Jesus’s closest friends, a good student, got out of the boat on a dark stormy night in the middle of the lake he is now walking the shore with Jesus… denied this One… that knot in your throat kind of grief and shame, he can’t even speak the question, “How can You ever forgive me?”  Jesus looks at him knowingly smiles as He is so far beyond forgiveness, “Follow Me.”

I find it fascinating that the last recorded thing said is a repeat of the first command of Jesus to Peter.

Mar 1:17  And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 

Mar 1:18  And straightway they left the nets, and followed him. (ASV)

How simple!  “Follow Me” parenthetically encloses successes, high points, failures and deep heart breaking disappointment of Peter’s last three years.  Left his nets and job for this rabbi; saw and participated in miracles of healing; cast out demons; taught by Christ and oh those days seeing Jesus with Moses and Elijah and how Peter’s heart must have pounded when he stepped over the gunnel of that storm tossed boat and found water as hard as rocks under his feet, until he took his eyes off Jesus.  “Follow Me.”  How simple.

Jesus is leaving earth to return to His Father’s right hand.  Is this not the time to leave these His chosen men with ‘the plan’, those great words of wisdom in HOW to DO this thing called Christianity?  One would think He would write a Book!  That’s the plan?  “Follow Me?”

I am blessed to teach twice a week (Revelation and Philippians right now).  Here is one experience from a couple years ago.  I do not remember what I was teaching but had used some passages from the Old Testament.  A lady in the study asked me “where do you get your information, I have never heard that?”  I opened the Bible and took her to the quotes.  “Oh, I don’t read the Old Testament!”

Obviously I asked, “Why not?”  She had been sent 70 years before to a convent school in Cuba where the nuns told her to only read the New Testament as the Old Testament would confuse her.  Eighty years old and 2/3rds of God’s Word was tragically closed to her.  The discussion continued… was she confused by anything said? … well no!… we got to teach her how God is not a God of confusion.  And she started following and reading more of the Bible.

“It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” Mark Twain.

The simplicity of this walk of faith is found in “Follow Me.”  We are in a country where Catholicism is 60-70% and most everything else is listed as evangelicals (they are NOT).  Protestants now have something like 9000 denominations.  We have made an idol of our traditions and heresies.  We believers are weak because we don’t read the Word He gave us.  We are sinners in need of a Savior.  God provided His Son.  These men on the shore of Galilee turned the world upside down by simply teaching Jesus crucified and resurrected for sinful man.  They followed Jesus.

What does “Follow Me” mean to you?  While simple, it is not easy.  Peter followed Jesus to his own cross.

Thank you for your continued support for Vine International.  We are on track for a record or close to record year.  We continue to work with several expanding ministries here.  There have been no nibbles on our request for help so we continue to muddle on.  We are hiring some local help, so financial support need rises.  Lots to do.  We are always humbled and grateful for your continued financial and prayer support.  Now to listen to WVU Mountaineers beat Delaware State Hornets (which means 80% chance that something will come up to interfere with my day!).

In Christ, Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

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