GO ABOUT THE FATHER'S BUSINESS
I have wonderful memories of fishing with my father on lakes and rivers. It reminds me of how he would often equate fishing to soul winning. “To catch men effectively,” he would say, “we have to study Christ.” The gospel is a hook that snags hungry lost souls.
Toward the end of John’s Gospel, we read how Jesus instructed His disciples in going about their Father’s business. Jesus had just made breakfast for them on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and He said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught” (John 21:10 NKJV). Jesus nourished their hunger, and then had a question for His disciple Peter: “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” (verse 15 NKJV).
When Jesus asked this question, He was seeking something greater than a commitment of human love. He knew Peter would be the one to lead the disciples to be about their Father’s business, and He wanted Peter’s complete devotion. Peter’s mission was to feed souls with the Word of God and send them out to feed others. When Peter realized the genuine love required to follow the Savior, his heart dropped anchor. He resolved to follow Jesus no matter what.
My father once said, “To be a disciple of Jesus means to learn from Him and to follow Him in obedience. . . . Jesus warned that the price of believing in Him would be high. Mockery, laughter, persecution, even death would be common.” History proves—and the Scriptures document—the disciples understood this to the point of losing their lives for Him. We also must lay aside all things that our wills grip. We must come to Jesus with open hearts and open hands so we can be about our Father’s business: compelling lost souls to seek Jesus anxiously.
I learned many things as I observed my father going about the heavenly Father’s business. It was not always an easy road. He was called many things—from “Billy the Kid” when he was just starting, to the “Pied Piper” when he began to gather in massive crowds, to “God’s Ambassador” as he stood tried and proven. It has been said my father preached from the “Billy pulpit” and the “preacher’s stump.” But none of that really matters. His entire adult life was consumed with a compulsion to bring the good news to those nearby and far away.
While my father was not a businessman, he was a man about his Father’s business. He sought wisdom in others who came alongside and put feet and hands to the responsibility that ultimately fell upon him. He carefully chose men and women who shared his vision, and they helped carry the load of running the business end of one of the largest and most respected Christian organizations in the world—to the glory of God.
My prayer is that each of us will also be faithful stewards in going about the Father’s business, so those who are watching will say, “This is Your hand . . . You, LORD, have done it!” (Psalm 109:27 NKJV).
What does it mean for you personally to “go about the Father’s business”? What does that look like in your life?
How do you respond when you are persecuted (to any degree) because of your faith? What are some ways that God has helped you to persevere and endure in sharing the gospel?
How did the Holy Spirit transform the disciples as they went about the Father’s business? In what ways do you need the Holy Spirit’s power to accomplish God’s work through you?