[SW232] 05/20/2016 message notes by
Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016
I know I am supposed to share the wonderful things the Lord showed me as I ministered to my mother in Maine these past two weeks. Here’s the first “installment.”
Text: John 21:10
I could talk with you about how we can’t catch a thing except through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ promises to make us fishers of men, when we follow (obey) Him (Matthew 4:19). But He provides the catch.
But that’s really not what the Lord wants me to talk about today. He wants to talk about a profound truth He showed me over the last two weeks. If you catch it, it will change your walk with your fellow believers just as it has changed mine.
Mom had two strokes within minutes of one another, while she was in her room in an assisted living community. She was completely unresponsive when the staff found her.
I rushed up to Maine on 4/30/16, not sure she would survive this most recent onslaught. She was in the hospital, unable to speak anything, and then just, “yes,” “no,” and “thank you.”
My brother, Steve, told me he felt Mom would recognize me, and that she was now able to recognize Steve, and her surroundings, and say her name. I really had no idea what to expect, but I knew the Lord wanted me to see her. I had no idea what He was going to work in her heart and mine!
I saw Mom the day I arrived, in the afternoon. She said she thought she had missed me and I had gone back home. I assured her she was stuck with me for the next two weeks, and then sang, “The Lord is My Shepherd” to her, “a capella.” She closed her eyes, listened, and smiled.
The next morning, I went before the Lord, asking Him for a word for Mom. I opened my Bible, and my eyes fell on John 21:10, in which Jesus says, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.”
I thought about the people the Lord had put in my path, already prepared by Him to hear the gospel. It has been and continues to be a joy beyond measure to have a front-row seat to watch Him work!
“Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” He kept repeating it to me.
Then the Lord said something that surprised me. “Tell Jane that you are one of her fish.”
I had never given Mom credit for bringing me to the Lord. I was not sure of her faith. And yet Jesus said: 1) He knows her name; and 2) I am her fish! Surely, she prayed for me. And He answered. So I became her fish!
It was a rebuke from the Lord to me. I had judged Mom’s degree of faith.
Certainly, sin must be judged, but not a Christian’s level of faith! Per Romans 14:4. He is able to make them stand, whether their faith is weak or strong.
Whether faith is weak or strong, it is still faith!
And I have judged the degree of faith of other Christians.
So I repented before Him, knowing that He showed it to me not to condemn me but to change me. That is always His purpose in His rebukes. I am now assured and thankful that He has changed me.
Then I went to Mom, and I told her the Lord had given me a word for her. She looked at me expectantly.
When I told her that I was one of her fish, she laughed in the Spirit, and so did I! Never had I heard her laugh in the Spirit, a gentle, low soft, joyous laugh!
It was a holy, lovely, powerful moment! Our relationship was transformed, her heart was freed from the heaviness she had carried, and she began to rally physically.
Again, this is only the first installment of things the Lord showed me. I will continue to share with you what He showed me.
Mom is now in rehab. When she first arrived, her caregivers did not think she would leave the nursing home. Now, they agree that she has two more weeks before she goes back to assisted living.
She is my hero, working very hard to regain as much as she can from the effects of the double stroke, and her sweetness blesses everyone on the rehab ward. Jesus is truly glorified through her!
Her roommate in assisted living, Dot, called her and said Mom was the best roommate she’d ever had, and she could hardly wait for Mom to be back “home.”
Mom was blessed and encouraged, and so was I!
So, what would the Lord have me say to you?
First, that the judging of “weakness of faith” is always wrong. The Lord is able to make those who are weak stand.
If you see yourself in what the Lord showed me with Mom, do as I did and repent immediately. He will forgive you and change your heart.
I submit to you that it is easy to slip into judging degree of faith in a fellow believer. I submit to you that it is contagious, and it is destructive.
I submit to you that the Lord wants to stop the spread of this “disease” in the church.
If you will receive what He is saying today, and repent, you will see walls come down between you and others, just as I did with Mom.
Certainly, sin must be judged before the whole congregation, per 1Corinthians 5 and 2Timothy 5:20 , but none should judge the degree of another’s faith.
Certainly, we must exhort and encourage each other to press on, to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, so the divine influence on the heart is reflected in the life more and more!
And I will encourage everyone to ask the Lord to increase their faith, just as I constantly do!
Second, the Lord would say that evangelism is not done just with your feet, but on your knees.
He would remind you not to think less of “knee evangelists.” Their work is equally powerful. They call on the same Lord, and He is pleased to answer them in power!
And He would remind you that prayer must precede any evangelistic attempts. You must first go to Him, get His instructions, and then act. He cannot bless what you try to do without Him.
And I know the Lord would want me to tell you that the Lord ministered to me through Mom just as much as He ministered to Mom through me. That will happen with you, too, if you see yourself in this word the Lord gave me, and repent.
Mom and I had holy times, and we have a great closeness unlike anything we ever had before. It was a gift from the Lord to us. Agree with Him, and He will give you the same gift.