Bible Study for October 2002:
Study 2: THE SECRETS OF A SUCCESSFUL LIFE AND MINISTRY
Every man has a desire to succeed in life and this is a noble thing. Because of this desire, many search for that winning formula in life's baffling circumstances, the all-purpose secret that opens the door to successful achievement. God created man to succeed and not to fail and He is still willing to prosper us today. God meant us to soar like eagles, we need not be content to peck around with hens (Isaiah 40:31).
THE PATH OF FAILURE
Luke 5:1, 2; John 21:1-3; 15:4, 5; Psalm 127:1, 2; Isaiah 49:4; Leviticus 26:14-20; Haggai 1:5-11; Deuteronomy 28:13-42; Judges 5:23; Genesis 13:10-17; 19:15-17; Acts: 19:13-17.
Peter toiled all night but caught nothing because it was all human effort without divine support. The harvest of his labour, was not just poor, it was essentially non-existent. He toiled with acquired skill without the abiding Saviour, with human intelligence without heavenly insight, with diligent effort without divine enablement, with earthly partners without any heavenly partner, with earthly resourcefulness without heavenly revelation. The believer that enters a new relationship without the Father's approval, commences a new career without the Saviour's presence, starts a new venture without the Spirit's guidance will record a failure most of the time in his life. Preaching talent without the Pre-eminent Truth, human strategy without the Holy Spirit, acquired intelligence without anointed insight will also result in failure in ministry. Earthly paraphernalia without heavenly equipment will result in failure in life and ministry.
THE POSSIBILITIES OF FAITH
Luke 5:5; Matthew 17:20; Mark 9:23; 10:27; 11:22-24; Hebrews 11:6; James 1:5-8; Matthew 21:21-22; Luke 7:14, 15; John 11:43, 44; Mark 5:27-29.
All things are possible to him that believeth. Peter's faith is reflected in his words "Nevertheless, AT THY WORD". It takes faith to launch out into the deep after a recent failure. Defeat and failure have a way of anchoring us to the shoreline, making us to labour in neighbouring waters rather than launch into the deep or to look for tadpoles in shallow ponds rather than whales in the depths of the ocean. But faith has tremendous possibilities!
THE PROFIT IN FAITHFULNESS
Luke 5:4-6; 2 Chronicles 26:5; 15:2; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 1 Kings 13:1-32; Jeremiah 35:18, 19; 1 John 3:22; John 2:5; 2 Kings 13:14-19.
Peter was told to let down the NETS for a draught but he let down ONE NET. He launched out into the deep in faithfulness but didn't let down all the nets. His obedience was partial. His disobedience caused his fishing net to break. God always rewards the faithful and never forgets the labour of love of the obedient. Whatever he says to you, do it, for there is always profit in faithfulness.
THE PARTNERSHIP IN FISHING
Luke 5:7, 10; 1 Corinthians 12:14-25; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1, 13; Acts 20:35; Philippians 2:20-22, 25; Philemon 1, 2, 17, 23, 24; Romans 16:3, 4, 9, 21; 1 John 3:16-18.
Individualistic effort always results in failure and frustrations. Two heads are better than one. Peter beckoned to the others in the other fishing boat to come and help them. Co-operation among believers will result in success in life and ministry.
THE PINNACLE OF FRUITFULNESS
Luke 5:6, 7, 9; Psalm 1:1-3; 92:12-15; 72:7; Proverbs 11:28; Deuteronomy 28:1-13; 2 Chronicles 26:5; Hebrews 6:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Matthew 6:4; Galatians 6:10.
Peter caught an abundance of fishes. If we follow divine instructions in faith and total obedience and faithfulness, we are bound to be fruitful (John 15:1-16). We will not be like the barren fig tree but like the fruitful vine and olive rejoicing and cheering man's heart.
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