Handpicked by Jesus

In [amd_bible show_book=false show_chapter=true show_verse=true reference_before=false reference_after=true]Luke 5[/amd_bible] we read the story of Jesus hand-picking His first disciples.

Let me set the scene for you: Peter, James, and John had been fishing all night. They would spread out their nets to make sure they weren’t tangled, and then throw the heavy ropes and knots over the boat. Time and again, they pulled them out only to find that they had caught nothing.

They finally decided to call it a night, they bring the boats into the sand edge of the Lake of Gennesaret and start to wash their nets out. The smell of fish was probably turning their stomachs as they thought about the wasted hours they had just spent.

Nearby a man was teaching to a large crowd of people, all of a sudden, the teacher climbs into their boats, and asked Peter to row the boat out a little from the shore.

Peter was tired and disappointed from his empty nets, but something in his heart led him to say yes.

After the Teacher was finished speaking, He told Peter to go out into deeper water and “let down the nets for a catch.”

Peter liked the Teacher, but he had been fishing his entire life, not to mention all night! And the fish weren’t biting.

But again, something in his heart trusted this Teacher and he said, “Because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Before the nets had even been completely lowered, they started getting heavy. Swarms of fish were literally jumping into the nets. There were so many fish that the nets began to break.

So Peter signaled to a nearby boat to come and help them.

That day, two things happened:

First, Peter was successful.

Luke says, they caught so many fish that they filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

There’s a lot of talk in this world about being successful.

There are methods and techniques, and knowledge and skills.

Peter had all of this. He had the experience. He understood his profession, but still…that night…he was unsuccessful.

Do you ever feel that way? You’re doing everything you know to do, but it feels like your efforts are empty nets.

There’s hope. How do I know?

Because the second thing that happened was that Peter was called by the Lord.

Sometimes, I wonder what it would have been like to live in that time and be hand-picked by Jesus; Knowing that He picked you to help Him accomplish His mission.

Then I realize I was hand-picked by Jesus. And so were you.

Peter was unsuccessful on his own, but he made a couple choices.

He chose to make room in his life (and in his work) for Jesus.

It could have been so easy for Peter to say, “No, I’m tired, I’ve been working all night, I just want to go home.”

But he didn’t. He chose to take a Teacher, Jesus, out on his boat even after a long night.

He chose to obey. He chose to do what Jesus said. Even when his circumstances and experience told him it was a waste of time, he chose to throw his nets out again.

We can do the same!

When we’re disappointed, when we’re frustrated, when we feel unsuccessful, we can choose to make room in our work, in our families, in our ministries for Jesus, and we can choose to obeys even when it doesn’t make sense.

Until next time,


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Are you a Christian woman in leadership? If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed, under appreciated, or frustrated in your ministry, then check out Ashley’s course LEAD WITH HEART. It’s packed full of devotions, training modules, and courses that are specifically designed for women who love the Lord and want to lead the people around them with HIS heart.  Check it out at

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About the Author:

Ashley Varner

Ashley lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two sweet boys. When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up with a good book, leading worship at her local church, jumping on the trampoline with her sons, or encouraging women to reach new heights in Christ.  Ashley has been in ministry for two decades, and blogs regularly at where she has several online programs to help you and your ministry grow in Christ.

Connect with Ashley: Website

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