Thanks to you and all our faithful partners I just returned from a powerful ministry trip to Ukraine. It has been twenty-three years since I was last there, and though I was scheduled to be in Ukraine a couple of years ago, due to some unforeseen circumstances I couldn’t get into the country. It didn’t take long for me to see why the devil wanted to keep us out.

We sponsored more than 150 pastors/ministers from all over Ukraine so they could attend the conference. Their hotel and meals were paid for—all they had to do was get there, and there were several groups represented. For some, this was the first “vacation” they have had in years. Some even came in from the war zone. One particular minister, a Messianic Jew, was skeptical about the purpose of the conference. By the end of the first night, his countenance had completely changed because he had a fresh taste of the new wine. Only the Holy Spirit knows what each person needs, and He knows how to reach the very hearts of men and women.

I want to thank you, my partner, for praying for me and faithfully supporting me. Never lose sight of the global impact you have when you partner with someone who is reaching faraway places. While the conference consisted of ministers, only eternity will tell how many thousands of people were actually affected. Think of the multiplied effect when the ministers returned to their own homes. Your prayers availed much in the nation of Ukraine!

In Luke 5 we read the account of Peter lending Jesus his boat. The Bible says the people pressed upon Him to hear the Word of God… In other words, there were so many people that they backed Jesus up to the shore line, so Jesus asked Peter if he could use his boat to have a place to preach.

Jesus got into the boat, Peter pushed off from the shore, and Jesus preached to the people. Once He was finished, he told Peter, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy Word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

When Jesus told Peter to launch back out into the deep, Peter tried to explain to Jesus that they didn’t just fish the previous night, they TOILED. What is the difference between fishing and toiling? What is the difference between working and toiling? The difference is FRUITLESS EFFORT. Peter didn’t fish for recreational purposes. He was a professional fisherman, and as such, he knew all the tricks. But this particular night, anything he did was completely unsuccessful. If he went deep, the fish went shallow. If he went shallow, the fish went deep. If he went south, the fish went north. It was as if the fish were mocking him.

But as Peter was explaining this to Jesus, something clicked in Peter and he said, …nevertheless at thy word, I will let down the net. This—Peter saying the right words—was the first step in experiencing this financial miracle. The next thing he had to do was ACT on the Word. He obeyed Jesus’ word, and it brought forth the great multitude of fish. The very fish that seemed to mock him and swim away from him the night before suddenly swam toward him as fast as they could, so much that his nets began to brake.

This miracle of provision began when Jesus said to Peter, “May I use your boat?” Notice that Jesus didn’t ask Peter if he could use what he didn’t have. People often make the mistake of thinking that what they do have isn’t enough, but this is small thinking. Jesus simply needed a place to preach, so he asked if He could use Peter’s boat.

Though he was tired from the night before, Peter made the right decision and moved what he had toward Jesus, and when he did, Jesus caused those fish that away swam from him all night, to swim toward him the next day.

Friend, listen to me, what you don’t have is not important. Everybody can look around and wish for things they don’t have so they could do more for the kingdom of God. But what matters is what we do with what we have.

Over the years I have had many people say things like, “Pastor, I’m believing God for a million dollars, and when I get it, I’m going to give it to you to fund the Gospel.” While people have great intentions, it really doesn’t do them, me, or God any good. I asked the Lord about this, and this is what He said, “I’m not interested in what you’re going to do with what you don’t have. What matters to me is what you do with what you do have.

Where giving is concerned, this is how God operates. He doesn’t take from people; when you sow into God’s work, you are letting God use what you have, and He always gives it back and much more.

If you ever have anyone try to convince you that when people prosper, it causes some to turn away from God, remember this story of Peter. Peter moved what he had toward God, and God prospered him in such a way that Peter fell at Jesus’ feet asking for forgiveness. He then completely walked away from his fishing business and served the Lord for the rest of his life. When prosperity is attained God’s way, it will always bring glory to Him.

Thank you for your faithful partnership with this ministry. Phyllis and I love you, and we are praying for you!

 

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