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Fish and Chips

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We were hungry and excited. The catering truck had come to Missoula, Montana! We showed up in the parking lot and got in line to place our order. The line kept getting longer as people flocked to get their fish and chips.

Freshly cooked, with a little salt and vinegar, fish and chips is one of the world’s tastiest meals. This particular catering truck served excellent fish, and people had heard about it. The line continued to grow as folks anxiously waited to get their meal.

When you have a product so good that folks stand in long lines to buy it and don’t care about the price, you know you have a great product.

As the children of God, we have a message that makes the best fish and chips pale by comparison. Why are people not lining up at the doors of our churches, waiting anxiously to be a part of God’s kingdom and receive the gift (product) of eternal life? Shouldn’t they seek after the gospel? Likewise, shouldn’t it inspire us to evangelize, to get others excited about Jesus and His kingdom?

From the beginning of His ministry, Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom (Mark 1:14). He said to seek it above everything else: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Jesus said this for a good reason: The kingdom is certainly better than fish and chips!

Gospel promises

There is a reward for those who are eternally saved. Jesus gave Peter, James, and John a glimpse of it when He took them up a mountain and, in a vision, showed them the future of God’s family: “He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him” (Matthew 17:2, 3).

Years later, Peter, who saw the vision, wrote, “By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).

Reread this phrase: “Partakers of the divine nature.” Peter may have been recalling that day on the mount and the glorious vision of Jesus, and what it will be like to be part of God’s holy family one day in eternity. The apostle’s reminder of God’s promises and partaking of the divine nature should get everyone in the gospel line.

John, likely the last surviving apostle, wrote these words, harkening back to the Transfiguration he had witnessed: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

Read this line again: “We shall be like Him.” John also saw the vision on the mountain of what we shall be like one day. We will be perfect as He is, with new bodies. Sixty years or so after that glorious event, John was still telling people about the future God has promised His children. “We shall be like Him” is something worth getting in line for.

Gospel glory

Paul also wrote of God’s precious product and promises. He shared the good news with the church in Rome that we are God’s family, His sons and daughters, heirs of the very glory seen by Peter, James, and John on the mount:

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God . . . heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8:14, 17-19).

Paul explains that God’s product and promise are so great, so far beyond our small comprehension, that we should be willing to stand in line and pay any price to enter into “the glory which shall be revealed in us.” How amazing is our Savior and God! What a fantastic gift He has for those who trust and serve Him. And it’s free.

Gospel meal

A Man stood on the lakeshore watching men fish from a boat. Their luck had run out; the all-night fishing trip seemed wasted.

Exhausted and ready to come to shore, they noticed the Man standing on the beach. He yelled to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” Peter tore off his outer garment and swam to shore. He recognized his Lord
Jesus. There on the beach, in coals of fire, fish were cooking with bread. No fish and chips ever tasted better (John 21:1-13).

Are we ready to share with others what Jesus has shared with us? Are we willing to help people get into the gospel line for something so much better than a meal of fish and chips? We should be excited enough to tell others about the promises of glory for the saved, to do what Jesus told us to do: “Go and make disciples of all the nations.

Mike Wallace
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Mike Wallace is the senior spiritual advisor for the Colorado Springs CoG7 and leader of the Montana Fellowship of the CoG7. He is an elder in the Church of God (Seventh) Day and serves a territory about the size of Ukraine. Mike and his wife, Bonnie, reside in Florence, MT. They have five children and six grandsons. On occasion, Mike has been known to raise a sheep or two.