“Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. John 21:12-13
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written, ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ I Peter 15-16
The source of your salvation rests in one person alone, the Lord Jesus Christ. The place of your salvation is in the community of many, a body of fellows, the fellowship of the saints. The Paul Anderson Youth Home would not exist without Christ, preeminently, and His many “eyes, arms, hands, and legs, who because of Him have come alongside and in myriads of ways kept their hands on “the ship of this ministry to troubled young men. One such “ship holder is Jim Pulliam who now inhabits the courts of heaven. Jim began the “holy fish fry at the Home which was just one of his many ideas to keep this ministry going. Jim was never lost for ideas even if we didn’t always use them. They flowed out of his mind like a fountain; because he loved the Home and He loved the Savior. From the time he was introduced to the Home by his close friend Truett Cathy, he was locked-in as a permanent supporter to the day of his entrance into glory. The fish fry was one of many of his ideas to introduce more supporters to the Home. This Saturday the Home will enjoy its first Holy Fish Fry without Jim’s visible presence, but in celebration of his love for others in the body to which he was called by God.
John 21 is a fitting ending chapter to the Gospel written by the beloved disciple, John, because it speaks to the continuation of life after the Lord’s departure into heaven impressing His call on you to bring the “holy into the common things of your life seeing this is your new character imitating His. It is not just a common fish fry; it’s a Holy fish fry. Why? Because it has more to do with who you are than eating fish and spitting out the bones. The encounter with the resurrected Lord on the beach of the Sea of Galilee was more than eight men having breakfast. Of course, it was “hallowed by the presence of the un-ascended Lord, but as He says, “Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. (Matthew 18:20). It is not only the Lord’s presence which “hallows a gathering of His brothers and sisters; it is what transpires in interaction with one another and the end for which you intend it.
Jesus is all about your sanctification just as He was about the sanctification of these seven men as the sun rose over the beach with the warm fire early on that morning. When we get together for any common or illustrious occasion it should be about your sanctification and of those who are there. Jim was always about this as I rubbed shoulders with him on many an occasion. His uncomplaining, encouraging presence on our 1500 mile bike ride to Omaha despite his age was a sanctifying influence on the whole enterprise. Those who claim the personal character marker of “Be holy, because I am holy must be more intentional when with others of being a sanctifying influence on their lives. Will it be a holy fish fry, a holy lunch, a holy meeting, a holy encounter, a holy greeting in passing, a holy hunting trip, a holy golf match, a holy shopping trip, a holy whatever? Do not fall into the rut of non-holy habit, but be intentional in preparing your mind for action before you enter into interaction with others, be self-controlled in what you bring to the encounter, show that Christ’s work in your life is not in vain.(1 Peter 1:13-16)
So on Saturday in Vidalia, the Youth Home is having a Holy Fish Fry in honor of Jim. What are you doing today? What encounters do you have planned? Be intentional of it being a “Holy Something, an interaction in which you bring a mind prepared for holy-conversation, holy, redeemed human-nature, holy-humor, holy-encouragement, holy-hope, intent on a sanctifying impact on your companions. There are neither an unlimited amount of days left in this life, nor an unlimited amount of encounters. But what there are can be days and encounters with holy results which God can establish as the work of your hands forever.
“Lord, I my vows to you renew, disperse my sins as morning dew; guard my first springs of thought and will, and with yourself my spirit fill.
(4th verse of Thomas Ken’s hymn, “Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun, 1709)
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