Part Five - God for the Christian
Read Matthew 4: 18-22
Each morning Peter got up and fell into his same old routine, puts on the same old clothes, drinks the same bad coffee, eats the same bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios (I don’t know what they ate for breakfast back then!) and sets off to go fishin’.
But later that morning, out on the lake, Jesus comes by. Now Peter had seen Jesus before, he had heard Him speak, he had witnessed His character and Peter from the very first time he had come into contact with Jesus knew that there was no one like Him. No way. He figured there never was, and probably never would be. And Jesus walked up that day, looked out to the boat, Peter looked in, wondering why Jesus was stopping, and then he heard Jesus speak those words that would change his life forever, “Come, follow me.” Those words took his breath away. Could Jesus really want me to become a follower of his? Well, Peter wasn’t taking any chances, so he just followed. He left everything there.
And you can picture when Peter got home that night, because we know from the Bible that he was a married man. Can you imagine what Mrs. Peter said? “You did what? Where did you leave your nets? Wait! Where’s the boat?” She probably thought he was crazy, but Peter wasn’t crazy, in fact, it was the most intelligent choice he had ever made. The best thing he had ever done. Because that day he started following Jesus, and that day he was freed from living a meaningless life.
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Jessi and Tommy followed God’s calling. They both made radical changes to their lives involving moving house and changing jobs. Their lives became an amazing adventure following God.
You can read through the biographies of Jesus life, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, where Peter is one of the main characters, and you can read through the history book of the early church, the book of Acts in the New Testament, and what you will find is that Peter’s life became an amazing adventure.
Think about it, these four fishermen became the leaders of a worldwide revolution 2000 years ago, and we’re still talking about them today! By the way, can you name any other Galilean fisherman from the 1st century? No! But we know about these guys. People still name their kids after them! You know anyone named Peter? Andrew? James? John? God made their lives into something incredible, something we still talk about today.
And if you have said yes to following Jesus, God is for you, and it means that you’ve been freed from living a meaningless life. You’re freed up to dream big, to risk, to live an adventure. To live God’s adventure for your life.
You’re also freed to fail. And that is huge. Because I think you could argue that we’re not fully living if we’re living with a fear of failure.
But a lot of us do live with a fear of failure. And I think the reason we’re so afraid to fail is because we think if we fail, we won’t matter. And we want to matter.
That day when Jesus approached Peter by a lake, I think that’s basically what he was asking, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life as a fisherman, or do you want a chance to change the world?”
I think he’d ask the same question of you and me. “Do you want to spend the rest of your life getting up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, watching TV for three hours, and going to sleep, or do you want a chance to change the world?”
God is for us. So he sent Jesus to share his love with the whole world. God is for Christians. And because he is, Jesus is calling you to follow him in his mission. Leave whatever you need to leave behind, and let's join him.
It’s so easy to get stuck in the rut of a meaningless life. But I’ll tell you what, when Peter and Andrew and James and John said yes to following Jesus, it was the best decision they ever made, and it freed them from living a meaningless life.
Simon’s bit – You don’t have to chance career or move house to follow God. It’s a different adventure for each of us. But what you must do is listen to God’s calling on your life and be prepared to make changes and sacrifices. They might only be small or they might be large. Oh; and don’t throw the age card back at me! In Genesis 21:5, Abraham had a son at the age of 100. Abraham listened, God spoke, God delivered on His promises for Abraham, impossible as it may have seemed.
Allow Him to do the same for you……….
Listen and follow – You won’t regret it. I promise ….. (And so does God!)