Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June 23, 2016

"One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat." Luke 5:1-3

Jesus calls you to follow. 

What does it mean to follow?

Following involves steps. If I were to follow you or if you wanted to follow me it would require keeping in step with the one you're following.

So, when Jesus calls you to follow Him He is not expecting a leap of faith but simply a series of steps that are indicative of a desire to follow.

In this seaside story of Jesus calling His first disciples we are able to discern the steps these fishermen took to become followers.

Yesterday, I pointed out the first step which is listening and learning.

With this lesson a second step is identified. The second step was Jesus asking Peter to loan Him his boat.

What is the significance of this next step?

First, there was a practical reason for asking to use Peter's boat. The crowd was large and growing larger by the moment. There were no public address systems and speaking over water amplified His words. So, by getting into boat more of the people were able to hear better what Jesus had to say in His sermon.

But there was another reason Jesus asked Peter to loan Him his boat. He wanted to see if Peter would trust Him with something as precious as his fishing boat.

Peter was exhausted since he had fished all night and then spent a couple hours cleaning his net. I'm sure he was looking forward to a meal and a nap. Now, this Rabbi needed his boat.

Out of respect to the Rabbi Peter let Jesus into the boat and pushed out a little distance from the shore.

Do you think Peter would be willing to trust Jesus with his life if he couldn't trust Him with his boat? I don't think so!

I can't speak for you but for me trusting Jesus happened one step at a time.

Step one is listening to Jesus and learning. When you listen to Jesus you learn more about Who He is but you also learn about who you are.

Step two is loaning your boat. Jesus will challenge you to trust Him in some small area. He will invite you to give faith a try.

That's how Peter began following Jesus! One small step at a time!

What is your next step?

Seaside Story

"One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets." Luke 5:1-2

I love stories about Jesus!

Don't you?

Never has there been a more compelling person on planet earth!

This is one of the captivating stories from the early years of Jesus' ministry because it records the calling of His first followers.

If you are a follower of Christ or if you are investigating what it means to follow Jesus you will find this seaside story particularly helpful.

Here's an important truth to get your heart and mind around. FOLLOWING JESUS ALWAYS BEGINS WITH LISTENING AND LEARNING!

The Apostle Paul later wrote to the believers in Rome:

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Romans 10:7

Jesus has no interest in people following Him out of blind faith. "Blind faith" is a euphemism for "ignorant faith". That is apparent from the very beginning of His earthly ministry as we see in Luke's account.

On the contrary, God has done everything He can to make His truth available through the Bible and through the history of the Christian faith to enable us to make an intentional and intelligent decision to follow Him.

So, Jesus was teaching along the edge of the Sea of Galilee to a large crowd of people who came to LISTEN and to LEARN about this new Rabbi from Nazareth. On the edge of this expansive gathering were several fishermen who were cleaning their nets after a night and early morning of fishing. While they worked they also listened and Jesus noticed.

Isn't it amazing that Jesus calls people like you and me to follow Him?

Aren't you glad?

And isn't it encouraging to know that before He calls us He speaks to through the Bible, through sermons, through Bible studies, through the testimonies of others AND through the Holy Spirit?

So, as you begin this day, will you listen? Will you learn? That's how He leads!