3/17/19 – God Moves… Us to Follow, Luke 5:1-11

This week we see how God moves us to follow him.  We will view pictures of the Sea of Galilee while listening to the text.  The Sea of Galilee  which goes by several names such as The sea of Jesus, and what you hear in this scripture-  the Lake of Gennesarat- Gennesarat is the land that lies to the south of Capernaum

Luke 5:1-11

We are reminded in this text that Jesus’ words to follow were not an invitation but a command. Jesus never pleaded anyone to follow him. Christ’s original followers became disciples when they obeyed him when they immediately left their nets, their boats and their families to follow him

Think about the last time that you immediately did anything…
Maybe you have been like me when I immediately slammed on my breaks to not hit the car in front of me.
Or maybe you have been like Andy Shifflett last week when he immediately answered the phone at 2:30 am in the morning to come over to the church when the fire alarm was going off in the elevator.
Or maybe you were like Iris Birckner as she was going to the Lenten Lunch watched a lady fall on the gravel and  immediately knelt down to help her up.

Our motivations vary to acting quickly, from showing compassion to someone who is hurt, to showing responsibility as a leader in the church, to protecting our family in the car.

When a person immediately follows Christ, the motivation is hopefully not that of fear, pride, or just to pass through the pearly gates, but to follow Christ out of love.

Let’s look at four foundational truths or motivations in following Christ; commitment, obedience, love and prayer.

1- To follow Christ is to make a commitment to Christ as Your Lord.
You have probably heard the story about the well known tight rope-walker who was about to cross Niagara Falls on a wire.

He asked the crowd if they thought he could do it.

When they affirmed their belief, he asked them again,

“Do you really believe I can do it?”

When their shouts indicated absolute faith, he asked for a volunteer to ride on his back.
The crowd was silent.

A Commitment to Christ, places your very life into your Lord’s hands.

2-To follow Christ is to obey his word

So often the first step is the hardest in any new activity.

There seems to be many similarities between studying God’s Word and Running.. or you pick the physical activity to compare it to, be it running, yoga or biking

The most difficult part to any activity is the beginning, the first step.
But once you start, reading scripture or working out- you find you enjoy it.

And when you are done you are pleased with what you have accomplished.

Instead of following excuses to put off reading or running for another day…
Find how to place these activities into the regular parts of your day which will build strength over time and hopefully will become less difficult to begin each day as well.

3- To follow Christ is to love one another.   

Many groups are identified by their clothes;

Police wear uniforms

Basketball players wear jerseys

As followers of Christ we don’t need special clothes.  Our garments are diverse and unique as we wear and share love toward others.  In the Gospel of John, Jesus said that by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another…

4- To follow Christ is to talk to him in prayer

Begin your prayers with praise

Actively listen

Be consistent

Share complete honesty.

We may find ourselves following Jesus well through these four standards yet there are obstacles that get in the way.

Think through the obstacles that Jesus overcame in his ministry…

Since last week’s movement into the desert, his popularity has increased with his teachings and his healings, and major obstacles begin to stand in his way.  He is rejected in his own hometown.  The most obvious obstacles being the political and religious establishments, that feel threatened by him for different reasons.  Yet with criticism and threats awaiting around every turn, Jesus’ is determined to keep going.  Jesus is on a course that will not be interrupted by political and religious authorities.  Jesus will not let any obstacle, not even his own death stop him. He moves toward love.

Let’s watch this comical Fishing Parable to observe obstacles that keep us from following Christ.   (Fishing Parable Video by Right Now Media)

If we lay aside the obstacles, excuses and be grounded in obedience, commitment, love and prayer… what is the best way to catch people?

In the Great Commission- Jesus says, “Go and make disciples of all nations…

In the book,  The Making of a Disciple by Dr. Keith Phillips he says we are called to make disciples not converts.

God could have selected any method He wanted to spread the gospel and build his kingdom.  God’s options are not limited.

Jesus opted for discipleship. He personally trained a small group of men and equipped them to train and teach others.  It took Jesus 3 years to disciple 12 men and 1 failed.

Christian discipleship looks like a teacher – student relationship where one person models Jesus to the other.

Similar to the Pay it forward concept of 1 person helping 3 people… and then those 3 people help 3 additional people, the number of people paying forward kindness gets big fast.  Discipleship is a solid and effective way to grow God’s kingdom here on earth.

Suppose an evangelist reaches 1 person per day and a discipler trains one person a year.  You can see the difference from this slide how the discipler multiples greatly!!

The Great Commission is possible, when we know that following Jesus takes commitment, making disciples takes time, and Christ works through us one person at a time.

To become a disciple does not depend upon knowledge of scripture, gifts of speaking,it depends upon saying yes to Christ’s command.

The call of discipleship does not have to happen in a holy place like a temple or church, it can be obeying Christ while fishing with your friends.

Being a disciple is a reverse of priorities, where you love the enemy, even when they are playing your favorite team in the NCAA tournament!

Being a disciple does not take theological words to impress God and others, but uses simple words to talk often with God in prayer and share God with others

During Lent, we move on a course that will end in Jerusalem, at the cross and at the tomb. Each day, Each Sunday, as Jesus moves toward Jerusalem may he move us to follow him closely with our hearts, our mind and our whole self.

The disciples had the greatest catch possibly in their life and they left it behind to follow Christ. James, John and Peter did not have a boat that was sinking because it was damaged, their boat was sinking because there were too many fish and they left it behind to follow Christ.

If your boat was full of fish and you were seeing the best of the best in your profession, would you leave it all behind and follow Christ or would the greatest catch of your life distract you from following the Lord of your Life.

God moves us to follow with our whole life
even when we want to fish

even when we want to stay in bed

even when we want what we want

For there is a better way and all we have to do is take the first step.

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