Sunday 19 July
First reading Matthew chapter 4: verses 18-22 (NIV)
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, " and I will send you out to fish for people." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Message part 1
Come and follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Simple, I don’t think so.
Uncouth, smelly, hard grafting calloused hands. How do you turn men like that into disciples? Last week we said the disciples were a work in progress. They couldn't even follow simple instructions. It took patience and good teaching, through example and practice. But most of all it took belief. Belief in self but more important belief that the Lord was there for them, period. No half measures, no doubt, no wavering.
They had three years of one-to-one teaching from “THEE” Master and they still had a way to go. We can be gracious to ourselves and in cutting ourselves some slack, we can take four or five maybe even six years to get there. That is not to say we count from today. Nor am I saying there is an upper age to stop moving forward with Christ.
Second Reading 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Message part two
The model Jesus used was profound. It is now being used in businesses as if it was something new.
1. Come be my apprentice, here is what I am going to do.
2. Come see that this is what I am going.
3. Come do it with me.
4. Can I watch you do it?
5. Go do it yourself and remember I am here should you need me.
Where are you?
- Even David hid from King Saul, so hiding from God? That is acceptable, otherwise David would not have become the King that he was.
- Are you just following, perhaps even from a distance. That is acceptable, otherwise Jesus would not have healed all who came and who followed at a distance.
- Are you just outside Christ's inner disciples, hoping to get a good vantage point to see Jesus teach his Disciples. That is acceptable, otherwise Jesus would never have shared his teaching with the masses.
- Are you following Christ closely, an apprentice disciple? That too is acceptable, otherwise Jesus could never have taught anyone anything.
- Are you wishing Jesus was here so you could work with him as he taught you? That is acceptable otherwise, how could our world have disciples today to carry on the work of Christ.
- Are you doing the work you are being asked, frightened you make a mistake? That is acceptable, otherwise none of us would learn.
- Are you practising as and when God gives you an opportunity, if not you have room for growth? That is acceptable, otherwise there would still only be a handful of disciples.
- Are you doing all you can already with the occasional cry for help? That is shaky ground – when we do things on our strength, that, arguably is not in partnership with Christ! That partnership is essential. Many churches have been faithfully doing what they have always done in the hope Christ might bless them. Even when experience shows them Christ is not doing that.
Our next praise song sums up perfectly how it should be Take my life and let it be Yours and Yours alone. We need to do things in His strength as he directs and guides.
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.