What would you do if you just finished a hard days work that had resulted in nothing, but then someone came and said try this? What would you do if your living was in a specific industry, but then someone said to stop and come doing something different? What would you do if you were called to leave everything you knew behind, and follow after Him? Could you imagine being encourage with the words “don’t be afraid” or “fear not” and then up and leaving everything behind?
Today’s reading starts off with just such a story…
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
(Matthew 4.18-22; Mark 1.16-20)
1One day Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret while the people pushed their way up to him to listen to the word of God. 2He saw two boats pulled up on the beach; the fishermen had left them and were washing the nets. 3Jesus got into one of the boats—it belonged to Simon—and asked him to push off a little from the shore. Jesus sat in the boat and taught the crowd. 4When he finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Push the boat out further to the deep water, and you and your partners let down your nets for a catch.” 5“Master,” Simon answered, “we worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6They let them down and caught such a large number of fish that the nets were about to break. 7So they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full of fish that the boats were about to sink. 8When Simon Peter saw what had happened, he fell on his knees before Jesus and said, “Go away from me, Lord! I am a sinful man!” 9He and the others with him were all amazed at the large number of fish they had caught. 10The same was true of Simon’s partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11They pulled the boats up on the beach, left everything, and followed Jesus. –Luke 5:1-11
Today’s reading continues further on down the line from the book of Philippians. As we live today, what are we saying about Jesus in and through our lives? What do our actions say? What do our responses say? What does our inaction or quietness say? Are we living lives that honor Jesus and bring glory to God?
To Live Is Christ
12I want you to know, my friends, that the things that have happened to me have really helped the progress of the gospel. 13As a result, the whole palace guard and all the others here know that I am in prison because I am a servant of Christ. 14And my being in prison has given most of the believers more confidence in the Lord, so that they grow bolder all the time to preach the message fearlessly. 15Of course some of them preach Christ because they are jealous and quarrelsome, but others from genuine good will. 16These do so from love, because they know that God has given me the work of defending the gospel. 17The others do not proclaim Christ sincerely, but from a spirit of selfish ambition; they think that they will make more trouble for me while I am in prison. 18It does not matter! I am happy about it—just so Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives. And I will continue to be happy, 19because I know that by means of your prayers and the help which comes from the Spirit of Jesus Christ I shall be set free. 20My deep desire and hope is that I shall never fail in my duty, but that at all times, and especially right now, I shall be full of courage, so that with my whole being I shall bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. — Philippians 1:12-20
Before you act, do you ask what would Jesus do or what would Jesus say or how would Jesus respond? Are we considering the impact of our actions or words or responses on our testimony of what we believe in?
Who do you say God is? Who do show that He is? How are you living that testifies to what you believe?
113I hate those who are not completely loyal to you, but I love your law.
114You are my defender and protector; I put my hope in your promise.
115Go away from me, you sinful people. I will obey the commands of my God.
116Give me strength, as you promised, and I shall live; don’t let me be disappointed in my hope!
117Hold me, and I will be safe, and I will always pay attention to your commands.
118You reject everyone who disobeys your laws; their deceitful schemes are useless.
119You treat all the wicked like rubbish, and so I love your instructions.
120Because of you I am afraid; I am filled with fear because of your judgments.
Do you walk in the confidence that God is love? Do you walk in the confidence that God is your defender and protector? Do you walk in the confidence that is your hope? Do you walk in the confidence that in your weakness God’s strength is provided? Do you walk in the confidence that you are safe in the hands of God? Do you walk in the confidence that God’s instruction and correction will keep you in line? Trust in God! Live a life that will allow you to hear God speak “well done my good and faithful servant”. Live a life that shows that you are a friend of God! Live a life that is confident that your name is written in the book of life!
If you haven’t asked Jesus into your life, is today your day? Is today the day for you to have a divine appointment and ask Jesus to forgive you for your mistakes and disobedience and to ask Him to come into your heart and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior and to follow Him all the rest of the days of your life? It really is that simple! If you don’t have a relationship yet, A.S.K. – Ask, Seek, Knock. Ask Him and He will answer you. Seek Him for you will find Him. Knock and the door to eternity will be opened to you. He desires that we all live in relationship with Him!