When Jesus calls, we need to answer His call immediately. We live in this world, but if we are Christians, we are not of this world. Our home is heaven, and we are just passing through this life on our way home. How many times currently do people look at their cell phone to see who is calling and if they don’t want to talk…they don’t answer it. Many times, without even knowing who is on the other end. But what about you see “Jesus” on the screen and you ignore that as well? We best not be putting Jesus on the “Don’t call list”. He is truly our lifeline. His call is the most important call you can ever get. Jesus, doesn’t make cell phone calls…but what if He did? Would you answer it?
Jesus was specific in whom He was calling to follow Him to be part of His inner circle. He would train them and then they would go out into the world and tell others about Him and what He did for them. One day Jesus, who was walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon, who He later called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “FOLLOW ME, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Right now, if someone walked up to you and said, “Follow me” …would you? They didn’t know Jesus was the Messiah then but I’m sure something inside of them was telling them to go with Him. They had no idea their world would be turned upside down nor what all would happen to them over the rest of their life. The Apostles lives were not easy and I am sure we would not want to go through the things they did…yet, the stuck it out no matter the cost, and because they did we also got “the call”, but we are now the ones who need to go out into this world and share the love of Jesus, and do our part to be world-changers. That is not the same for each of us because God uses us all differently. We are like a branch on a tree…we go whatever direction God wants to bend us to.
Jesus is most definitely telling us the same thing: FOLLOW ME. If there’s one call in your life that you should answer completely and genuinely, it would be Christ’s call to follow Him. Yet, how many times you get invited and how many times you ignore the call? I have no clue how many times in my life Jesus offered me the call and also the call of salvation. How many times I ignored Him or didn’t take it seriously. How many opportunities were placed in front of me/and you over our lifetime? Did we even see the call? Did we take it seriously? If you did realize it why or why not did you follow or not follow Him at that time?
God always has a purpose for our life. God lead you and I exactly where we are right now. You wouldn’t be here reading this blog if you were not being called by God in some way. You might not see it that way…but God uses many things in our life and surroundings to get our attention and to show us something. We don’t have to understand this, but truth is truth even if you want to call it a lie. Everyday we get up we can talk to God and ask Him to show us the way for the day, or we can go on our day and not take Him with us. I’d rather face my day taking God with me, than go out into this crazy world each day without Him. I also know that we live in a fallen world with a bunch of wacko people who are not godly. Yes, anything can happen…but I also know that God has protected me and my family so many times over in my life. Yepper, I want Him with me.
Back to Peter and Jesus telling them to follow Him. Notice the response of Peter and Andrew. They “IMMEDIATELY left their nets and FOLLOWED HIM.” Did you see the sense of urgency here? Not only did they follow Christ, but they “left their nets,” signifying their complete surrender of their lives to God’s hands. They have left their source of income and their livelihood to become fishers of men. Did they even know what that would mean yet? Did they even yet know the cost for them of doing the will of God…through this person who walked by that day and said, “Follow Me”. There life changed forever when they left their earthly life to fulfill them by doing the will of God. No one of us really knows where our life will end, or what it will cost us to follow the Lord. The journey could be easy for some, but I’d venture to say that of some the call will be hard.
What does God want from you and me? A relationship! He wants us to spend time with Him. What Jesus is really doing is asking us to be close to Him. What does that mean though? It means you need to take the time and effort to learn of Him, talk to Him, trust Him, and do His will…even if you don’t agree or understand it. How can you share Jesus if you know nothing about Him, what He did, or how He effects your life and others around you. Also know this: God doesn’t have favorites. He has no grandkids either. God is not saying that when we choose to follow him and do the work for the kingdom that it will easy, but He will walk that journey with us.
Some people feel that Jesus should have wanted the priests, leaders, or kings etc. to follow Him, but Jesus chose ordinary people to follow Him to be the ones to start the church. He didn’t need the people who thought they were more important than everyone else, He wanted people who could love Him and do what He wanted them to do. Jesus called fishermen to be part of His inner circle. In the norms of men, Peter and the others are no one. But to Christ, they were someone. At that moment, Peter had no idea how he and Andrew, and eventually the other Apostles would eventually change the world! Know this, we might think that in our world we can’t accomplish, or change anything…but in the eyes of God we can do great things. If we do our part to change the world as God wants us to then we are being obedient and that matters to God. Do you ever wonder why Jesus would pick fishermen to train? The life of a fisherman is difficult even today with all of the bells and whistles that have been invented to help them. They are always familiar to the dangers of water. They are often wet, tired, and cold. Storms can come up suddenly and they could be put in great danger…yet they still would fish to provide for their family. As a painstaking job, being a fisherman this also prepared Peter, and Andrew to become two of the Lord’s disciples. Christ knew how to endure hardships, and He also knew what it was going to cost Him when He had to go to the cross.
Who would you and I want to get us across a lake in a boat back then? The guy who sat in an office, let’s say…or the one who knew how to navigate us across the sea to safety? To someone who never did hard work, maybe God didn’t call them to be His disciple back then for it could have overwhelmed them to the point they gave up. These fishermen Jesus called had such a great responsibility and they did great things for the Lord and for us. Do ever really appreciate all they did and all they went through to bring us the word of God? We talk about them in church, we read about them in the word of God…but do we appreciate what they did for us today?
The church belongs to Jesus. It is His church. He is the leader of the church…not us, not a pastor etc. The church will always belong to Jesus. It is His message that needs to be sent out…not ours. One of the greatest things we need to learn in our life is to fully trust the Lord with every aspect of our life. Another is to always tell the truth of the word of God and point people to Jesus. Don’t add to the word, and do not take away from it. Don’t ever try to make it say what you or anyone else wants it to say (tickling someone’s ears for instance). Tell the truth!
We also need to always be willing to learn more about the kingdom and Jesus. No matter how smart we think we are, we are only babies in learning. We always need to live by faith in Him for without Him we have nothing, will be nothing as far as the kingdom of heaven goes.
People make fun of Peter and his walking on water…but that was amazing. At least he did it for a minute and tried. The other 11 disciples didn’t try and didn’t do it. He took his eyes off Jesus for a moment and began to sink. Wonder what would have happened had he kept his eyes on the Lord ? What he saw were the waves and he got scared…but Jesus held out His hands and saved Peter. Peter, at least tried. Do we try hard things in life because we might fail? So what if we fall and fail? At least we would have tried.
Peter is a man of courage. It is due to his courage that he always seemed to be the speaker of the disciples and early church. However, sometimes, the same courage puts him in trouble. We all know that Peter led the church back then…but Peter was always saying dumb things and sticking his foot in his mouth. He didn’t walk by faith a lot of the time but instead walked by sight. We are people who don’t have to see the details of God to be able to follow Him and do His will in our life. This next part can be tough for many people. We are to walk by faith, but what does that really mean? Walking by faith means that no matter what happens in this life, we must never lose our faith. Though we might lose our house, our job, our money, loved ones, our health, the respect and love of others, the recognition of other people, and even our life, we MUST not lose our faith. God didn’t promise while we lived on this earth that life would be easy and if a pastor tells you that…run! Jesus said that in this life we would have tribulation. None of us wants tribulation in our life but if we are facing it, in it, or will be in it at some point…………………..hang onto the Lord for by faith He will get us across that finish line victoriously.
So now it is up to you. Peter is an example for us. Peter made a lot of mistakes, but he hung in there, did as God asked, went through things we pray we would never have to go through…and he made it to the end to cross that finish line. He is our example of the good times and the bad times. He is an example of being forgiven even for denying the Lord. We might not have a fancy life upon this earth, but even those that think they have everything will one day face God and give an account of their life. We all have a lifetime of choices and I pray that each of us choose correctly from the beginning, but if we don’t choose right away…I also pray that we wake up and choose to do right, ask God to forgive us, and that we repent/change…and we go on. No one lives my life but me. No one lives your life but you. We don’t have to agree on many things in this world. We all have an opinion and yours, even when I hate it and don’t agree with it…you still have a right to your opinion. I chose to follow Jesus and I would want that for you as well, but if you choose differently and choose to reject and deny Him…that is your choice and that choice if it didn’t change before you take that last breath on this earth…you will not get into heaven no matter what you believe or what anyone would tell you that says God wouldn’t keep you out of heaven. God doesn’t keep us out of heaven…that is the truth…but your choice does. It is time to make a choice. Will you follow Jesus and live for Him, or will you choose not to? Only you can decide your destiny. Since you do not know when you will take that last breath upon this earth…you might want to choose now. God will honor your decision even if that decision would break His heart.
As for me, I choose to follow the Lord. I choose to tell others whatever He gives me to tell you. I am no writer but He has used my messages despite my lack of proper grammar to get a message out. You didn’t come to this page out of an accident. I didn’t write it accidently either. I never know who a message is for or even if one person will see it. Maybe someone will see it and think about it or maybe they will reject it…but it is there for them. I couldn’t find anyone better to have faith in or follow in my life, and I am more than grateful that Jesus went out of His way to not just find me, but to use me for whatever purpose He has for me. What a journey my life has been. People can hate or love me that is their choice. However, I always know the Lord loves me and died for me and I want to honor Him. What you do with this lesson and your life is truly up to you. Just take the time to digest it…and see if there is something more you need to do to get right with God. Just as you do that for your own life…I have done that as well. There is nothing on this earth worthy of my praise other than for God. There is no one worth following into eternity but Jesus. I can love and choose to love people here while I am alive and I do love here, but I choose even more to follow Jesus and one day spend eternity with Him and all my brothers and sisters…and the angels forever. I choose that. What do you choose?