Posts Tagged 'God's calling'

Follow Me

JESUS SPEAKING

     ‘As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office.  And he said to him, “Follow Me.”  So he arose and followed Him.’ (Mark 9: 9)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     The calling of Matthew is one of the shortest conversion stories recorded in the bible.  As a tax collector, he worked for the Roman Empire; earning him the contempt and disdain of his own people.  Still Jesus saw something in him worth saving.  As the Lord passed by He uttered two simple words that would forever transform Matthew’s life; “Follow Me.”  Matthew’s response was simple, immediate, and unwavering.  He arose, abandoned his position, and began following Jesus Christ.

     During the 1880’s, a famous baseball player named Billy Sunday had a similar experience.  One day he and his teammates entered a saloon and began drinking. Upon exiting the bar, Billy spotted a group of Christians singing hymns and preaching about God’s salvation and forgiveness.  With tears rolling down his face, he turned to his teammates and said, “Boys, I’m through!  Going to turn to Jesus Christ.  We’ve reached the parting of the ways.”  Some mocked him, while others encouraged him.  He immediately entered the Pacific Garden Mission, where he gave his life to the Lord.  Later he said, “I called upon God’s mercy.  I staggered out of my sins and into the outstretched arms of the Savior.  I became instantly a new creation in Him.  The next morning at practice, my manager, Mike Kelly greeted me and said, ‘Billy, I read in the paper what occurred yesterday.  Religion isn’t my long suit, but I won’t knock you, and I’ll knock the daylights out of anyone who does.”  Billy Sunday went on to become one of the greatest evangelists of the early 20th century.

     Like Matthew, and like Billy, God is still calling many of us to follow Him today.  Jesus Christ desires that everyone might come to know Him and submit to His discipleship.  Some individuals will respond to His calling, while others will not.  How then can you obey God’s call and receive salvation?  First, find a quiet place; then ask God to enter your heart.  You must profess a faith in Jesus Christ and also turn away from sinful living.  Get involved at a local church and be baptized.  Find an easy to read version of the bible (read it every day; beginning with the gospels.)  As you grow in the knowledge of God and submit to His commandments, you will experience an amazing transformation.  The old things will pass away, for behold, God will make ‘all things new.’

     “Lord Heavenly Father, we thank You for calling us to be Your disciples.  May You dwell forever in our hearts and minds.  Give us the strength to turn away from sin and death, that we might fully embrace the new life we have in You.  You are our Father and we are Your children. Teach us and guide us in all things. Give us more of Your Holy Spirit that we may lovingly serve You and our fellows.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Where to Cast Our Nets

JESUS SPEAKING

So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5: 1 – 8)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Although Peter was initially hesitant, he ultimately obeyed Jesus’ command to return to the sea and let down his nets. In so doing he observed a miracle that only God Himself could orchestrate. His nets could scarcely contain the abundance of fish they had captured. Because Jesus promised to make them “fishers of men,” this event is a symbol of the greater calling of every Christian. The gospel is the net that we spread, and the fish are those we have captured for Christ. If we are attentive, God will inform us of when and where to cast our nets. Although we are one body, we are often called to different ministries.

In the early 1800’s, an English missionary named Barnabas Shaw was forbidden to preach in Cape Town. And yet he chose not to leave Africa, but rather to push on into the interior. He purchased a yoke of oxen, put his wife and his goods into a wagon and stared out, resolved to settle wherever he would be allowed to preach. So they journeyed for three hundred miles. Then one night while camping they discovered that a band of natives (Hottentots) were camping nearby. In conversation with the leader Shaw learned that these tribal people were on their way to Cape Town to find a missionary to teach them about the Christian faith. Shaw was the exact man they were seeking. He soon realized that God had been leading him the entire time.

Like Barnabas Shaw, God has called every believer to accomplish some outreach in furtherance of the Gospel. Each of us has been endowed with different gifts, talents and abilities, which we can use to more effectively minister to others. If we are willing to listen, Jesus Christ will show us when and where to cast our nets; and those who are obedient will be fruitful. Therefore we must ask ourselves this important question: What ministry have we been called to accomplish for our Creator?

“Lord Heavenly Father, you are our strength and our redeemer; without You we are lost. As we journey through this life, we ask for Your direction. Where would you have us serve? And to what ministry have we been called? Grant us that wisdom; and give us the courage and passion to become the instruments of Your will. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!


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