In Luke 5 we read the story of Jesus calling his first disciples. Peter, James and John were washing their nets after a long, pointless night of fishing. Jesus instructed them to launch out again, and despite their doubts, they did as Jesus asked. They caught so many fish that their boats were in danger of sinking. Jesus then calls upon them to leave their boats, nets and livelihood and follow him, and become fishers of men. Luke 5:11 says, And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. These men had a fishing business. There’s a good chance that their families had been fishermen for generations. Yet, when Jesus called them, they risked it all, they followed his call. They left everything. They jumped. We learn from Scripture that they each had a life-long ministry of preaching and teaching the good news about Jesus. They suffered, they endured and eventually all died for the Gospel. They knew that the reward was far greater than the risk, the pain, the loss!
Scriptures – John 15:18-19; 1 Peter 4:1; Hebrews 12:2; Acts 19:16; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Matthew 16:25; Luke 5:11
Verses – So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. (1 Pt 4:1) …for we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Co 5:7) “For if you want to save your own life you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it.” (Mt 16:25) So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. (Lk 5:11)
Thought – Why is it Christ followers don’t want to take risks? Why do they want to play it safe, sit on the sidelines, and not serve…not share their faith…hold on to the tithe? Is it because the risk is too great? If that’s what you are thinking, you have forgotten the return—eternity! The potential return is beyond anything this world can offer. There’s a far greater risk in holding out! What is that risk? Every single person has someone they love who doesn’t know Jesus Christ. Have you forgotten what’s at stake? Yes, you will likely be misunderstood, you may be rejected and even suffer persecution. Jesus suffered. Peter says that as a Christ-follower, you must be prepared to suffer (1 Pe 4:1). Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean everything will be easy and safe, comfy and nice. Jesus never promised that. He promised to be with you, strengthen you and equip you for the mission and ministry he has planned for you. But you have to JUMP! You can’t be a partially-devoted follower of Jesus Christ, only faithful when things go your way, you feel good, it’s easy, the risk is low, and you are getting rather than giving. If it’s all about you, it’s not about Jesus! In order to truly find yourself, you must lose yourself in Christ. Risk and reward!
Questions – Do you consider yourself a fully-devoted Christ follower? Why or why not? How much concern do you have for family and friends who don’t know Jesus? Are you afraid to share your faith? Why? When is the last time you shared your faith with someone who doesn’t know Jesus? What do you need to lose in order to devote yourself more fully to the cause of Christ?
Response – Assess how you are doing with sharing your faith. Ask God for opportunities to share with others who don’t know Jesus. Pray and read your Bible so you are prepared when you have a chance to share. Ask God for guidance. Be willing to JUMP when you have an opportunity!
Prayer – Dear God, ignite within me a passion for those who are lost. Give me strength, confidence and boldness to serve you as a fully-devoted follower. Show me what I need to lose in order to live fully for you and in you. Thank you for your promise of the great reward of a home with you in heaven for eternity. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.