|Matthew 4:18-22 (TLB)|
|18 One day as he was walking along the beach beside the Lake of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—out in a boat fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen.
19 Jesus called out, “Come along with me and I will show you how to fish for the souls of men!” 20 And they left their nets at once and went with him.
21 A little farther up the beach he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their nets; and he called to them to come too. 22 At once they stopped their work and, leaving their father behind, went with him.
|In religious circles, we hear a lot of caution used to warn students of the Word not to take things out of context. I had been taught this story over and over from even an early age, but until this morning never really caught the context of Jesus calling His first disciples. Beginning up in verse 12 we are told that Jesus went to Galilee, a place known for its unbelievers. Yet as He walked along the lake and saw these fishermen, He simply gave the call to them, and without hesitation they dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. This story is nothing short of miraculous, friends!|
|I wonder what has happened to cause so many who sit under the teachings of the Lord Jesus to be in such doubt about the same Lord who they’ve heard for years to be a miracle-working, loving, sacrificial, all-powerful God. I would imagine that in many of our local churches Jesus may walk in today, He could call on the pastor, or the elders, or the deacons, or the Christians who have boasted of Him over the years, and they may ‘prayerfully consider’ the request to follow Jesus into the unknown – although on second thought, to leave everything they have and follow Him wherever He may guide them, well that may create somewhat of a challenge for many! One old faithful retired missionary told us that when he was called to missions, he sold everything he had and gave the money to his local home churches, because he felt like if Jesus called him, then he would provide for him. Furthermore, it increased his faith in the one that he knew he would lean heavily on for the unknowns of a foreign land. That really takes ‘faith’ to a whole new level for me! So in my above analogy, we believe that Jesus may stand a chance getting a few to follow Him among our church leadership, but what if He went down just about any old street in your neighborhood, where people hang out for everything but church-related activities? Would Jesus be accepted there, and will the residents follow Him ‘at once’? Friends, I believe that as we study the Word of God, we are often reminded that our Lord is not just ‘anyone’ walking our streets, or the isles of our churches looking for a handout. He knows us by name, and Scripture says that He knows us so well that He even knows the number of hairs on our head. So when He calls us, it will not be a ‘hey you over there in that red shirt’ type of thing, but He could very well call you by name and give you plenty enough evidence that He is calling you personally, in spite of all the guilt you may feel about your inadequate, feeble walk with Him. If you designed and made a particular tool that you wanted to use every time that you worked on a particular engine, or that you might want to cook a particular dish with, you will remember every peculiarity about that tool. Please don’t forget that God made you also friend, and He knows every little dent or nick that you’ve received over the years. He is simply looking for your availability through which He might mightily move in His earthly ministry. Are you willing to respond unconditionally and immediately? If not, why not? Accept Him today and know that peace that passes all understanding, for He cares for you, and loves you beyond anything you can imagine! Read my Footnote if you would like more information about a personal relationship with my Lord!|
|Father, You are so amazing! You created us and gave us the freedom to either follow You in faith and savor that enormous love that You have for us, or to encounter the evil of this world where Satan strives daily to destroy us. Unfortunately, it seems like our faith never matures to the state that we are quick to obey and follow You, like these disciples demonstrated to us. Please forgive us for our lack of faith, and our desire to do our own thing, in spite of the normal bad results that we read about, hear about or have witnessed personally. Lord, we need a fresh dose of Jesus every day of our lives, for we are weak and sinful beyond anything we ever thought possible. Only You can save us, and only You can direct us in the paths that You have set out before us. Please fill us with Your everlasting love, power and commitment to be obedient children of the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. For I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and my Savior, AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
January 9, 2017