Stand..and Be Counted [Scott Moore, Lead Pastor of Eastridge Community Church]
One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.
Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. (Luke 5:1-11 NLT)
Jesus looked crazy telling these fishermen how to do their job. He was a teacher/Rabbi, not a fisherman. So, when they do what Jesus suggests, they look foolish. When they catch so many fish that their nets are breaking, now they look faithful. But they get back to shore and leave their nets, and their record breaking catch, to follow Jesus.
Peter looked crazy.
Peter just caught the catch of his life and yet he dropped everything to follow Jesus.
But there was absolutely NO DOUBT that Peter was following Jesus. He left everything to follow Jesus. It was obvious to the world..is it obvious to the world that I am a follower of Christ?
Our response to Jesus’ call must be definitive.
What made Peter’s calling so definitive..
When we STAND in Jesus there is a clear transfer of..
..there is a transfer of Position..
Peter knew he was in the presence of greatness..
When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” (Luke 5:8 NLT)
Have you ever been around someone who makes you feel bad about yourself? They may not even be trying to do it, but they have the ability, through the way they live their life, to make us look inward at ourself and evaluate our own lives. Like a Tim Tebow..here’s what his college coach, Urban Meyer had to say,
“When I first met Tim, I didn’t like Tim,” said Meyer. “I admired him, but I didn’t like him…Tim has a unique ability to force you to look inward, to evaluate yourself. Because everything you see Tim do, it’s hard to believe.”
But we are now a “new creation”..
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
We often live our lives hidden behind our sins thinking we are not worthy to do what God has called us to do.
God can and will use me..because of Christ Jesus in me.
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11 NLT)
Paul teaches us to look forward because our past is dead. The power of sin is DEAD..and the power of CHRIST is ALIVE in us.
God takes sinners and transforms them into instruments of God’s use.
Peter knew fishing. He did not know Christian faith. But he left everything to be used by God. Jesus later calls him the rock on which He will build the church.
- God sees something in you that you don’t even see in yourself.
- God wants to use you.
- God wants to change the world through you.
..or..it’s all just religion.
..there is a transfer of Power..
Someone new now has the control and the authority.
And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. (Luke 5:11 NLT)
They left everything. EVERYTHING! Peter transferred authority/power to Christ. Power is deferred when we give up everything to follow Jesus. Peter gave up his life plan..
Why would Peter do this?
The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike the teachers of religious law. (Mark 1:22 NLT)
Jesus taught them with REAL authority. They recognized him as the Lord. They recognized that this teacher spoke as if He was the Word..as if He spoke it into being..
Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9, 10 NLT)
May YOUR will be done..not mine.
Jesus doesn’t ask for our commitment. He asks for our everything. For our surrender.
If we try to do it on our own we are at war with ourself.
If we try to be king then there are two kings in our life..and there’s not room for two kings.
A kingdom with two kings is a kingdom at war.
..there is a transfer of Priorities..
When their is a transfer of position and power the it reorients our priorities.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33 NLT)
God has always expected his people to change their priorities to follow him.
After the death of Moses the LORD’s servant, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:1-8 NLT)
“GO..OBEY..I AM WITH YOU”
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NLT)
Is it priority to the church that we will GO, OBEY, and remember that HE IS WITH US? Are we fighting for the priorities that Jesus has set before us?
When we follow Jesus we find priorities worth fighting for.
- Have you settled?
- Have you settled for religion while chasing the world?
Challenge to 100 current ECC members (who are not serving in ministry) to STAND up and serve here on ECC Covington Campus. Join the fight. Pray about how you can serve here at ECC.
- How will our story end?
- Is what we are doing going to matter?
“Only one life,
Twill soon be past;
Only what’s done
For Christ will last.”