A New Year Challenge
"The Risk of Change"
Luke 5:1-11 "So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 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.
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
5 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.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 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. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him."
So far in our RISK series we've talked about...
The risk of vulnerability
The risk of obedience
The risk of letting go
And now "the risk of CHANGE" will be our last topic in the RISK series...
Now, watch something closely with me...
Whereas Luke records Jesus simply informing the disciples that they will "catch men" in the future, Mark adds two key words that tell us how that's going to come about...
"Follow me and I will make you to become fishers of men."
The two key words here are "make" and "become."
"Make" is from a Greek word, poiéma, meaning "a work, or workmanship."
We can look at a beautiful house and say, "Somebody made, crafted, created a stunning home!
The same word is used in Romans where Paul says that we can know some things about God "being understood through what has been made..." Ro. 1:20
He's talking about the awesome universe God has MADE....
And Jesus uses the same word when He tells the disciples, "I will MAKE you..."
"I will MAKE you," said Jesus, "to BECOME....fishers of men."
The word "become" is from another Greek word which means "a change of condition."
It means a transitioning from one condition or state of being to another---in other words, the word "become" is talking about change!
So bottom line, Jesus said "I'm going to change you from the inside out by the same power with which I made the world!
The disciples would fish for men, not out of pure duty, but as the result of the change they would undergo at the hands of Jesus.
Jesus said to them and by extension to us, "I will work on you until you become something you'd have never been if I hadn't worked on you!"
So here it is: Getting close to Jesus, and following Jesus, means CHANGE!
News Flash: If you don't like change, you're not going to like walking with Jesus!
Like our speaker said last week, "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape."
When the disciples let go of everything and followed Jesus, they embraced the risk of change...
And I want you to know that EVERYTHING CHANGED for them...
Their lives were never to be the same again!_________________________
So with that said, here are some honest facts about change:
No one likes it...
As much as we hate to admit it, we like predictability, familiar surroundings, old friends, playing it safe, and the same old same old...
We don't like being uprooted, new locations where you don't know anyone, having to adapt and flex and stretch and.....CHANGE!
But following Jesus immediately presents the challenge of change.
Discipleship calls us out of our lazy-boy, out of our comfort zone, away from the safety of the shore, and into the deep waters of radical change.
In fact, I can tell you today from many years of observation that the prospect of change is what keeps many people walking around the edges of Christianity without ever diving into the deep!
But Jesus says to one and all of us, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
What it all really comes down to is TRUST...
Can I trust the Lord, like Peter did, to step out of the safety of the boat onto the sea of change without drowning?
Will I end up in a good place if I go "all in" and embrace the CHANGE He brings?
“Many years ago a man named Blonden strung a tightrope across Niagara Falls, and proceeded to traverse the raging waters.
A crowd gathered as he successfully made his way back to his starting place.
“Who here believes I can cross over Niagara Falls again, but this time pushing a wheelbarrow?”
The exhilarated crowd began shouting, “We believe, we believe!”
And sure enough, Blonden steered that wheelbarrow successfully across The Falls and back, to the riotous applause of the onlookers!
Then he asked, “Who here believes I can cross over Niagara Falls a 3rd time, but this time with a man in the wheelbarrow?”
The crowd could barely control their enthusiasm, so spectacular were the achievements of this death-defying tightrope-ist. “We believe! We believe!” they shouted, all the louder.
Blonden replied, “Ok, then who will be my first volunteer in the wheelbarrow?”
APPLICATION: Faith is getting in the wheelbarrow, not just screaming, “I believe!“
QUESTION: When was the last time you were in “God’s Wheelbarrow?”
We're getting in the wheelbarrow this year, care to join us?
If you say, "No Jeff, I think I'll stay in my little boat of safety," then let me tell you the truth about something...
When you're through changing, you're through...
I have seen far too many people stagnate in their spiritual walk because they're unwilling to make changes.
You know what? Playing it safe--where following Jesus is concerned--is the most unsafe thing in the world!
Because safety is not found in the familiar, or the predictable, or the same old same old...
Safety is found in the bullseye center of God's perfect will!
So first, we must shake off the fear of change...
Second, it needs to be said that...
II. Godly change never means changing your convictions...
Blessed is the Christian who can adjust to changing circumstances without changing his values!
We are called to change, but we are NEVER CALLED to change our convictions...
The walk we're called to is one of knowing when to stand firm and when to bend...
And we are never to BEND AWAY FROM the truth of God's Word!
The disciples underwent RADICAL CHANGE but their message, morals, and values NEVER changed!
WE change, but TRUTH never does!
III. The changed always become the chang-ers...
I believe there are three kinds of people in this world: 1.) those who are unchangeable 2.) those who are changeable 3.) those who cause change.
And it is ONLY those who are changeable that end up CAUSING change!
Change is a MUST for those who want to change the world.
World changers are first CHANGED themselves!
True world changers have a testimony that goes like this:
I once was CHAINED...but now I'm CHANGED!
The person who turns to Christ goes from CHAINED to CHANGED...
Like we sing: "My chains are gone, I've been set free; My God My Savior has ransomed me...And like a flood Him mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace."
The Bible says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION, old things have passed away and all is become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
Listen to the Amplified, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]."
LISTEN: Bound people bind people; hurt people hurt people; loved people love people, and CHANGED PEOPLE CHANGE PEOPLE!
I want to be a world-changer, but for that to happen it's got to start with me!
I want to close by pointing out how the disciples were changed...
Before Pentecost, the disciples were scared, they lacked faith, and they did not fully understand God’s plan.
But after walking with Jesus, and after the Holy Spirit fell upon them on the Day of Pentecost...they were bold, confident, and Christ-like...
The Holy Spirit took fisherman, former prostitutes, ex-religious leaders, tax collectors, and various family members of Jesus and the other disciples and transformed them into world-changers!
Our world today needs change.
Our community needs change.
Our families need change.
There are so many people who don't believe in Jesus Christ, who don't know how to get to heaven....they are CHAINED and not yet CHANGED.
So today as we wrap up our series on RISK, let me ask a question...
Are you CHANGEABLE?
Do you want to be a world-changer?
Do you want to be in the BULLSEYE CENTER of what God is doing today?
If so, what area of your life has the Holy Spirit been nudging you about?
Where has the finger of God been pointing?
Wherever that is, that is where He wants to bring your next change.