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Multiply Leaders

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Introduction

What could you accomplish in 25 years?
What does your lifestyle today say you will accomplish in the scope of 25 years?
Marriage and raising children?
Growth in career - you will be at the top?
Boat/Lake House/Retirement to Florida?
What does your lifestyle today say you will accomplish in the Kingdom in the scope of 25 years?
Core - identity/family, rhythm/work hard, attitude/live to serve, passion/radical compassion, legacy/multiply leaders
Text: Jesus calls the first disciples - he calls them into a new life…

Big Idea: Jesus is calling us into a multiplying lifestyle

Transition Statement: Three ways we move into a lifestyle of gospel multiplication

1. Be Aware of Jesus’ Presence (vv. 1-8)

Explain

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When we say this we aren’t talking so much about his being present as we are WHO is present
Jesus goes to teach and communicate the Word of God to the crowds and has to get out in the lake because of the size of the crowds.
Yet his real business here is for Peter. Peter has spent the night working, fishing, and its likely he is tired. The fishermen were cleaning the nets at the end of their work day.

4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

Here he commands Peter to go out to the deep and fish.

5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

Peter’s response is to declare the fruitlessness of his last day of labor and YET to acknowledge Jesus’ place.
Peter has a little understanding of who Jesus is — but not a complete understanding.
He calls Jesus “Master” - ἐπιστάτης is used of Jesus in his authoritative position within a definite group, his disciples.
Nevertheless he lets down the nets…

6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 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.

The miracle is perplexing right in front of them. Tons of fish - the nets are breaking, the boats are sinking - it’s an amazing abundance.

8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Peter now has a new view of Jesus, and of himself!
He sees who he really is - one full of unbelief and sin.
He sees who Jesus is - Lord - the one who holds all authority and power.
Peter’s life is about to move into one of gospel multiplication - but it starts with his own life being confronted with his sinfulness and the reality of who Jesus is.
Jesus is one who declares the word of God
Jesus is the one who commands with authority
Jesus is the one who powerfully rules over nature, even the fish of the sea
Jesus is the one who is Lord! He is King and Ruler over all!
Illustration
Ever seen people act differently around different types of people? How would you act once you were in the presence of someone great?
Application
If we are going to be obedient to Jesus and live a life of multiplication then we need to start with understanding who HE is - and who we are.
Like, Peter - we must start with repentance - we are the sinners! We are the ones who have scoffed and ignored and rejected who Jesus really is.
If we understood his true authority and power, if we really acknowledged that he is Ruler over all it would direct us to listen to and obey him.
We stand Coram Deo - in the presence of God ALWAYS!
He is Lord - He is King - He Commands!

2. Know Jesus’ Purpose of Multiplying (vv. 9-10)

Explain
Why did Jesus choose twelve men to be Apostles? Why did he set up that office?
The great reality is that Jesus always had the advance of the gospel to the ends of the earth in view!
As Peter and his partners see Jesus’ miracle Jesus sets Peter on a new mission.
This mission is for us just as much as it was for Peter and the Twelve.

9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”

Peter’s identity and his vocation are changed from fisherman to fisher of men
The idea behind being one who catches men is “to catch to liberate!”
Peter’s mission is to be about the spread of the gospel - and that is true for all disciples!
Application
Our identity is to be people who make disciples who make disciples who make disciples.
Jesus’ first disciples were the seedbed of the multiplication mission!
So this call is for each of us - we are to be “fishers of men”
The gospel isn’t just something for you to hear, receive, and enjoy - it’s meant to be shared as well!
You are not the termination point of the gospel message.
Illustrate
One of the stories you will hear tonight is about 3 men in Rome who are refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan. These three men were saved out of Islam and each has become a powerful evangelist for Christ. A movement of multiplication is happening as they heard the gospel and received it they are now sharing that gospel!
JW —> Liz Nieto —> Ali Bernath —> ??

3. Surrender To Jesus’ Call to Multiply (v. 11)

Explain
The final way we move into a lifestyle of gospel multiplication is to surrender to Jesus’ call.
Peter hears “Do not be afraid! from now on you will be catching men.” and what happens next?

11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Not just Peter, but James and John as well - three first disciples
They leave EVERYTHING to follow Jesus.
He has called and they surrender to him.
This is amazing for a fishing company that just took in the catch they did.
They were probably fiscally set for a while - they leave it and follow.
Illustration
NETS
Let me ask you - what nets are you holding onto that is keeping you from surrendering to Jesus’ call to multiply? Are you stalling, trying to mend and fix nets that Jesus says lay down and follow me and be a fisher of men to life?
Apply
NET of comfort - I don’t want lose anything?
NET of significance - I don’t want anyone to not like me or reject me?
NET of control - I don’t want to submit?
Spurgeon once famously said…
Every Christian here is either a missionary or an impostor. Recollect that you are either trying to spread abroad the kingdom of Christ, or else you do not love him at all. It cannot be that there is a high appreciation of Jesus, and a totally silent tongue about him… that man who says, “I believe in Jesus,” but does not think enough of Jesus ever to tell another about him, by mouth, or pen, or tract, is an impostor.
C. H. Spurgeon, “A Sermon and A Reminiscence,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 54 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1908), 476–477.
Jesus says - “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” - will you surrender to that call?

Conclusion

What could you accomplish in 25 years?
Let me put it this way - if each of us were to take up the ambition of gospel multiplication we could, by God’s grace, change the world in 25 years.
If you personally began to share the gospel, and you led one person to Christ this year and invested in them as a disciple that they replicated what you did - evangelize/disciple - and then the next year you did the same thing and they did as well in the course of 25 years do you know what you would have multiplied?
33,554,432 disciples of Jesus.
If a church of 200 did that the entire globe - 6.7 BILLION people would be reached in 25 years!
May God give us grace to be be fruitful and multiply disciples for his glory.
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