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God at work!

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God at Work!

Luke 5:1–11 NKJV
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 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. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 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.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 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. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 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.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Good morning! I want to thank you for the opportunity to come and share God’s Word with you this morning! I am very happy to be able to be out and visit and share in our churches once again.
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Don Vickers and I am the Associational Missionary for the Yuma Southern Baptist Association. We have 16 churches in Yuma County and now four partner churches in Mexico who see our purpose of working together to make sure that every person who lives in our region has the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel. If we drew a circle around the four valleys - Yuma, Imperial, Mexicali and San Luis, we would find over a million people living around us.
God calls us to Himself and as His Son’s and Daughters, we are to make disciples, and every person that we come across gives us an opportunity. With every person we come across, we have the opportunity to either encourage them in a relationship with Jesus that they have already begun, or to encourage them towards a relationship with Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is always at work around us! He is molding and shaping us into the image of Jesus. He calls people to repent of their sin and believe the truth about Jesus and God wants us to be witnesses of what He has done in our lives. This work is really the work of God. We get to participate in that work. We have the great privilege of sharing what He has done and what He is doing in us!
Two boys were having difficulty at home and their mother could not take it anymore. She decided to take the boys to the pastor. The boys were younger but getting in more and more trouble at home. The pastor took the two boys and separated them and asked the younger, “Son, where is God?” The boy did not have an answer and the pastor asked again in a stronger voice, “I am asking you, where is God?” The boy still did not know how he should respond and he began to sweat a bit. Then the pastor asked one last time, “Where is God?” The boy sprung up and ran out the church and back to his house passing his brother on the way.
His brother, not knowing what was happening ran after his brother and when they got to the house, they ran upstairs and hid in their closet. The older brother asked, why are we running? The younger brother said, we are really in trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it!
Have you ever worried about not having the right answer about God? Some people think that their job is to convict people about how bad they are or to try to convince people that Jesus is who He claimed to be. That is not our job. That is the job of the Spirit of God. Our task is to simply share what it is that He has done for us. We are simply witnesses of His work in our lives.
So to begin, we must have a relationship with God. If we are to share what it is that God has done in our lives, we must have first experienced Him. Have you experienced Him? Has there been a time in your life when you accepted the truth about Jesus and humbled yourself to trust Him to be your Lord and Savior? It all begins there!!
I want us to look at a passage of Scripture from this morning.
Luke 5:1–11 NKJV
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 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. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 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.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 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. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 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.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Luke 5
There are three observations I want you to notice from this passage of Scripture. First, God wants to do a work when you least expect it.
God wants to do a work when you least expect it.
Look at again.
Luke 5:1–3 NKJV
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 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.
Jesus was there by the lake of Gennesaret and there is a group of people who are pressing into Him to hear Jesus share the Word of God with them. We see others in this story - they are not there to hear Jesus, they are simply going about their day and living life. there is a group of fishermen who were taking care of their nets. We see Jesus get into Simon’s boat and he asks him to put the boat out a bit so that Jesus could teach the crowd.
What is Peter doing? What were his expectations for his day? He was just going along with his life being a fisherman. But that is not all that happened that day. What he thought was a normal day, was a day to be called to something much much more.
Do you remember when you were going along in your life and God interrupted you? Do you remember what it was that you were living for? What your thoughts about the future was? God has a way of interrupting our lives and does a work in us when we least expect it.
God speaks to Abraham and calls him to leave his home and travel to a country that God will show Him.
Moses is caring for sheep in the desert when God calls to him to turn aide from the burning bush.
Samuel is resting when God calls his name.
David is tending sheep when the prophet calls him in to anoint him to be the next king of Israel.
And Peter is sitting on the shore taking care of his nets.
God desires to know us intimately and he will call out to us in our normal everyday experiences so that we can know Him.
God desires to know us intimately and He will call out to us in our normal everyday experiences so that we can know Him. Many of us were not looking for God, but He moved into our space and spoke to us calling us to Himself! And He still works that way! There are people in our lives today that God is working on. He has been working in and around them and he will use us to to either encourage them in their relationship with Go dor to encourage them towards a relationship with God.
There are people in our lives today that God is working on. He has been working in and around them and he will use us to to either encourage them in their relationship with Go dor to encourage them towards a relationship with God.
There are people in our lives today that God is working on. He has been working in and around them and he will use us to to either encourage them in their relationship with Go dor to encourage them towards a relationship with God.
Let’s look at our passage once again.
Luke 5:4–11 NKJV
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 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.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 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. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 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.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Luke 5:4–7 NKJV
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 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.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 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.
Luke 5:4-1
Jesus tells Peter to take the boat out to get some fish. Now Jesus was the son of a carpenter. Peter was a fisherman. We sometimes read right over a passage of Scripture not thinking much about what was taking place. Peter and his partners had been fishing all night long and caught nothing. Jesus teaches the people the Word of God and then instructs the one who is the fishing expert to go catch some fish.
There are times when we refuse to be interrupted by God. Sometimes we are the expert - what could God know? Peter could have said - I’m the fisherman here. You can’t tell me what I need to do.
Have you ever refused God’s interruption in your life? Too busy? You have your life to live, your plans to fulfill. Have you ever been there? God, let’s wait until I get out of school, lets wait until I have children, let’s wait until the children are grown. Thanks for the invitation, but no.
Are you refusing His invitation in your life today? Has he been speaking to you?
Richard Boa writes in Conformed To His Image, “Our Lord invites us to the highest calling of all - intimacy with him - and day after day, we decline the offer, preferring instead to fill our stomachs with the pods of short-lived pleasures and prospects. What does it take to know God more clearly? The two essential ingredients are time and obedience. It takes time to cultivate a relationship, and unless we set aside consistent time for disciplines such as solitude, silence, prayer, and the reading of Scripture, we will never become intimate with our Lord. Obedience is the proper response to this communication, since it is our personal expression of trust in the promises of the Person we are coming to know. “
Are you willing to stop, humble yourself today and listen to Him? Peter humbled himself and they caught a great catch!
Here is the second thing I want you to see in this passage. God will increase your profits to shape you and maximize your purpose. They caught a great catch and Peter had to call to his partners to help him bring the fish in. This was not catch and release. The fish provided their livelihood and this would be a great day!
God will increase your profits to shape and maximize your purpose.
But God was not done yet. Look further in our passage.
Luke 5:8–11 NKJV
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 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.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Luke 5:8–11 NKJV
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 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.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Luke 5:8-11
Luke 5:
God
Peter recognized something about Jesus and Himself. Jesus was special, Holy, and Peter - well, he was a lot like all of us. We are all broken, ruined by sin in our lives. Not only has sin affected our world, it has marked our lives and when we acknowledge God’s voice we see ourselves for who we are. The great blessing of fish, the work of God in Peter’s life helped him to recognize the truth about Jesus. Jesus uses that event to shape Peter and maximize his purpose.
When God speaks to you, He wants to shape you and maximize His purpose in you. You may be a teacher and God wants you to be a teacher that blesses children and their families with His mercy. You may be a plumber and God wants to to care for peoples needs and share His grace with them. You may be retired and God is showing you people in your life that need to be loved and cared for.
God speaks to us and shapes our lives and maximizes our purposes. In all things we are called to be Son’s and Daughters of the living God and to extend the Kingdom of God to those around us.
God’s work produces work.
There is one more thing I want you to see.God’s work in us produces work.
Luke 5:7 NKJV
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.
They had to call their partners in to help them with the catch. They had to physically pull in the catch Peter, James and John, to put effort in bringing in the catch.
God speaks to Abraham and Abraham has to physically leave the country that he had lived in and move on to a new place, following God’s direction for his life.
God called Moses to deliver the people of Israel out of Egypt and lead them to the promised land and Moses had to go and confront Pharoah and lead a difficult people through the wilderness.
and Moses has to confront Pharoah and lead the people out of Egypt. Samuel hears the call of God and works for Him as a profit to the people. When God speaks and does a work in our lives, it involves work.
Samuel is called to be a prophet for God and he works through his life sharing the word of God with the people.
David waits for years before he is the king of Israel and unites the kingdom.
Peter hears Jesus call him to follow Him and he leaves it all behind to follow the Lord.
When God speaks and does a work in our lives, and it involves work.
When God speaks to us, we have to respond in obedience and actually do what He is calling us to do.
David
Peter
We have to respond in obedience and actually do what He is calling us to do. We want God to do a work in our lives? Do we? It will take work! You want God to renew the church? Are you sure? It will take work? Do you want see a movement of God? Are you sure?
Do we want God to do a work in our lives? Do we? It will take work!
You want God to renew the church? Are you sure? It will take work?
Do you want see God move in your friends and families life? Are you sure?
God’s work in us produces work!
When God speaks it involves work. Sometimes we are not willing to be interrupted by God because we are too busy. Other times it may be because we are too lazy. We want God to work - but just not through us. We want to see lives changed if God would do it through someone else. We want to see our friend sand family members come to Christ if only God would do that on His own.
The Great Commission tells us that we are to make disciples teaching people to observe the teachings of Jesus. If we are to hear his voice about that today, it will involve work. We must respond to the voice of our God or miss the blessings that we would receive by walking with Him!
"The Parable Of The Lifesaving Station"
On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was once a crude little lifesaving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves, they went out day or night tirelessly searching for the lost. Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station, so that it became famous. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding areas, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its work.
New boats were bought and new crews were trained. The little lifesaving station grew. Some of the new members of the lifesaving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and so poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea. They replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in an enlarged building.
Now the lifesaving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they redecorated it beautifully and furnished it as a sort of club. Less of the members were now interested in going to sea on lifesaving missions, so they hired life boat crews to do this work.
The mission of lifesaving was still given lip-service but most were too busy or lacked the necessary commitment to take part in the lifesaving activities personally. About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boat loads of cold, wet and half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick, some had skin of a different color, some spoke a strange language, and the beautiful new club was considerably messed up. So the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.
At the next meeting, there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club's lifesaving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal pattern of the club. But some members insisted that lifesaving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a lifesaving station.
But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save the life of all various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own lifesaving station down the coast. They did. As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old.
They evolved into a club and yet another lifesaving station was founded. If you visit the seacoast today you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, but now most of the people drown!
My question for all of us is have we grown so far away from God’s intention for His Sons and Daughters that we find it odd to listen to His voice and do the things He tells us to do?
The good news is that God is still speaking and still calling us to Himself and His work. We will reap the blessings of
In a couple of weeks I will have the opportunity to come back and share a message that will encourage and challenge us to reach our neighbors. But for today - have you listened to the voice of God? Have you humbled yourself to follow Him. Are you willing to do what He says? Will you follow Him today?
So what are you going to do today? Go about living your life, or be changed and used by the living God?
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