Called to Follow Jesus
Are scripture reading for this morning is from the Gospel of Luke the 5th chapter starting with verse 1. I'll be reading from the new new revised Standard Version this morning. Once while Jesus was standing beside the late Lake of Janessa Rhett. The crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God. You saw two boats there at the shore lake shore of the lake fisherman had gone out of them and we're washing their Nets you got into one of the boats the one belonging to Simon and ask him to put out a little ways away from the shore and then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat when he finished speaking on your nets for a catch Simon answered Master. We have worked all night all night long, but I've caught nothing yet if you say so I will let down the Nets when they are done this they caught so many fish that their Nets were beginning to break. So they signal their Partners in the other boat to come and help them and they can't even fill both boats so that they began to Blue in Simon Peter side. He fell down at Jesus knees saying Go away from me Lord for I am a sinful man where he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch a fish they had taken and so also we're James and John sons of Zebedee who are partners with Simon then Jesus said to sign and do not be afraid from now on you will be catching people when they are brought their boats to the shore. They left everything and followed him the word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God, please pray with me God. We are grateful for your word today. We are grateful to hear what you would speak to us may words that I speak in the thoughts and meditations of all of our hearts allow them Lords to be gracious and guided and acceptable in your sight in Jesus name we pray. Amen. The summer before my senior year of high school. I felt this call in my heart to go into the ministry. I was at church camp and had a great week to see talking with my small group trying to figure out what I wanted to do. What I wanted to do when I when I grew when I grew up and got head kept putting this little thing on my heart at to go into the ministry to share to share my faith. It was a new idea that I hadn't thought about before but it was something that just wouldn't let me go but I kept it to myself when I came home from came home from Camp that that summer and on on the next Sunday after the week at Camp. I am I came to church and I was asked to be an usher for that Sunday. So sitting at the back And something just wouldn't let me go God's spirit was burning within me and it came time to share the joys of of of the of the church and and lifting but I just couldn't help but but since I shot up and I said, I feel like God is calling me into the ministry everybody applauded and said that's just a wonderful and I'll never forget after church. My parents looked at me and said you have anything else to share with us about your week at at 10 so know that that's all I've got for it for today. Just wouldn't let me go and I began to explore a call into Ministry the called I would take me to places that I never knew I would go to but God kept affirming me God kept opening door providing opportunities to go to college to go to Seminary to meet different people to go and an experienced different things in all for the kingdom all for following Jesus and saying yes, I will go had to learn that had to learn and say yes, this is the direction. I think I want to go. The United Methodist Church has quite a a discernment process to get to go through work where the church has the opportunity to say. Yes, they have fruits of the spirit. We're going into the ministry. Yes. We think this person is is good. And and those that are going into the ministry have the opportunity to really figure out is this where God wants me to be at is this really what God wants me to do with with my life, and I know that there were some that went to college with me that we're all so Discerning that and they they went other directions, but it kept with me. God calling me and here I am today to share my faith and let the adventures and the different things that that I've done the first Ministry opportunities the different things that I've done. I've been a blessing to me, but it's been it's been a fulfilling thing. Say hey, I've been able to express my face is God called me to do and that's what are scripture is about for us today as Christians and as disciples and his people that are striving to follow Jesus to figure out what is it that God is calling each of us to do. How was God's spirit speaking to us that we should be doing for the Lord. What is it that God wants us to do with our time with our with our energies and not all of us are called to be preachers. Thank God not all of us are called to be a Sunday school teacher, but some of us are There are different ways that each of us can be part of the kingdom of God. Is Jesus was on the side of the Lakeshore? He he was preaching in and reaching out to the crowd and all the sudden. He realize as math as Luke tells us that the crowd was really big. So he wanted to he wanted to be able to be heard. If you if you've ever been to the Shoreline of the Sea of Galilee this Lake Janessa red is another name for that from from from Luke at the shoreline is just as this Shoreline here on the on the picture. It kind of makes that makes a natural Amphitheater where you can where you can be hurt. So Jesus knew that if he got out a little ways from from the shoreline on this particular Lake. If he backed up a little bit in the boat, he could be heard better in the people could see him better and he Luke tells us that Jesus sat down beside down and he began to teach them. He began to preach to the people that that had gathered and then he did an awesome and amazing thing. You turn to the fisherman. On the boat. If you gave them an example that they never would forget that they would never forget that moment when he when he challenged them keep fishing. He said no, we we've been out all night. You haven't caught nothing. But Jesus said back up into the deeper waters release more of an opportunity and cast on the other side of your boat. They were blessed are blessed so much that their boats began to think they didn't know what to do. With all the fish that they had caught like the sign that that my that my wife's friend at gave to her that said Lord give me the strength to deal with my blessings. When our life is so overwhelmed with the blessings that God gives to us. We need God strength in the good times and in the in the struggling times. so the seiples did a natural thing that they would that they would remember forever when they witness this awesome catch a fish. They melt and they worshipped the Lord. They worship Jesus and said whoa, this is bigger than anything I'd realized before I'm a sinner. Peter says I'm not worthy to be in your presence. I'm not worthy to receive this wonderful blessing, but they were overwhelmed. Are the wonderful blessing that God had given to them in that in that moment and they would never forget what Jesus would do in their life. That was their story. That was the story that they recorded in the in the gospels that Luke shares with us about this miraculous catch of fish. But they also remembered. How they worshipped. As Disciples of Jesus they gave us an eternal forever example. What should we do when God blesses us? What should we do? When when God's love seems overwhelming week. We don't feel worthy of it. We all have been in those moments where we say. I'm not worthy. I'm not worthy to receive what God has for me today. I'm not worthy of this outpouring of love when I've been at my lowest. But the disciples teach us. Give us the example that what you do. Did you say Thank you Lord. You celebrate you rejoice. Over what God has done in your life. And that's a that's a thing that that we often forget. We we we want to move on to the sadness and the in the in the other things that we deal with but we need to always rejoice and celebrate the good things that God gives to us in a world that seems to be so filled with chaos and struggle and and and Division. All over the news all over the internet all over social media. First thing that we should do as Christians celebrate and give thanks to the one that made us the one that provided for us. To say yes Lord. Thank you for that. Thank you for calling me. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this church family allowing me to be to see the kids all around us. They're coming to be a part of our worship time to seeing the young people that the old people everybody together gather to express and sing our faith to share in to hear what God would speak to us cuz the good news for us today. The God is still speaking to us. God wants to call us to follow him. To be those people to be in in the boat. Say yes, Lord, leave me show me where we can fish for more people cuz that's what Jesus did for those disciples said no longer. Will you be fishing or regular fish? But you'll be fishing for men reaching out to new and different people. But it takes two into things. Takes first celebrating and worshipping God but it also takes sharing your story. I think this is the part. This is the moment in my life where God reached out. We're going to call me by name where I remember that the hair standing up on the back of my neck and remembering. Remembering God claiming me saying you are my follower. You're you're my disciple.
You should follow me. You should go to this place. You should go and reach out. You should go care for the least care for the Lost care for the hurting or even just caring for your neighbor that you can't stand. Caring for those people that seem to be unforgivable that that just drive you crazy. You should love them anyway. You should love them because God first loves you. God first loved me since his son. Walk on this Earth go by the Lakeside and reach out to the people. People of the people of the lake people that were wanting to know what's this Jesus all about there's people in our world and want to know what this Jesus is all about. What would you say? What would you say about this savior? Is he in the world today? Is he walking with you? Is he talking with you all along the way?
Each and every one of us can do that. We have the opportunity to share our faith say I'm a miracle. God has blessed me. God. God saw me through that tough time. Even saw that I could get up. And enjoy today, let me tell you about that blessing but I experience on Sunday morning, but I heard from the scripture. God can use even me and even you to be a blessing. I love the story of the pioneer 10 satellite that was sent out in 1973 in May of 1973. They sent a NASA sent up this this this little satellite to go and take pictures of Jupiter and I hope that by December that's it. That's just little satellite would make it all the way to make it all the way to Jupiter and send back new and different pictures so they could learn things so they could so they could grow in their scientific knowledge. Pioneer satellite was armed with a radio that was powered by an 8 watt little transistor this little this little a twat. It's just about the same amount of energy that it takes to power a power a night light that we use, then that little amount of energy would send the signal back to Earth. Pioneer 10 did something extraordinary and it didn't make it just to Jupiter but it made it all the way out of the solar system. You kept sending its messages back was an anomaly they they hadn't expected it to make make it that far in 1997. It it sent it sent its picture back. It said it kept sending it and even in 2003 nearly 30 years later. It sent one little faint message back to Earth but kept being faithful. Power by this little little bit of energy sending back the signal we sometimes feel like we are powered and we are just have just that amount of energy to power a light bulb. But the blessing is the god can use us to send a signal just like that to keep on being faithful to keep on sticking with it cuz that's what God wants us to do is to not give up. Do not say well. I just can't do that for today. But but then say every time we get up. To make ourselves available to God say yes Lord. I will follow today. Yes, Lord. I'll be faithful to that. when we get out that little message, even if it's just one little bit it shines a bright shine a little light into the world shines a little Beacon of Hope and sometimes That little bit will make all the difference in the world all the difference to someone all the difference to someone that doesn't want it doesn't see any hope in the world. That's how we can be faithful to God. That's how we can fulfill his calling on our heart and on and on our on our life. Have we been faithful sharing just that little message that we've been faithful to hearing what God would want us to do.
I had the opportunity 6 years ago to go on that on that Lake to but to ride out on the boat to be at to be with a group of other creatures in our in our Bishop Hayes in the song that we sang on the boat is that is the song that will sing at the end of our worship service today was a moving moment to be able to to sing the song Lord come to the Lakeshore. We have come to the Lakeshore.
We need to hear those words today. The God is seeking each of us out. Will we be faithful to that calling? Will we be people we're one day we will hear God saying to us though. You did not not to hear God's it was OU built great wonderful buildings. You did a tremendous works, but hear God say to us well done. Good and faithful servant. Well done good and faithful disciple cuz you never gave up use the gift. Shine your little light. Do I seem like a dark World God's kingdom depends upon each of us. We are called to follow Jesus. Will we be faithful today will be here is call at the at the lakeside. Goan fish for people to bring them to his church to to share the good news with them. Will we hear those words one day well done good and faithful servant. What is praying God we thank you. Hearing your call today hearing your call today to be faithful to you to whatever calling you have placed on our hearts and our lives. Let us listen to you. May you oh Lord drown out all of the noise and all of the confusion and all of the struggle of of the world. And may we hear you calling us to be faithful to you today? Maybe we hear those words one day from you. Well done good and faithful servant. In Jesus name we pray these things on them.