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Following Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:30
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Turn to Luke chapter 5. So we are starting this morning together a new series and I just wonder how many of you would say that at times. It's a struggle to follow Jesus.

Can I raise both hands? This is not an easy task that we have been called to it is a Venn easy. Burden. Jesus says that but it's not an easy task because there is a whole host of things that would come against us. They would keep us from following Christ and sometimes a a a struggle to follow and we're not alone in this and so over the next several weeks. We're going to be walking through the Book of Luke. We're like a different chapters. We're not going to verse by verse through the whole gospel. We're going to zero in on some particular interactions. The Jesus has with his first followers the 12 disciples and we're going to see that far from having it all figured out. They were kind of learning on the fly as well. They were figuring out how to follow Jesus just like you and I still have to figure out how to follow Jesus. And so that's what we're going to be looking at. But what is it about us as people? That's it's not always easy for us to follow directions. What is it about us and it's not just guys ladies. You want to blame your husband's here. It's not just a guy thing as people we seem to have trouble following directions and I was reminded this week about one of those times in my life. I just moved to Louisville Kentucky from Kuna, Idaho. Now, you need to know something about Louisville. It's a city you need to know something about kuna it's not a high school mascot was the cavemen and it was entirely apt we were well behind the times in Kuna, Idaho. Anyway, so here's this kid from a town of 5,000 who shows up in a town like Louisville, which I don't know how many people are there, but it's huge especially when I first got there and I show up on campus at the Bible College then going to and I don't have a car. I just I live in the dorms. I'm just kind of that loser that you would imagine and there I am but then I meet this amazing girl named Megan and she has a car. Okay. I promise that's not why I married my wife.

But it didn't hurt. All right. So she's got a car and we get an invitation to go and help with an Outreach in downtown Louisville. We're going to be going door-to-door and and doing some Outreach down in downtown Louisville. Well, Megan doesn't want to drive downtown Louisville. I want to prove that. I'm not a loser. And so I volunteered to drive. I've never driven in Louisville. I've never driven in downtown Louisville. It is not the easiest place to find your way around but my body says it's a piece of cake man. He says you go to this exit you turn right you go three blocks you turn left. That's where we're meeting and then we'll spread out from their great. I can handle this. I ended up in Indiana three different times.

Louisville's not in Indiana, just so we're all clear on that.

the directions we're good directions. If I knew where I was going. What I needed was somebody who could actually tell me where that exit was. It was a struggle for me to do that. And as we look at the disciples were going to see their kind of like I was they think they got it all figured out but they really don't and so were the first thing that I want us to see as we interact with the disciples here in the Book of Luke. The first thing I want to see is that Jesus often has to redirect us before we can be effective disciples. Jesus has to change the direction we're going in in order so that we can even follow him right if Jesus is going this way or if the exit is this way, It doesn't do us much good to go this way does it know and so we need to be redirected stuff? How does Jesus use redirection to help his disciples following that's we're going to look at and what I want you to see from Luke Chapter 5 this morning, is it he Reader X in 5 particular areas that we're going to look at he Reader X our attention. When we say we're going to follow Jesus Jesus has to redirect where we're looking yes to redirect our attention. He has to redirect our efforts the work that we do has to be redirected for his purpose. He Reader X our desires the things we want out of life have to change if we're going to follow Jesus. He Reader X our purpose we have to rethink what it is that we were put on this Earth to do if we're going to follow Jesus and finally he directs our Reader X our entire existence. So let's look at Luke Chapter 5. Let's look at these 5 things this morning chapter 5 starting in first one. I've asked you to read with me.

On one occasion while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God. He Jesus was standing by the lake of ganesa rats and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their Nets getting into the one of the boats one of the boats, which was Simon's he asked to be put out a little from the land and he sat down and talked the people from the boat and when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch and Simons to answered Master. We toiled all night and took nothing but it's your word. I will let down the Nets when they had done this they enclose a large number of fish and their Nets were breaking they signal to their Partners in the other boat to come and help them and they came and filled both boat so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter Saad he fell down at Jesus needs saying depart from me for I am a sinful Man O Lord for he and all who are with him were astonished at the catch a fish that they had taken. 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 and when they had brought their boats to land they left everything and followed him. So what are we see in this passage? This is this is Jesus's first interaction with these people, right?

No, no, it's not a trick question. I'm sorry. This is something that's continuing the story that already comes out if we're in Luke 5 that means there's been chapters 1 2 3 and 4 proceeding it and for the sake of time we can't go into all of that. But just know that this is not the first time that Jesus has interacted with these people. He's been to Simon's house, right? This is this is not just Jesus out of the blue commandeering some guys boat right? Don't go down to the lake and try this. Okay. Do not try this at home. All right that Jesus has already been interacting with him. But something changes something changes in his interaction with these disciples today. We're introduced to sign and he's Name by name because we already seen him in chapter 4 of Luke and encourage you go back and read it for context sake go back and read that some time but we've already been introduced as I'm so you kind of get the top billing but we recognize there's four disciples who are being engaged here. Simon Andrew and James and John. Okay, so Jesus comes to the lake. And it's just one occasion. This isn't this isn't the only occasion but this is a special and there's a reason why Luke calls this out. There's a reason why points are attention to it because this is the first disciples who Moved Beyond and acquaintance with Jesus and become followers of Jesus. This is this is the moment where their life changes and as Disciples of Christ that is really the goal. That's what we're supposed to do. We're supposed to be a changed people to transform people when we come to Christ there supposed to be something different. We see that difference in this text. The first thing that Jesus does is he says I'm going to preach to the crowd. I'm going to teach them but look what he has to do to accomplish that he gets in one of the boats while one of the fishermen Simon in this case is doing what he's washing his Nets. Simon could have been very easily for turbid at this point. Jesus is interrupting his work and Simon has not. Simon's not gotten a good lot of rest, right? He was up all night trying to catch fish. Now. He's finishing the task by washing his Nets. Jesus says, you know it stop washing your nets. Put this boat out a little bit for me. I've got some teaching to do Jesus has to redirect the disciples attention guess who redirect their attention. They have to go from focusing on their stuff to focusing on his stuff. And so this morning I want to ask you to ask yourself a question if I'm struggling to follow Jesus is it because I'm still doing my stuff when Jesus is asking me to focus on his stuff. If I'm struggling to follow Jesus is it because I'm so busy washing Nets that I don't have time to listen to what he's saying.

Understand this there are countless things that could demand your attention. There is only one thing. It is worthy of your attention. They are busy doing something that matters. They're providing for themselves are providing for their families. They've got work to do but Jesus says right now I need you to be focused on what I'm saying. He should focus on what is happening in the Kingdom not in your world. So he draws them away from their work and some of us are so focused on our work. It's a give attention to Christ feels like an impossibility. So some of us struggle to follow Jesus because we're working so hard. We're so focused on getting along in our careers, but not all of us. Some of you are retired right? That means that the careers thing is no longer an issue. Does that mean that you are now suddenly a good disciple of Jesus that all your attention is focused on him not necessarily. Because there's other things that can distract you from what Jesus is doing other things can grab your attention. How about Hobbies?

Can your hobbies? Take your attention from Christ. What about Amusement Amusement turn your attention from Christ. How many Vivir the book amusing ourselves to death by Neil Postman? He wrote it in the 80s and I feel like the man's a profit because he's talking about 2019. He makes the Point Amusement is a word that the English like we do so many other things we've stolen from other places Amusement is simply made up of the the negative prefix which means not and mint which is a state of and Muse which is thinking Amusement literally means not thinking right now Amusement is a state of not thinking you cannot be seeking to be amused at the same time giving your full attention to a Christ is doing if you want to follow Christ, you must give attention to Christ into the things of Christ. 20 says where where could you where could you give your attention to Christ in? The things are price now.

How about his word? How about the word of God right here this this right here. This is the things of Christ. These are the things he would have us focus our attention on any of there's always something better to do than read your Bible. At least from a human perspective. We need to turn our attention to Christ. How many of you are multitaskers?

Multitasking doesn't work. Sorry. Mom, sometimes it's required. But we all know it doesn't work. There are numerous studies one that I read. This week was from a Stanford University and it showed categorically emphatically that those who multitask listen to this make more mistakes remember fewer details and actually take longer to complete tasks than those who do not how many of you are multitaskers. How many of you will be tomorrow going to quit even though it takes longer you make more mistakes details, we have to give attention to the things of Christ. We can't pretend to give attention while we do the things that we are concerned about. This is that we need to redirect their they need to redirect their efforts. Jesus says, hey, you guys have been up all night fishing. Let's go try again what this person goes and does it we see that here in chapter 5 verse for when you finish speaking sense. I'm put out in the Deep let down your nets for a catch for a catch Simon answered Master. We toiled all night and took nothing but at your word, I will let down the Nets.

Okay, go out guide. You can redirect my efforts what happens when they had done this thing closed a large number of fish and their Nets were breaking they signaled their Partners to come and help them. They filled both both so they both began to sink. This is a bunch of fish. How many of your fishermen how many do you want to go fishing where Jesus says go fishing? I'll show up for the fish fry after you clean them. All right, this is amazing. But what changed? Literally nothing other than Jesus said go try again. They did the exact same things. These are experienced fisherman. This is what they do for a living. They did not change their fishing style that they did not switch out to a different kind of net nothing changed except Jesus redirected their efforts and in Jesus gave them a bountiful result, right Jesus gave them what they had been looking for in fishing for all the night before and not succeeded in getting What happened? Jesus redirected them? Here's the problem some of us struggle to follow Jesus. Because we're constantly saying I already tried that it didn't work. I already did that guy that didn't work. And so I'm not going to do it again. I tried praying once it didn't work. I tried to read my Bible. I didn't get anything out of that. I tried encouraging a brother and they just laughed and you know, I am not trying that stuff again. But a disciple is somebody who directs their efforts were Jesus directs them to direct their efforts, right? Just because you tried it before doesn't mean that God cannot do something new redirected effort in marks the disciple to do what we are doing. In our strength is a recipe for disaster.

But yes, you do what God calls you to do in his strength amazing things happen when you let God direct your efforts. Things change the third thing that we see Jesus doing is he redirects their desires? If you're a fisherman, what's your goal?

Sketch fish. What did they just do? Caught a bunch of fish right mission accomplished except that's not how Simon sees it. Is it look it. Look it. Look at Simon's response. You would think. This Simon would be ecstatic. He's never caught this many fish before literally the boats can't hold the amount of fish that they got. This is a dream day on the lake. Except Simons response is not what we would expect depart from me for I am a sinful man. Oh Lord, what changed Simon's goal the night before a fish now, he catches fish and he's not even excited. Why? Because he seen the power of God his desires now are different than his desires before the trouble with some of us as we struggle to follow Jesus because we're bringing our desires to Jesus and saying bless this God. instead of submitting ourselves to his desires Jesus was not just aiming to give them a bunch of fish. What was Jesus proving? I am the Lord of all creation. I Am The Sovereign one if I want you to catch fish, you'll catch fish. If I don't want you to catch fish. You won't catch fish Simon recognizes something's different. My goal wasn't should never have been to catch fish. My goal should have should have been to submit to the Lord and all of a sudden now. He's there is a guard depart from me. I'm a simple man. I did not trust you. Here's the thing if you're coming to Jesus expecting him to produce personal blessing. You're going to always struggle to follow Jesus, but if you come to Jesus and you're looking for transformation, Jesus will always produce that in you if you're coming to Jesus and saying God, I want you to give your rubber stamp of approval to my dreams and my desires. Prepare to be disappointed. This is the most deadly heresy to come about in the church in our day. And we the American Church of exported this on mass to the rest of the world. The idea that when Jesus died he died so that I could be healthy so that I could be wealthy and I could be blessed and if I just give my hundred dollars to this guy who's talking in the fancy suit on TV than God's bound to give me more.

No.

Jesus did not die so that your desires for health wealth and prosperity could be met in this life. Jesus died so that you could be safe from the futility of trusting those things for your satisfaction. Jesus died so that you could be transformed so that your life could be conformed to the image of him. That's why Jesus died. So if you're struggling to follow Jesus because you're like I don't have the new car and I don't have the new job and I don't have all the money. Maybe I just don't have enough Faith know you got the wrong Jesus. Because Jesus redirects are desires away from personal. To his kingdom. He transforms his disciples. So don't try to get Jesus to do what you want. submit to him

The fourth thing redirecting their purpose right? A fisherman's job is to catch fish. Jesus is know we're going to win a ship that a little bit you're no longer going to be he says to Simon. You're no longer going to be catching fish from now on you will be catching men. Fishers of Men is the way that is sometimes put in the church. And here's the thing. He's redirecting the disciples and thing your purpose is now no longer. To catch and consume something for yourself purposes now to catch something for the sake of that thing no longer to catch and eat but to save and feed that your goal is to go out and declared other people. This is what Jesus can do for you. Your purpose is now no longer yourself. Your purpose is making disciples for the Kings know if you've been at Red Hills for any amount of time you're sick of hearing this Love God.

any question

That's what Jesus wants from his people but we're always going to struggle to follow him. If we're substituting some other purpose for our lives if the purpose of your life is to get rich you're going to struggle to follow Jesus as the purpose of your life is to make disciples if the purpose of your life is to always be comfortable you're going to struggle to follow Jesus who has no place to lay his head.

if the purpose of your life It's just a exactly how you are right. Now. You're going to struggle to follow Jesus who says constantly be conformed to the image of me casa be conformed to the image of Christ. That's the goal for the Christian change discomfort. Sacrifice until your purpose changes, you're never going to be okay with those things so long as your purpose is your own advancement. Jesus is always going to look nuts following him is always going to look crazy. But once you submit to him and say know my purpose is to obey the Lord who saved me my purpose is not to earn my way to heaven but to share the gospel with others so they can meet Christ. My purpose is no longer that I would get my fire Insurance get the best out of this world and hopefully get the best out of the next my purpose is now that every living waking breathing moment would be transformed by Christ so that I might lead others to be transformed by Christ. It's less of a struggle to follow Jesus when your purpose is transformed when your purpose is redirected. Jesus will use you. So Church. Here's my challenge do what ever it takes in your life to become a disciple maker. Don't let anything stand between you your fear your lack of training.

Don't let anything stand between you and becoming a disciple maker if you need training. I'll tell you where you can get it ask me ask Dan. Ask Richard. Ask Bryant. Ask your pastors. I want to make disciples, but I don't know anything great. That's a good place to start. Cuz we go to Jesus and we asked him disciple making is the purpose of every believer. If you are not engaged in that you will continually fail and continually struggle to follow Christ. The final thing that Jesus does for his disciples is he redirects their existence? He redirects their existence. This is amazing to me.

You're going to catch me in. Jesus says verse 11 when they had brought their boats to land. They left everything and followed him. What were they doing? When Jesus first showed up on the scene here? They were washing their Nets the other fishing. They were finishing the knights work. They were washing their Nets. They were preparing for the next night's work.

They catch more fish than their boats can hold.

They come back to the land and they walk away from it.

They walk away from the one thing they wanted why because Jesus has redirected their life. They can no longer be content with the things of this world the things they saw it so hard after the things they work so hard for now, they're saying oh my goodness. That doesn't even matter anymore. They walked away from everything now. Imagine the fisherman who didn't walk away. Look at the Billy the blessing they got we got a new boats. We got these nuts and we got a whole bunch of fish. And the disciples didn't even Kelly walked away from a fortune the catch of a lifetime because they had found something better than this life. They had found something that redirected their entire existence and that's what Christ doesn't if you are struggling to follow Christ, maybe that's because you haven't actually decided to follow him. Maybe you haven't come to the point where you're saying Lord, wherever you call I'll go until you get to the point where you're willing to leave everything for Christ. You will struggle to follow him. Until you get to the point where Jesus says this and you say, okay.

You're going to struggle to follow him. Here's the good news all of us end up there at some point or another. Yes, including your pastors. Yes, including your Sunday school teachers. No person. Has this one nailed there always comes that thing that were thinking I can't give that up. No, I can't do that. No Lord. Don't ask me to go there. Don't call my kids away.

butts it's worth it to come to the point of surrender. So here's my challenge to you. Today. You're here and you saying like those early disciples. I struggle to follow Jesus. Ask yourself. Is it my attention that needs redirected it is it is it is it the the attention that I'm giving to social media is that the attention that I'm putting into my my job and my just not giving Jesus my attention is that what's causing me to struggle to ask yourself is it isn't my effort? Am I trying to do it in my own sake of my trying to produce the work of God on my own? Is that why I'm struggling know if if that's you submit ask the Holy Spirit to do that work ask God to fill you and to move you in the direction that he wants you to move. Is it my desires God am I struggling to follow because my desires are wrong. I'm seeking myself change my desires Lord. Your purpose are you living for yourself? We living for Christ is your life about you your existence. Is it about you or is about God. Those are the questions. I want you to wrestle with.

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