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Seven Secrets of Spiritual Success

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Seven Secrets of Spiritual Success – Luke 5:1-11

      Everyone is interested in success. I looked on the internet and did a search for “Be successful.” {RESULTS} Look at the best-selling books. Examine your mail for all the ads for success seminars.

      Of all people in the world, Christians must be successful.

      What we have to realize is what makes us different is our definition of success and our strategy to get there.

      Let’s take a look at a tired group of fishermen who felt like failures until Jesus taught some lessons – lessons that sustained the rest of their lives.

I. READ 1-5a – Accept the limitations of human efforts and plans.

A. Jer10:23 says (READ) We are limited as to what we as humans can do. We have to be aware of that and conscious of the limits of our OWN efforts.

B. Peter, Andrew, James and John did all they knew to do and still had come up empty.

C. Even though this is a “pull yourself us” society, and God gave us brains to think with, no matter what we think, (men in particular) sometimes we don’t have enough cleverness on our own to do the job.

II. READ 5b – Trust the word of Jesus even if we don’t think it makes sense.

A. How do you think these fisherman felt, taking advice from a carpenter turned preacher? Imagine their reaction – show me an awl or a saw maybe.

1. Didn’t they know fishing? It was their business.

2. Still, something in Jesus caused them to trust him. He didn’t ask them to do something immoral, just something that did not seem to make sense.

B. Prov. 3:5-7 says…the key there is don’t lean on your own understanding. We have to be willing to submit our plans to God. You mean we’re to teach people that they have to be immersed to go to Heaven? Yes. That Bible study is essential to a closer relationship with God? Yes.

C. James 4:7 and 10 say – Do we believe that? Do we really believe that if we give in to God’s plan, He will lift us up? We’ll see in our next point that Peter and his partners apparently did.

III. READ vs 4 – Be willing to launch out.

A. In the great chapter of faith – Heb. 11, we read over and over that by faith someone did something! The pattern is by faith, person, verb!

B. When Jesus asked them to go out, it was into the deep water.

1. Every great enterprise takes some risk.

2. Think of how a bird must feel the first time it is pushed from the nest by its mother - must begin with fear, but it becomes exhilaration.

C. Risk is a part of all achievement. A risk-free life is terribly dull. A risk-free Christian or a risk-free church is also stagnant – not growing. Launch!

IV. READ 2, 5 - Persevere even through disappointment and fatigue.

A. The fishermen were tired, they were washing the nets – they were done! But willing to do their part; vs. 5 – (all night for nothing!) discouraged, but willing to try again.

B. Runners describe “runners high.” Comes after the he has pushed past his fatigue and kept on going when every cell of his body is yelling for him to stop. The feeling of exhaustion yields to the feeling of euphoria. It happens only if we are willing to keep on going when we feel like quitting.

C. {READ Gal. 6:9 – then identify} Reaping a harvest takes time and patience – whatever the effort is – study, growth, etc. Worthwhile things take time.

V. READ vs 7 - Remember the importance of teamwork.

A. As success came, and boy did it come, they had to share the burden. They had to call in the reserves. To be successful we NEED help.

B. Eph. 4:11-13a – Because we need each other in all this!

C. Many tasks take everybody to accomplish—football, baseball, Gospel meetings and Bible schools. We are God’s team. We need each other to manage success – because it will come.

VI. READ vs 9 – Remember, God can give us more than we ask or imagine.

A. The catch of fish was even greater than they would have expected.

B. Eph. 3:20, 21 – Do we believe that? Do we really believe that God will give us more than we can imagine!? I can imagine a lot!

C. But, our God delights in surprising us. 1 Cor 3:5-9 Paul reminds us that we will each have some work to do, but God WILL provide. Takes us to pt. 7…

VII. READ vs 8 – When success DOES come, be humble in your success.          

A. Peter did not take credit for the success. In fact, he humbled himself before God and came face to face with His own unworthiness.

B. Rom. 12:3 reminds us to not think more highly of ourselves than we ought – God is in charge. Peter and the others KNEW who did the work here – not them! It was the awesome power of God.

C. How did they react? READ 9-11 – They gave up everything to follow Him. They responded! They responded to the power of Jesus Christ.

®    Through this brief study, we have seen some elements of spiritual success: know limits, trust the word of God, and launch in faith. Seen we have to keep going when we’ve done all we know how to do; to work together and that God will provide success.

®    After Jesus’ res., Peter, in regret, went back to fishing – felt he had failed. Jesus came and did a similar miracle. Peter never forgot the lesson. He went become a great fisher of men. He became a spiritual success, and so can you.

®    What it takes is your response – you will, one way or another.

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