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A Luncheon or a Lecture

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A Luncheon or a Lecture

Isn’t that a ridiculous thought or question?  (define)  But the answer brings me to Ecclesiastes chapter 3, where Solomon states, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven”.

Our text this week is from Luke 5:1-11, and I’m reading from the Message.

Once when he was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God. He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd.  4 When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.”  5–7 Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch.  8–10 Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, coworkers with Simon.  10–11 Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him.

I’m going to be honest with you, I’m tired of church “as usual”.  I’m not feeling this same ole, same ole.  The blame game, which is a sermon on it’s own, is played out, and yet it still continues.  Aren’t you?

  • We’ve been called to the highest honor bestowed on mankind.
  • We have direct connection through Jesus Christ with the Almighty God.
  • The God who spoke a word, and what is came from what never was
  • The God who birthed dreams into man’s soul: Joseph rise to power (Gen 37:5); Jacob’s ladder (Gen 28:12); Ezekiel’s dry bones (Eze 37); Solomon’s dream for an understanding heart (1 Kings 3:9); Peter’s dream of clean and unclean animals (Acts 10:9-23); and dreams will continue in the old men, as their sons and daughters prophecy (Joel 2:28)
  • The God who defies the natural: burning bush (Exo 3:2); Gideon’s army of 300 defeated 120K Midianites (Judges 7); brings Lazarus back to life after 4 days (John 11); replaced a soldier’s ear (Luke 22:51); John’s encounter with a vat of hot oil and his destiny with the Island of Patmos and a Revelation.
  • A God of love, grace, mercy, and solutions for forgiveness of sin (John 3:16)
  • And a God of imminent return (1 Thess 4-5)  For the Lord Himself, thief in the night….and here’s something George Woods, the gen sup of the AG said in his recent book Core Values, this is the last generation before Jesus’ return.  Is this the last one before the tribulation?  I can’t answer that.  But the fact is that many of us here will not see another generation before we are face to face with our creator, so for us, this is it.

And I sense the urgency of this calling.  I can feel our feet standing at a precipice (steep cliff), and there are two results from the next step.  If we rely on what we’ve experienced and what our minds tell us, then, to be blunt, we are handing over to hell in a hand-basket.  There is no hope if we close our mouths.  But if we rely on the unseen, that is, the power of God working behind the scenes in our lives, then what?  If this story that we read in scripture is true and relevant even for today, then it means that we will see a revival this land hasn’t seen in history.  Consider it:  all scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16).  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:7-8).  That portion of scripture that most of us can quote follows another that I referenced Wednesday night…Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

So go back with me to our text in Luke 5.  If Jesus is the same, and the Bible is still relevant, then what is he trying to tell us on Feb 24, 2008?  What questions do you hear Him asking as we sit here this Sunday morning?

Simon, James, and John were fishermen.  They spent their days and seasons only to receive wages and a meal that was temporal.  They had to keep working day after day, otherwise, the meals and provisions would be gone and there would be no evidence of their toilsome labor.  The sweat they bore only brought about satisfaction for today’s appetite.

Jesus’ offer on the surface and below the radar offered a prize much greater than anything they had ever encountered.  On the surface, after a night of empty nets and broken spirits, one obeyed command of Jesus brought about such a return for their investment that they could literally not handle it.  Their boats and nets were stretched beyond capacity….Let me say that again….              The reality of Jesus’ ability to make a call like that rocked Simon to the core, and he begged Jesus to leave him because he sensed Jesus’ holiness.

Allow me to interject here for a moment.  Jesus was in fact holy.  But the result of their obedience did not lie in Jesus concocting some magic trick involving nets of fish.  The truth be told is that because they obeyed, they released a promise from God that could not be contained.  This was not Jesus spitting, or touching, or rebuking, or praying and nature immediately responding to Him.  This was obedience to the Christ in full effect.

Jesus then “made them an offer they could not refuse”.  “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.”  From two simple sentences, a magnetic response occurred between the Spirit of Jesus and theirs.  They left everything that defined them individually, and followed Jesus Christ from that day forward.

A Luncheon or a Lecture….that’s our title this morning…

You’ve probably heard the adage, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for life.”

You can choose the luncheon…

You can sit back and wait for someone else to open their mouths and bring someone to church and get saved.

You can listen in on the praise reports and rejoice in another’s miracle received. 

You can watch from your pew as your brother or sister finds delivery from a devil.

…and you just might make it to Heaven…

…but isn’t that more like settling for the luncheon that only satisfies for that select hour?  The only absolute evidence that you’ll have of that one meal, will come naturally hours later and then be gone forever.  You just might make Heaven living like that, but isn’t that settling for less than what you are being offered?

But you also have the choice of the lecture…

Week after week the charge is given to release you and allow Him; to remain in Him as He remains in you; to understand your calling in this life, and your reason.  You can relate to the need of God in this world today.  If you cast your net into the deep waters, what will be your rewards?

If God’s word is true, and it is, then we will not be able to contain what His Spirit draws in.  We’ll have to call Freedom, or First Baptist, or Blood River Church of God, to help us bring the catch into the boats.  We have a promise here that our labor will not be in vain.  Quit relying on someone else to spark this church into revival.  Do it yourself.  The neck turns the head so the eye can see what the hand is holding so that the other hand may grip the lighter as the thumb strikes the flint, all working with muscles and tendons and joints and other body functions and parts to ignite a flame.  We all work as one to undertake one task.

An unearned lunch day after day makes you fat and lazy.  A lecture teaches you how to make your own lunches.  It’s not about your faith in the system.  It’s about your obedience to the calling!!!  Mark 16:15(go) Matt 28:19(make)

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