Jump In!!! Calvary Worship Center September 9, 2007 AM Service
There was a preacher who was a fisherman, but he hadn't fished in months. One perfect Sunday morning he couldn't resist. He called up the associate pastor and claimed he had laryngitis. The preacher then headed out to his favorite spot.
The hook hadn't been in the water five minutes before he got a strike, and landed the biggest fish he had ever caught - although he had seen bigger ones., A half hour later, he caught the biggest fish he had ever seen. Another forty-five minutes later he landed a fish that broke the world record.
All the while, St. Peter and God have been watching the preacher from heaven. St. Peter turned to God, and said, "How can you reward this preacher? He lied. He let down his congregation."
God smiles at St. Peter, and replies, "I'm punishing him."
St. Peter is confused and says, “Punishing him? How?” God continues, "Well, after he finishes, who can he tell his story to?"
Some of you here today have had your share of mistakes and trial runs, only to realize that those paths did not lead to what you made them out to be. Your investment was not worth the return.
Some of you have been more than willing to jump in without hesitation, head first, and whatever came your way you were willing to tackle. But, with age comes wisdom.
Some of you came to this sanctuary for one reason or another, not comprehending that God brought you here for a purpose.
Some of you here know what God’s will is in your life, or he has given you some specific instruction, and it’s about time for you to decide to jump in uninhibited.
It’s YOU who has to decide to jump in…
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."
There are times that life hits us so fast and without warning that we react on instincts rather than what we know.
- The disciples just saw Jesus crucified and die
- They saw reactions of the people and leaders
- Their leader, teacher, their friend was no longer there
- They had left everything 3+ years prior to follow him
- They saw miracles, healings, demons cast out, dead raised
- They saw Jesus appear to them after he was resurrected
- Their world was clouded and confused from the emotional rollercoaster
Everyone here today can identify with similar points in life.
I’ve seen good people tore down and cast out, seen the reactions from every side, been abandoned seemingly by pastors/youth pastors/friends, seen great spiritual victories in life, and then watched other good Christians die.
But, you know what? Jesus Christ is standing on the shores of my life, waiting patiently. He’s there hoping I’ll pay attention, notice, and pay homage to him. He’s longing for my willful determination to be by his side.
- God has allowed what has happened to happen in your life – he’s looking at the big picture
- If things had remained as they were, then the influence would have remained confined
- The Holy Spirit’s formal introduction was contingent on Christ’s reunion with the Father
- Witness and testimony of many influenced by One was the preferred method of choice to spread the Gospel
- He understands the storms we go through, and is there to offer us nourishment that will sustain us
- It was and is time to stop just following, and start leading (individual and church)
Jesus stood on the shore. He’s too much a gentleman to openly ask or demand that you come to him.
He called out to his friends, no longer servants. They now knew what Jesus’ business was on earth. (John 15)
He instructed them once again to help their faith and make the night feel worthwhile (cast on right side)
He prepared breakfast
He incorporated what they had just caught into his meal
But Peter, upon hearing John say that it was the Lord, made the jump.
- No hesitation
- With no regards to what the other disciples were going to do
- Jesus’ presence on the shore was enough to warrant Peter’s joining him there
- The water, separating the disciples (Peter and the rest) from Jesus represents to me a type of effort on our part to be with him. Though we are saved by grace and faith in Jesus as the risen Christ, we still must daily take up our cross and follow him. Our faith melts together with what we do that keeps up alive and vibrant in the world in which we live. Peter and the rest of the disciples chose freely to go back to what Jesus called them from, and so they had to put forth effort to get back where Jesus longed for them to be…with him
- Jesus once again served them as they found their way back to him (breakfast)
- Though he doesn’t need what you have, he wants what you have to compliment what he has already prepared for you (fish)
Now he’s standing there on your shore, waiting for you to JUMP IN!!!
What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for me to ask you or give you permission to move? Who am I compared to him? This isn’t about me. It’s His presence and love for you gives you all the right to jump in right now!!!
Let this alter area be the shore of your life right now, and you moving be the waters between where you are and where Jesus stands.
Do you need Jesus to forgive your sins and make you right with God? Jump in!!!
Do you need to trust him with something special he’s asked you to do? Jump in!!!
Do you want to live your life continually in his presence and under his influence? It’s time right now for you to Jump In.