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Lesson's Learned From A Night Of Failure

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“LESSONS LEARNED FROM A NIGHT OF FAILURE”

TEXT: Luke 5:1-11

" One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him."    (Luke 5:1-11, NIV)

INTRODUCTION:

Some of your greatest lessons will be learned at “The University of Adversity”.

I have heard people say that they received a degree in “kneeology” at the “School of Hard-knocks”.

The message that we are looking at this morning shows why we sometimes fail and how we can learn from our failures and go on to a very productive Christian life.

The disciples had fished and worked hard all night without catching anything.

The Scriptures tell us that they had “taken nothing”.

After they had done all they could the Lord told this seasoned fisherman where to fish and where to cast the net.

Simon said unto Him, “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”

According to our Text, this is when business really picked up.

There are five great lessons that we can learn from “A Night of Failure”.

I. THERE IS FAILURE WITHOUT HIM…

 

Let’s look at verses 4 and 5 again.

 

"When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”"  (Luke 5:4-5, NIV)

Because You (Jesus) say so… 

How often do we say that?

Because You, Jesus, say so I will do it.

Because I have so much faith in You and in Your word, I will do it.

Or do we have doubts…

Are we afraid to fail…

Remember the illustration of the farmer I used last week…

He was afraid to fail. 

Because he was afraid to fail, he did nothing and the only thing he had to show for it was regret.

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13, NIV)

These fishermen were unable to make a catch, although they had used all of their skills, abilities and time, until Jesus blessed them.

The Lord was teaching a lesson that we all need to learn;

there is failure without Him.

To Work Without Him Will Bring Disappointment…

Not only is there failure, there is disappointment that comes with that failure.

In our service to the Lord, we can have all of the tools for greatness only to find the disappointments and the frustration of not seeing God’s blessings.

The blessings of ministry come from having Him.

We need Him.

That’s the reason we need to daily be in His Word.

 We know that we must have Him.

To Work Without Him Will Bring Discouragement…

Discouragement can hinder the work.

Washing nets which have caught no fish is not any fun.

There will be times in your Christian walk when you will not see results;

you only are “washing nets which caught no fish”.

If this is so because you were simply going through the motions without His blessings, then this is a real tragedy.

The Lord’s presence and the Lord’s instructions brought the Lord’s blessings to Simon Peter and the rest of the fishermen.

Two boats nearly sank because of the large number of fish… after the blessings came.

II. WE MUST HAVE FAITH IN HIM…

Let’s take another look at verse 5.

"Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”" (Luke 5:5, NIV)

When we have faith in The Lord, we show this by being obedient to His Word.

Peter at first argued that they had spent the night without any success, but then took the Lord at His Word.

This teaches us that we often do things our way only to find that our ways, alone,  doesn’t work.  It gives us no visible result and often frustrates us and then we have a whole new host of emotions…  Anger, resentment etc.

We Should Have Faith that He is God of Creation …

"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:16-17, NIV)

Now Jesus could have either called the fish to the net or created them in the net.

Either way what happened was a miracle.

When Jesus shows up… “Look for a Miracle”.

We Should Have Faith that He is The Caring God…

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19, NIV)

There has been no greater comfort to me as the pastor of this Corps than just knowing that the Lord cares about us…

So much so, if we do what we should,

He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory.

Just as He provided the fish for the fishermen, He can provide our Corps with our church needs…

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19  KJV)
 
III. WE SHOULD BE WILLING TO FORSAKE ALL FOR HIM…

Look now at verse 11

"So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him." (Luke 5:11, NIV)

This should be the attitude and the disposition that marks the true disciple.

They left everything and followed Him.

Luke’s Gospel tells us this in Luke 14:33:

"In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:33, NIV)

This Involves Surrender…

To surrender is to turn loose anything that has a hold of you…

This could be a job,

a friendship,

a comfort zone,

a crutch (by that, I mean anything that you are trusting in that will hinder you from following Him).

This Involves Submission…

When Peter said.

 

But because you say so, I will let down the nets.

He was submitting to the will of the Lord.

IV. WE SHOULD FOLLOW HIM COMPLETELY…

We’re not done with verse 11

"So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him." (Luke 5:11, NIV)

Who better to Guide than Jesus?

To follow Him is to follow Him through the Scriptures.

His Word will point you in the right direction…

" Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (Psalm 119:105, NIV)

"Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me." (Psalm 119:98, NIV)

"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." (Psalm 119:11, NIV)

You want a good compass in your life to let you know when you’ve strayed from the path. 

Read Ps 119 as a foundation for setting that compass.

Then…  Let His Word be a light unto your path.

He Will Lead Us As The Good Shepherd…

One only has to think of the good work of the shepherd who leads, guides, and protects his sheep.

Our Good Shepherd certainly leads us well.

He Will Lead Us By His Word in Scripture and The Holy Spirit…

CONCLUSION:

We can look at the miracle Jesus worked with the fishes and stop there or we can ask the hard question…

So What?

What does this message mean to me personally?

What do I need to do in my life?

Am I following Him?

Am I leading a surrendered life?

Does His Word guide me?

The Bible tells us in John that the Good Sheppard recognizes His sheep.

Are you recognized?

Let us pray!

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