Seed of Faith – Leaving and Following   By Pastor Dave  

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:17-20

Dear Faithful Seed Sowers and followers of Jesus,
The Lenten season is upon us. We have 7 Sundays of feasting along with 40 days of fasting ahead of us. Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days after just being baptized and being declared that he was God’s beloved son. We just had a message on how to respond to trials, temptations and tests. Ask yourself if you are HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY or TIRED (HALT). Your reply to the enemy is to be the same as Jesus’: IT IS WRITTEN.

During this season of Lent, write down a few of your favorite verses and have them ready. I like John 10:10, “The enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy. I have come to bring life abundantly.” Philippians has 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Strap in and let’s get through this Lenten season, friend and followers.

I took my wife to see “The Jesus Revolution” last night. What a great, inspiring movie! Don’t wait for it to come out on DVD. GO SEE THIS MOVIE! What really touched my heart is that when the pastor started reading from the Bible, everyone raised up their bible and said, “THIS IS THE WORD OF GOD!” and pointed with their pointer finger to heaven as they said, “Amen.” Good stuff. Just a really good movie.

Right now, I encourage you to go pick up your Bible and read Matthew 4:12-25. Jesus begins His ministry after being baptized and tested in the wilderness. This bible really is the WORD of God! Amen?

Let’s start out this message with a “so what” question: how did Jesus call you?

Can you remember? I challenge you to sit down, talk it out, write it out…and send me a copy of how Jesus found you and called you to FOLLOW HIM. It can be in one moment of time, or it can be a lifetime of moments of following—just get it written down. Someone in your family is going to need to know how you know that you know!

Follow Me! Powerful words! In all, the words “follow me” occur thirteen times in the Gospels.
John’s call to repentance was a call to turn away from something!
Jesus’ call to repentance was a call to turn toward someone!
Where is Jesus calling you to turn today?

Lord Kenneth Clark, internationally known for his television series Civilization, lived and died without faith in Jesus Christ. He admitted in his autobiography that while visiting a beautiful church he had what he believed to be an overwhelming religious experience. He wrote, “My whole being was irradiated by a kind of heavenly joy far more intense than anything I had known before.” But the “flood of grace” as he described it, created a problem. If he allowed himself to be influenced by it, he knew he would have to change, his family might think he had lost his mind, and maybe that intense joy would prove to be an illusion. So, he concluded, “I was too deeply embedded in the world to change course.”[i]

A question that comes to me is why would anyone trade away the joy of this world for a heavenly joy? One is fleeting, the other is forever.
Another question after reading our gospel for today: Why would anyone respond as Peter and Andrew did?
The answer is in the link between Isaiah’s words in chapter 9 and these fishermen’s locale. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2
Because they’re fishing the “Sea of Galilee” (v. 18), they’re among those whose “darkness” has been broken by the “great light” — the dawn of Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus is Fishing — He is fishing, surprisingly, not for the religious or political elite (e.g., Nicodemus, Caiaphas, Herod) but rather Jesus went fishing for the average Joes of this world—Peter, James, and John.

Jesus welcomes Galilean fishermen, Samaritan women, and Roman soldiers, and his church welcomes Irishmen and Indonesians, Indians and Americans, Russians, Chinese, Taiwanese and so many others. Tell me another religion in the first century that did that. Tell me another religion in the world today that does that. It’s part of our history. It’s part of our theology. It’s part of our gospel!

So What?

Following Jesus is not only a door to be entered but a path to be followed, and the true disciple proves the reality of his discipleship by following that path to the end. David wrote about it in Psalm 119. The section of the psalm that begins, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (v. 105), ends with the words, “My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end(v. 112).

That is it!
A true disciple is one who follows Christ to the very end.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word. Psalm 119:107

I wrote in my Bible these words, “I have suffered much. What a powerful statement. I personally have gone through rashes all over my body for 4-5 years. Lead poisoning … three rounds of chelation. (Now on my fourth round.) The last round was extremely hard. Churches have fought and people lied and hurt me. My finances are depleted. Yet will I praise you.”

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end. Psalm 119:111-112
If I do not focus on the joy of the Lord … I could lose heart all earthly joy and heavenly hope.
How about you? Where is Jesus calling you to leave behind something and follow HIM?

Are you a Sunday disciple? Attending church on Sunday but not following Jesus Monday through Saturday? Or are you in it to win it? Is your heart set on following Jesus to the very end?

Are you watching THE CHOSEN? They now have 3 complete seasons of 8 episodes each (24 episodes). If you haven’t watched it, DO! Go see THE JESUS REVOLUTION and ask yourself, “Where am I in this movie?” Powerful question. Are you sitting in the pew being the judge and jury of everything? (Bad song, pastor’s tie doesn’t match his shirt, I could give a better, more organized message.) Or are you the person who crosses over the aisle to sit with the new person? Are you the person who stays to clean up the sanctuary? Maybe you’re the person who serves snacks and coffee after church?


This week, I’m praying for us all to follow Jesus all the way home, all the way to very end of life.


I pray we are all following HIM. Amen.

See you Sunday!
God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave


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