"The Place of Change"
Pastor Albert Almore
“One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God.”
“He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets.”
“Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.”
“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.””
““Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.””
“And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.”
“When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.””
“For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.”
“His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!””
“And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.”
This is amazing to me. Peter’s first encounter with Jesus, and Peter tells Jesus Christ, the Son of God to get away from him. Peter doesn’t know this yet, but Jesus isn’t a quitter. Jesus doesn’t give up that easy by any means. Maybe you’re here today and you need to hear that and know that for your life as well. Jesus isn’t a quitter. Jesus won’t give up on you no matter what. He will love you to the very end.
“Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now HE LOVED THEM TO THE VERY END.”
I wonder what was it that made Peter tell Jesus to get away from him. I believe it was all about the miraculous catch. I believe that Peter thought to himself, "If he knew what was IN THE WATER, then certainly He knows what’s INSIDE OF ME!”
If Peter was thinking this, his thoughts would’ve been SPOT ON! The one who knew exactly “where the fish were in the water, does know exactly what’s inside of you. But that’s the beauty of the picture! HE KNOWS AND STILL SAYS, "CAN I USE YOUR BOAT?” HE KNOWS AND STILL SAYS, "CAN I USE YOU?”
📝 Jesus isn’t intimidated of you because of your sins. Jesus came to earth to INFILTRATE your life because of your sins.
Peter told Jesus go away, I’m a sinful man!
Peter you don’t get it….
📝 Jesus didn’t come to ABANDON you because of your condition. Jesus came to RESCUE you from your condition.
To Peter’s initial response Jesus says, "Don’t be afraid. There’s nothing that you can tell me about yourself that I don’t already know. There’s nothing that you can reveal to me Peter about yourself that I haven’t already seen.”
May I remind you Peter of the words found in Psalms 139:1-2,
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT ME. YOU KNOW when I sit down or stand up. YOU KNOW my thoughts even when I’m far away.”
“YOU SEE ME when I travel and when I rest at home. YOU KNOW everything I do.”
“YOU KNOW what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.”
To every Peter in this room, I say to you today, Isaiah 43:1
“…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I HAVE CALLED YOU BY NAME, YOU ARE MINE.”
Peter, you are mine. You’re not telling me anything that I don’t know about you, but if you will allow me, I’LL TELL YOU THINGS ABOUT YOU THAT YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT YOU.
““BEFORE I FORMED YOU in the womb I KNEW YOU, before you were born I set you apart...””
In this moment as Peter was telling Jesus get “away from me,” he had no idea that one day he would experience Matthew 14:29 where it says,
"…So Peter got out of the boat AND WALKED ON THE WATER and came to Jesus.”
I know right now you’re not having any luck in the water, but one day Peter you will walk on the water.
Peter didn’t see it but Jesus did. Jesus saw in Acts 5:15 where it would one day be written of him,
“….people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least PETER’S SHADOW might fall on some of them as he passed by.”
Peter, FEAR NOT.
📝 I will not allow this SHADOW of fear, to OVERSHADOW what I’m going to do through you.
What exactly was Jesus going to do through Peter. Matthew 16:18 tells us. It reads,
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
Isn’t it amazing, the very one that Christ would build his church on, initially told him no thank you.
Instead of being afraid Peter, come follow me. Come follow my ways. Come follow my teachings. Come follow my lifestyle.
📝 I will never leave you, but I will DISCIPLE you.
I will disciple you. I want to talk to you just for a moment from this thought….
THE PLACE OF CHANGE
If you’re looking for change, meet me on discipleship Boulevard. If you’re looking to move your life from here to there, meet me at Discipleship Avenue.
📝 IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR CHANGE, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN DISCIPLESHIP.
THE PLACE OF CHANGE
Discipleship is referred to as imitating the teacher’s life, committing to his values, and reproducing his teachings. Biblical discipleship points us to a relationship with the master teacher, following Jesus, and following his way of life because his teaching shapes our own worldview. This is why Paul says in I Corinthians 11:1,
“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
I Corinthians 11:1
Jesus was all about DISCIPLESHIP.
So much so, that…
Jesus’s ministry looked like this:
Developing Those Disciples
Charging Those Disciples To Make More Disciples.
“Therefore GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
“and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””
Jesus’s ministry STARTED with discipleship, and Jesus’s ministry ENDED with discipleship.
I’m telling you right now, IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR CHANGE, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN DISCIPLESHIP. In fact, here’s the formula for change.
📝 A SURRENDERED HEART + BIBLICAL DISCIPLESHIP = A CHANGED LIFE
There isn’t an area in your life when SURRENDERED to the process that discipleship can’t change.
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I WILL BUILD My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
Before we build, site work must take place. Site work is EXPENSIVE.
📝 Discipleship will cost you THE OLD YOU.
I’m not who I used to be because I’ve been discipled. I’m not heading where my life was heading because I’ve been discipled. I don’t think how I used to think because I’ve been discipled. I don’t talk how I used to talk because I’ve been discipled. Places I used to go I don’t go anymore. Things I used to do, I don’t do anymore because I’ve been discipled!
📝 Discipleship is necessary because you can’t be WHO YOU WERE and who God is CALLING YOU TO BE at the same time.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
II Corinthians 5:17
Discipleship teaches you how to conduct yourself in the Kingdom of God, since you’re no longer in the Kingdom of the world.
Luke 5:10 says,
“…Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be FISHING FOR PEOPLE!””
I’m here today because one day Jesus sent disciples into my life to fish me out of this world, and to disciple me into Who God was calling me to be. THERE’S NOTHING FANCY ABOUT ME, I’M just a fish! Here’s my testimony in a nutshell….
📝 Caught by GRACE. Cleaned by DISCIPLESHIP.
Galatians 2:20 is discipleship at it’s finest…..
📝 "I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST; IT IS NO LONGER I who live, but Christ lives in me..
“He must INCREASE, but I must DECREASE.”
Jesus is trying to get you to Luke 6:40 where He says,
📝 "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained WILL BE LIKE HIS TEACHER.”
📝 Discipleship will cost you your COMFORT.
“On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “THIS IS A HARD TEACHING. Who can accept it?””
“Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “DOES THIS OFFEND YOU?”
“From this time MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES TURNED BACK and no longer followed him.”
“Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “ARE YOU ALSO GOING TO LEAVE?””
“Simon Peter replied, “Lord, TO WHOM WOULD WE GO? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”” John 6:68-69
“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also RECOGNIZED THEM AS MEN WHO HAD BEEN WITH JESUS.”
They also RECOGNIZED THEM AS MEN WHO HAD BEEN WITH JESUS. Discipleship at it’s core is about BEING WITH JESUS. And the more time you spend with Jesus, the more you’ll BE LIKE JESUS.
📝 Discipleship looks like BEING WITH JESUS through WORSHIP, WORD, PRAYER, and through His PEOPLE (disciples).
Jesus wants to disciple you from:
HURT to WHOLE.
WOUNDED to HEALED.
FEAR to FAITH.
ANXIETY to PEACE.
UNBELIEVER to BELIEVER.
But it’s in the surrender.
“And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?””
“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’””
“And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.””
“And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.””
“Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
Mark said he had great possessions. Jesus said written in red, "You lack one thing.” All of his great possessions were connected to one thing that kept Him from following Jesus. It wasn’t necessarily the great possessions, it was the ONE THING. The possessions were nothing more than the symptoms of the one thing that Jesus spoke of. We’ll pick up from right here next week, but until then…
WHAT’S YOUR ONE THING?
Similar to Peter, Jesus wants to build something on your life, but before He can build, the site work, DISCIPLESHIP must be done.
WHAT HAVE YOU YET TO SURRENDER THAT’S KEEPING YOU FROM BEING DISCIPLED?