Called to Follow

I Will Build My Church: Luke & Acts Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:41
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Almost 26 years ago… I was 15 years old… God had orchestrated events and life lessons in my heart to draw me to the place I found myself that night in may 1993.
That night God placed a distinct call on my heart and life to serve Him in full-time ministry… in order to hold myself accountable and never forget I wrote some things in my Bible, here are few things I wrote...
(read portions of what was written: )
God does not call everyone to full-time vocational ministry… we see this even in scripture:
Levites set aside not all Israel
Prophets were called and set aside by God
Deuteronomy states God gave others skills for His purposes
However, God does call all His people to follow Him!
Today we are looking at 12 men Jesus calls to serve Him and minister with Him. We can learn a great deal from these passages as ones called to follow our Savior Jesus Christ.

A Night in Prayer...

Luke 6:12-16
Luke 6:12–16 NASB95
It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
12 Men Chosen:
Young men who knew they were sinners, young, needing a Savior...
Some were fishermen
One was a tax collector (taking in monies for Rome)
One was a zealot… (fighting to overcome Roman sovereignty!)
Jesus calls them together, various backgrounds, towns, various economic status, one even a traitor, two who would have been opposing each other!
Because of Christ these men come together for a common purpose, a focused ministry under Jesus Christ!
Is that not a beautiful picture of the church!
Consider the focused way Jesus would teach, instill truth, and develop these men to turn the world upside down for Jesus Christ!
Span of control (1 to 3 or 7)
These 12 were very intentional decisions by Christ… prayed all night long. Nowhere else in the NT do we see all night prayer.
The ministry of Jesus is constantly bathed in prayer
When the of life were greater you find Jesus praying more
Christ ministry and work would be different… and we see it from the beginning with His choosing of His disciples (ones who would be called Apostles) They were NOT scholars, philosophers, or theologians...

Chosen Fisher of Men

Consider with me His choosing and the response of these followers of Christ… Luke 5:1-11
Luke 5:1–11 NASB95
Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
Peter, James, and John had heard Jesus teaching, but this encounter with Him had the hooked… they had to be a part of what Jesus was doing!
Notice here… Jesus is God in the flesh yet He chooses to draw mankind into His work!
The focus here is on Peter mainly… the leader of this crew possibly the oldest. Peter will continue to be the spokes person for the disciples.
Peter… Let’s go fishing now!
Peter is the expert, Jesus is a carpenter/teacher
Night is best time and they didn't even do good the night before
Jesus instructs Peter to do what is not a good possibility (Or Foolish) and Jesus works!
If Jesus can work in that impossibility He can work through Peter and the others as Christ calls them to catch men!
We need to trust God to work, not lean on our understanding or abilities… Notice the obedience and humility of Peter!
Jesus Christ had just worked a miracle showing His authority over creation and nature… the response is worship!
Recognizing Christ for who He is should always reveal our hearts our unworthiness
Christ is not looking for people who think they are worthy or qualified (PRIDE)
But notice sin does not shun us from Christ, rather it invites us to come and meet God’s healing and forgiveness!
We see here that to drop what is valued in this world is a great joy in light of following the Savior!
Maybe you are thinking… fishermen are cool. I can see God wanting to take them and use them. What about sinners...

Chosen Sinners

Later in verse 27 we see Jesus call another disciple… Matthew or Levi.
Jesus saw this tax collector and calls him!!!!
Matthew knew he was a sinner, just as Peter did… BUT there were sinners, the sludge at the bottom of the barrel, and the tax collectors!
What an amazing day for Matthew, to hear Jesus teach, then to think (He wants me?!)
I absolutely love Matthews response:
Amazed Jesus would want to use him, teach him, disciple him, like him
He throws a party! Invites all the sinners and tax collectors that would come!
He automatically assesses that Jesus would not mind associating with sinners (no one is beyond Jesus love)
As you follow Christ, do you get excited about introducing the to Christ?
Is Christ someone you are comfortable to share with those in need?
Religious react “why do you eat and drink with these scum?
Oh that we NEVER find ourselves being in that place
Jesus responds “Is it not the sick who need a doctor?
The sad thing is that the religious were dying spiritually and did not see their sickness (SIN) or need for a Savior
No wonder Jesus went to those who knew their need
We are going to learn what Jesus taught, hear His words, observe how He interacted in life situations, we are going to get a gimps of His heart as we go through the Gospel of Luke… consider what the disciples observed during this time. These passages are mixed with some powerful teaching Jesus would exemplify for His disciples...

Intentional Discipleship

Luke recorded several scenes of Jesus’ unconventional ministry
Jesus heals a leper (He touches him), an outcast of society, all could approach this Jesus
Jesus heals the paralyzed man, but first forgives his sin!
Only God can forgive sin…
Jesus responds beautifully Luke 5:21-26
Luke 5:21–26 NASB95
The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? “But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”—He said to the paralytic—“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Jesus expressed that His ministry was not just a “patch on the old” but something entirely new(5:36–39).
Another unconventional feature of Jesus’ ministry was that He did not require the disciples to conform to the legalistic practices of the Pharisees (6:1–5).
Jesus healed on the Sabbath even though this provoked the opposition of the Pharisees Jesus Christ demonstrated His priority of life over legalism.
Jesus taught He was Lord of the Sabbath, authority over it!
Luke will use the term follow a great deal in his writing. For Luke everyone who is a Christian is called to “follow Jesus,” both apostles and non-apostles. The particular kind of calling may vary, but all are called to the same commitment. The ability to follow Jesus assumes the forgiveness that enables one to follow. Have you recieved this forgiveness of sin, if so then you are called just the same to Follow Jesus Christ! I gave myself a reminder at age 15 I pray today's passage has served as a reminder and challenge for you.
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