Thesis: Pure simple obedience brings great reward.
1. Has your faith ever gone flat? (cf. 2 liter pop).
a. Country & Western song--"My head hurts, my feet stink and I don't love Jesus!"
b. It would be nice if faith were like an escalator; in reality it is more like a roller coaster.
2. Easy to feel discouraged at times like these (give up).
a. Making it through these times is crucial if we're ever going to have a mature faith.
b. What we're asking is this:
1) Can we continue to have faith even when it's flat?
2) Can we obey even when we don't feel like it?
I. THE FAILURE OF THE FISHERMEN (read 1-5; note 3 things):
A. Here was failure where there shouldn't have been.
1. These were skilled fishermen (not hobby; trained).
2. They were fishing in familiar waters.
3. They were using the right equipment.
4. They had been working at the right time (night).
5. They had been working hard . . . all night!
6. They had had success in the past.
B. Here was failure with no explanation.
1. Why were these fishermen unsuccessful?
2. We don't know--the Bible doesn't tell us why.
C. Here was failure but not resignation.
1. Were these folks ready to quit being fishermen? (No! Washing their nets!)
2. How do you suppose this story would have gone if Jesus had found these men walking away in disgust?
II. WHAT WAS JESUS' SOLUTION TO THEIR PREDICAMENT? (4)
A. Jesus' command MUST have seemed ridiculous to them!
1. Asking them to do the very thing they had been doing.
a. Already fished those same unproductive waters.
b. They had been up all night (tired, exhausted).
c. It was day, not night--best time to fish.
d. Already cleaning and putting up their nets.
e. Hey, WHAT DID JESUS KNOW ABOUT CATCHING FISH?
2. Common sense dictated to those disciples that they would not catch any fish if they did what Jesus told them to.
a. But what did they do? (Exactly what Jesus told them to do--5).
b. That's essence of faith! (Obeying even when you don't feel like it and it doesn't make sense to you).
B. In the course of human history God has asked man to do some pretty off-the-wall stuff.
1. Noah: the command to build an ark (Gen. 6).
2. Abraham: the command to offer Isaac (Gen. 22).
3. Joshua: the command to conquer Jericho (Josh. 6).
4. Jesus: the command to go to the cross (Luke 22:42-44).
C. Is God commanding you to do something that doesn't make sense? Something you don't feel like doing? (Sure he is!)
1. Command to love one another (John 13:34-35).
2. Command to make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20).
III. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE CHOOSE TO OBEY JESUS (6-11).
A. We will get things done (6-7).
1. "Apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
2. Pure simple obedience is transformed in the hands of the master! ("cup of cold water"; "5 loaves & 2 fish).
B. We will become humble (8-10a).
C. Our future will never be the same (10b-11).
1. This AM will you obey Jesus?
2. I guarantee your future will never be the same!