Summary: Sermon 3 of a New Year’s series based on Wilkinson’s book Experiencing Spiritual Breakthroughs.
One of the things about starting a new sermon series is that I am never sure how it is going to develop regarding content (it must be Biblical of course) and structure (especially as it relates to application). Last week I said to you that I wanted this series to be practical and helpful to you and that reminded me of a goal that I had when I started this series.
I started this series on experiencing spiritual breakthroughs with the intention of offering you one or two suggested resolutions each week. We are now into week three and I have not done that. (So I guess that means I get to offer you six resolutions today!)
Seriously I want to begin this morning with two suggested resolutions as a summary of our past two Sundays together. Here they are: (Overhead 1)
I resolve, with the help of God, to fully commit myself to following Christ no matter how or no matter where it leads me.
I resolve, with the help of God, to honestly deal with sin in my life by honestly confessing it and dealing with the root cause(s) of it in my life.
This morning we are going to discover some ways that we experience spiritual breakthroughs by cultivating a consistent walk with the Lord. This resolution is a continuation of the first two because as we commit ourselves to following the Lord and as we honestly deal with sin and the root causes of sin in our lives, we establish a base for developing a consistent and steady walk with the Lord.
Our text for this morning gives us several very important word pictures that we need to deeply look at. (Overhead 2)
Word picture number one – Come! The first word out of Jesus’ mouth is one of decision and action.
It is a word of decision because in this situation Simon Peter and Andrew have a choice to make – “Am I going to go with Him or not?” It is a critical decision and one that each of us makes on a regular basis.
The decision has implications to it – important implications. For example, Simon and Andrew, in choosing to follow Jesus, are going to be making some major changes in their lives. They are going to give up their regular jobs and income. They are going to live off the generosity and sacrifice of others because nowhere in the Gospel accounts do we read of them resuming their work until after the crucifixion (and then for a brief period of time).
So the decision to “come with Jesus” is filled with occupational and economic uncertainty. Maybe that is why Jesus tells the Twelve early on “Don’t worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes.
Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs and he will give you what you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”
The invitation of Jesus to “COME!” is also a word of action because those that Jesus calls to “COME!” cannot be inactive. Come implies movement. We tell our kids, “Come here!” Which means that we want them to physically move from the place where they are to the place where we want them to be.
And sometimes they come right away and sometimes they require…some…persuasion to come. Just like we do with the Lord.
Simon and Andrew, as well as the other disciples could not stay where they were when Jesus said, “Come!” Matthew had to leave his tax practice when He called. (Talk about economic security!) Nathaniel (who is most likely Bartholomew) had to leave behind his prejudices and attitudes.
In fact, Jesus’ words to Nathaniel give evidence of the spiritual breakthroughs that he and the rest of the disciples would experience over the next three years they were with the Lord. We read them in John 1:50 and 51, “You will see greater things that this…The truth is, you will see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down upon the Son of Man!”
By positively responding to Jesus’ call to “come,” spiritual breakthroughs and growth will take place in our lives that will enable us to consistently walk with the Lord. But Jesus calls the twelve, just as He calls each of us, to “COME” in a very specific way – as a DISCIPLE and that is our second word picture for this morning.
In Henry Blackaby’s book Experiencing God he makes a point that is so true and yet makes us so uncomfortable. I was reminded of that when I received the January 17, 2005 e-mail devotional based on that book.
The call to relationship is also a call to be on mission with God. That call to mission disrupts your entire life. As you listen for God’s invitation, know its destiny is always: Point Unknown. Are you willing to go?