Summary: This sermon examines the cost of Discipleship.
Title: Follow Me
Text: Matthew 4:18-21
Location: Sulphur Spring Baptist Church
Introduction: A few minutes ago we had the privilege of witnessing Meagan Lawrence follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism. As Baptists we believe that Baptism provides the individual being baptized a tremendous opportunity to testify to their family, friends, and the rest of the world that they have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and have become one of His Disciples.
This morning I want us to spend a few minutes talking about being a Disciple of Jesus Christ. So, if you have your Bibles turn with me to the Gospel of Matthew 4:18-22
If you want to follow Jesus and be one of His Disciples then there are a few things you need to know.
1. JESUS WANTS TO GIVE YOU A NEW FOCUS IN LIFE.
verse 18 says, “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.”
Peter, Andrew, James & John were all fishermen. They were doing their best to provide for their families.
In this passage of Scripture Peter and Andrew were fishing. James and John on the other hand were mending their nets.
Jesus called out to them and said “Come Follow Me and I will make you fisher’s of men.”
In other words, Jesus said, come and follow me and I will give you a new purpose in life. Instead of spending all of your time mending your nets and trying to catch fish, I want you to come and follow me.
I want you to join me as I seek to change the lives of men, women, and children all over the world.
I want you to become one of my Disciples.
I want you to learn a new way of life.
I want you to learn what is really important.
I want to give you a new set of priorities.
I want to give you a new focus in life.
According to our text these men didn’t hesitate. It says Andrew and Peter left their nets lying on the seashore and followed him. In the same way, James and John left their father Zebedee sitting in their boat holding the nets and immediately began following Jesus.
Jesus’ invitation to become one of His Disciples is the same today as it was 2000 years ago. (PAUSE)
It amazes me how self-centered and materialistic people are today. Did you here about all of the people who camped out for hours just so they could be one of the first people to buy a copy of Microsoft’s new video game called “Halo 3?”
Many people today spend all of their time and energy trying to make more money so they can buy more stuff.
They want to wear the best clothes.
They want to drive the fanciest cars.
They want to live in the biggest house in the most exclusive neighborhood.
They want the latest Mp3 player or Ipod.
They want the coolest most expensive cell phone.
Jesus taught His disciples to focus on God rather than themselves. That’s why in Mark 8:34-36 Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
And in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Things are not as important as we sometimes think they are, and they certainly shouldn’t become more important to us than our relationship to God. When we give our lives to Christ He wants us to focus more on him and less on ourselves.
The Apostle Paul understood this, and in 2nd Corinthians 5:17, he said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Secondly, Not only does Jesus want to give you a new focus in Life,
II. BUT HE ALSO WANTS TO GIVE YOU A NEW MINISTRY OR MISSION IN LIFE.
Now please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that God is calling all of you into the ministry.
But I am saying that God wants you to do your part in spreading the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Instead of concentrating all of your efforts on making money or having a successful career, the Lord wants you to join His Team and concentrate on ‘catching men’ or ‘making disciples.’