Summary: God’s calls us to 1) Salvation 2)Follow Him 3)Serve 4) Sacrifice our Lives for Him
October 1, 2006
“One day as Jesus was walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew fishing with nets, for they were commercial fishermen. Jesus called out to them, "Come, follow me! And I will make you fishermen for the souls of men!"
At once they left their nets and went along with him. A little farther up the beach, he saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat mending their nets. He called them too, and immediately they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and went with him.” Mark 1:16-20 (Living)
“As he was walking up the beach he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at his tax collection booth. "Come with me," Jesus told him. "Come be my disciple." And Levi jumped to his feet and went along.” Mark 2:14 (Living)
“Jesus walked by. John looked at him intently and then declared, "See! There is the Lamb of God!" Then John’s two disciples turned and followed Jesus.
Jesus looked around and saw them following. "What do you want?" he asked them. "Sir," they replied, "where do you live?"
"Come and see," he said. So they went with him to the place where he was staying and were with him from about four o’clock that afternoon until the evening. (One of these men was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.) Andrew then went to find his brother Peter and told him, "We have found the Messiah!" And he brought Peter to meet Jesus. Jesus looked intently at Peter for a moment and then said, "You are Simon, John’s son--but you shall be called Peter, the rock!"
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and told him, "Come with me." John 1:36-43 (Living)
I love hearing how Jesus called His disciples. It was a little different for each of them. The one thing in common was that each and every one of them heard and received a call from the Master. But God has always done that. From the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve were called to be managers of God’s creation, to Noah who was called to save the human race, to Abraham who was called to father a nation for God, God has called people. Then there was Gideon and Samson and David and Elijah and Isaiah – on and on it goes. God calls people. Some were called in spectacular ways – like Moses and the burning bush and Isaiah with the angels and the burn coal.
Some were called to save the world. Some were called to seemingly insignificant jobs and some were called to failure – to do impossible things. In God’s eyes, of course, it wasn’t failure, but that’s what we would call a man who gave his life to preach to a people who never responded – who never repented – Like Isaiah and Elijah and Elisha did. They were successful because they obeyed God and did His will – not because of results.
We have a record of many who responded to the call and some who didn’t – like the group I talked about last week who turned away from Jesus (John 6:66). In fact, I believe that every human being who has ever lived or lives today or who will live in the future has heard or will hear the call of God. The call is so different for each one. Each of us here today could probably share our story of how God called us – and each would be different. But the thing in common is the call. God calls us to different things and calls us in different ways – but He calls. Often, people think it is only the pastor that receives the call of God – and pastors certainly need a call from God to do what they do. If they don’t have a calling to preach – or pastor – they won’t last very long or their work will be off in some way. But it is not just pastors who have received a call. Every single one of us hears God’s call. Maybe you think God can’t use you. Think about this:
Noah was a drunk. Abraham was too old. Jacob was a liar. Leah was ugly. Joseph was abused. Moses stuttered. Gideon was afraid. Samson was a long haired womanizer. Rahab was a prostitute. Jeremiah and Timothy were too young. David had an affair and was a murderer. Elijah was suicidal. Jonah ran from God. Naomi was a widow. Peter denied Christ. The disciples fell asleep while Jesus prayed. Martha worried about everything. The Samaritan woman was divorced seven times. Paul was too religious, Timothy had an ulcer and Lazarus was dead! Don’t you think God may be able to use you?