ALIGNING YOURSELVES WITH THE PURPOSES OF GOD
A. HUMOR: THE WISDOM OF YOUTH
Some parents have questioned whether their kid’s brains were functioning, but there's actually a lot of evidence to prove something is going in out there:
1. Patrick, age 10, said, “Never trust a dog to watch your food.”
2. Michael, 14, said, “When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?" don’t answer him.” Michael also said, “Never tell your mom her diet’s not working.”
3. Randy, 9 years of age said, “Stay away from prunes.” One wonders how he discovered that bit of wisdom.
4. Kyoyo, age 9, said, “Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.”
5. Naomi, 15 said, “If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.”
6. Lauren, age 9 said, “Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick.”
7. Joel, 10 years old, said, “Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat.” And
8. Eileen, age 8 said, “Never try to baptize a cat.”
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
1. There are divine moments -- moments when humans come face to face with God; when God reveals Himself to you; when you become a participant in a miracle; when heaven is opened and your life changes forever.
2. That's what happened to Peter and that's what God wants to do and every one of our lives.
3. Video -- www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxR2NYTyeyY
4. I believe the impact upon Peter was much stronger than this video portrayed.
5. Peter became the greatest of the 12 apostles. People fell dead, for sin, before him. His shadow would later heal the sick!
6. What made Peter different from other men? What was in this man's heart?
I. HE HONORED THE WORD OF GOD
A. PETER’S FEAR OF THE LORD
1. This wasn't Peter's first encounter with the Lord Jesus.
a. He was probably at the Wedding of Cana (John 2) where the water was turned into wine.
b. He saw the Nobleman's son healed (John 4).
c. Luke 4:23; Christ mentions miracles performed at Capernaum, where Peter lived.
2. So Peter knew Jesus was no Ordinary Man. He knew Jesus had God with Him. Jesus’ words and actions were accompanied by demonstrations of divine power!
B. PETER FEARED GOD
1. Psalm 111:10; "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
2. Ps. 25:14; “The secret of the Lord is with them
3. Prov. 16:6; "... by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil."
4. Prov. 10:27; "The fear of the Lord prolongs days... leads to life."
C. PETER HONORED THE WORD OF GOD
1. God said, "Them that honor Me I will honor" 1 Sam. 2:30. (revelation)
2. We should fear God and respect His Word. Attitude is important. Attitude is everything. Think of kids attitudes toward their parents.
3. ILLUSTRATION. A parent told their child to sit down and be quiet. The child kept standing. Finally the parent forced the child to sit down. After a moment the child commented, "I may be sitting down on the outside, but I'm standing up on the inside!" God really DOES care about our attitude.
4. When Josiah, king of Judah, heard God's Word for the first time (2 Kings 22:18-20), God saw his response and said, "Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself..."
5. The devil is not afraid of a Bible that has dust on it. One man said, "If every Christian on Earth would dust off their Bibles, it would create the greatest dust storm in history!"
6. Jay Leno’s frequently done a "man-on-the-street" interview, and in one segment he asked young people, "Can you name one of the 10 Commandments?" One replied, "Freedom of speech?" Leno asked another, "Complete this sentence: ‘Let him who is without sin...’” the response was, "Have a good time?" Leno asked another, "Who, according to the Bible, was eaten by a whale?" The confident answer was, "Pinocchio!"
7. You can have confidence in God’s Word. We don’t have to ‘check our brains at the door’ of faith; the Christian faith is superior, intellectually.
8. ATHEISTS DEBATE CHRISTIAN APOLOGISTS.
a. William Lane Craig, a PhD Christian apologist, has publicly debated at least 22 atheist activist professors. In a few it was even, but in most of the debates, Craig won the crowd over. At Purdue University, the audience was polled after the debate and 82% said that Craig won the match.
b. In 2004 Gary Habermas debated renowned atheist Dr. Antony Flew on the resurrection of Jesus at California Polytechnic State University. In telephone conversations after the debate, Antony Flew was persuaded to become a theist/ a believer – and wrote an account in his book, “There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.” Don’t be intimidated; study & learn.
a. An Atheist college professor said to a young Christian student taking his class,
b. "I have read your Bible from cover to cover, but I still do not believe in your Jesus, nor did I even understand your Bible!"
c. After thinking for a moment, the student replied, "Well, that's what you get for reading someone else's mail!"
II. PETER’S DECISION TO OBEY
A. HAD GOOD REASONS NOT TO OBEY
1. Physically exhausted -- up all night, hands sore, backs aching.
2. Past experiences.
a. Expert knowledge of the Lake. Sea of Galilee -- 160 ft. deep, 13 miles long and 7 miles wide.
b. Best time of fishing is night.
c. Best place may not be in the deep.
3. Current circumstances. They had just come in from fishing all night -- without catching anything. It just didn't make sense to go right back out and do what hadn't worked! [But then -- they hadn't had Jesus with them!]
B. GOD’S WORD & YOUR OWN LIFE
1. Are there some things in God’s Word you've wrestled with obeying?
2. Three Classes of Men/Women
a. Those who DON'T HEAR & DON’T do the Word.
b. Those that DO HEAR, but DON'T do the Word.
c. Those that DO HEAR, but DO the Word!
3. DREADFUL DANGER of not obeying the Word.
a. Mt. 7:21, New Living, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”
b. Mt. 7:24, Message Bible. " If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock."
C. WE ARE BEING TESTED
1. When it doesn't make sense, it's a test of our obedience/submission. Is He really Lord?
2. If you really only submit to God's will when you agree, then you've really never submitted to anything but your own will! The test of submission is having to do what you really DON’T want to do.
3. Many things in the Bible didn't make sense:
a. Building an ark when there was no rain.
b. Going around Jericho 7X.
c. Digging ditches in the desert.
d. A leper washing 7X in a muddy creek.
e. A woman with a tiny amount of oil gathering a house full of empty jars.
4. Your Faith is being tested. Will you trust and obey?
III. FAITH & ACTION RELEASE POWER
A. PETER LINED UP WITH GOD!
1. "Nevertheless, at Your Word I will let down the nets."
2. "AT GOD’S WORD" -- seraphs fly and cherubs bow;
-- were the heavens made;
-- history, the events of the Ages march in conformity to His Will.
3. Peter aligned himself with the purposes of God by
lining up with God. Have you?
B. THE HUMANLY IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED
1. "Great" multitude of fishes caught.
2. So huge -- nets breaking(God's extravagance).
3. "Signaled" partners. Three ancient authorities add "because of fear and astonishment."
4. So Great -- BOTH SHIPS began to sink. 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, to the brim. 5-6 tons of fish apiece!
5. Peter's mind screamed, "Impossible!" Such a catch had never been heard of on that Lake.
C. NEW REVELATION OF JESUS
1. Peter had seen other miracles, but they didn't affect him like this.
2. This miracle was:
a. Was in his calling/trade.
b. Was in his boat.
c. Occurred with his nets!
d. After all his efforts and experience showed it couldn't happen.
3. "THIS IS GOD!" As he gazed into Jesus’ eyes, he gazed into the eyes of God! The Holy One of Israel!
4. Suddenly Peter felt unworthy. A sinful man before a holy God. Like Isaiah in the presence of God saying, "How unworthy I am!"
5. JESUS’ CONSOLATION & CALL
a. "Fear not" – Jesus probably pulled him up, and took his hand. He didn't drive him away, but probably drew him closer.
b. "You will catch men."
6. Peter's response? "So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him."
7. WHY? When you see Jesus’ surpassing worth and beauty, all else seems unimportant.
1. An English diamond merchant in the 1800’s was packing gems to send to a trader in India. Running out of the usual wrapping paper, he began using the pages of an old New Testament.
2. He used the first three chapters of the gospel of John. The soft paper was ideal.
` 3. The Hindu who received it unwrapped and read the pages. He read John 3:16. He was astounded.
4. He said to himself, "Why did I not know this before?" Salvation was born in his heart by the power of God's Spirit. He later said, "What what was written on the scrap paper was infinitely more valuable than the jewels it contained!"
5. Later when a missionary went to that city, he found a large gathering of Indian Christians, all because of a few pieces of scrap paper that contained the Words of Life!
B. THE CALL
1. What place have you given God in your life? Are you like the man who said, "Why didn't I know this before?" (If you need the Bible to begin working in your life, raise your hand).
2. Have you been a hearer, but missed being a doer in some parts your life? (If you're ready to turn your life over to the Lord, raise your hand).
3. Are you ready to align your life with God's purposes and allow his power to be coupled with your willingness? Raise your hands
4. All come forward and pray.