Summary: Will you abandon it all for the sake of the call? -Steven Curtis Chapman
“For the Sake of the Call”
Adoniram Judson was a great missionary. He once said about serving God, and success:
"There is no success without sacrifice. If you succeed without sacrifice it is because someone has suffered before you. If you sacrifice without success it is because someone will succeed after."
Sometimes it appears that the church is out of touch with reality.
People today are looking for real Christianity. They want to be challenged. Churches that can effectively demonstrate that they are aware of what is going on in the world around them and minister to those needs are experiencing dramatic radical growth.
Most dynamic churches grow between 27 and 33% a year. Why is there a decline on interest in the church today? Quite simply because the church is not perceived as relevant to the community. When the church can show relevance and meaning in the community the church has broken the mold and begins to turn around.
Now before you get confused Relevance means that we still preach and teach the truth of Jesus. But it also means we may have to use modern tools.
But that really is a huge issue that I would like to leave with you for the moment and look at another aspect of real Christianity. The church needs to demonstrate it’s worth by calling people to become real followers of Jesus.
So have you found the real Jesus? There are people in today’s society that are looking for a REAL Jesus…they don’t want something that is fake, nor something that will only be temporary, they want the ETERNAL GOSPEL OF JESUS…
You don’t have to look very hard to find people wanting to know more about what it means to be a real follower.
This morning’s text is Matthew 4:18-22
These guys were real followers committed to go wherever Jesus would take them. My stepfather was one of those guys who had a picture of what a real man was. Well I wonder do we have a good idea of what a real follower is. The guys we are going to read about today are REAL, TRUE followers.
18One day as Jesus was walking along the shore beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers--Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew--fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen. 19Jesus called out to them, "Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!" 20And they left their nets at once and went with him.
21A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.
This morning, we’re going to look at 3 things that real, true followers do….
True, Real Followers give up whatever Jesus asks
What has Jesus asked you to give up?
God is not just calling this church to give something up, or for deacons, or worship members, or families…He’s calling us as individuals to give things up…
Generally Jesus asks us to give up whatever we are holding onto with both hands.
He will ask you for the one thing that you said you would never give up? Because he knows that it controls you.
Do you know what I find interesting about this text. These future disciples could have said “we’d rather be fishing.”
Now some of you wouldn’t rather be fishing. You’d rather be hunting, or competing, or golfing. What is it that Jesus has asked you to give up? Now, have you done it? And more importantly are you WILLING to give it up?
Listen because I don’t want you to think that you are immune to this point. This question determines what kind of relationship you and I are going to have with Jesus. If you’re sitting here today thinking well I am fine because I’ve been a Follower of Jesus for 50 years, please reflect. Nothing is more frustrating to me than when someone comes up to me and says “what a great sermon my sister needed to hear that.” Do you remember when the man did that to Jesus?
A man came up to Jesus and said I listen to your lessons please tell my brother to give me my share of the inheritance. Luke 12:13 Jesus said My message is for you, Don’t be greedy or envious.
Church this message is for EVERY one of you…even for me…
There are many things that could be getting in the way…Many different things, such as ministry roles…or routines…
It could be that some of us need to leave a way of thinking. There are some who might need to give up an attitude of prejudice, some are going to have to stop telling bigoted racist jokes on the job… Some are going to have to leave sinful habits. Some are going to have to let go of meanness and cynicism, and holding grudges…