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Summary: Whether disappointments, discouragement or a hostile culture Christians are call to "Stay the Course" committed to God's mission in the world!

Cornerstone Church June 19, 2016

“Stay the Course”

John 21:1-19

The captain of a ship looked into the dark night and saw a light in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message, “Alter your course ten degrees south.” He promptly received a reply, “Alter your course ten degrees north.”

The furious captain sent another message, “Alter your course ten degrees south. I am a captain!” Soon another reply was received, “Alter your course ten degrees north. I am seaman third class Jones.”

The captain sent a final message, “Alter your course ten degrees south. I am a battleship.” The reply was, “Alter your course ten degrees north. I am a lighthouse.”

“I am a lighthouse” source unknown found in multiple books and illustration sites

There are times when we need to alter our course!

There are times when our course has been changed for us.

There are times we need to “Stay the Course!”

DISCOURAGEMENT AND DESPAIR

JOHN 21:1-3

Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee (James and John), and two other disciples.

John 21:1-2 NLT

Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.

John 21:3 NLT

DID YOU NOTICE THEY FOLLOWED THE LEADER?

Seven Apostles (Peter and six others) returned to fishing!

* Their eyes should have been on Jesus!

* Instead they followed the lead of Peter.

When discouragement comes it is easy to retreat to the familiar!

Peter’s life and routine before Jesus called Him to come follow was predictable and secure:

* Mend the nets

* Keep the boat maintained

* Go fishing

* Take the catch the market

* Repeat!

Peter had it all under control (or at least he thought he did).

Peter had sinned and denied Jesus (moral failure)

WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE LIVES OF THE OTHERS?

* Uncertainty about the future (need of food / money / shelter)

* Jesus died and was resurrected but they were unsure what happened to the coming of Kingdom and Jesus was talking about leaving again.

* Maybe the circumstances of the world and culture were becoming too difficult for them to handle or understand.

The religious leaders killed Jesus – We might be next they thought!

Important Note: The church was born (established by Jesus) in a hostile culture politically and religiously.

* It has always existed in a hostile culture.

* It will always exist in a hostile culture until Jesus Returns.

And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. John 3:19-20 NTL

THE APOSTLES WERE VEERING OFF COURSE!

* They were abandoning their mission!

* They were giving up (at least Peter)!

Can you imagine the tension fishing all night and catching nothing?

“Cast and pull. Nothing! Cast and pull. Nothing.

Try the other side of the boat. Nothing! Move the boat. Nothing!

Cast a little deeper. Nothing! Cast a little shallower. Nothing!

‘WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS?’”

Excerpt from; “When you aren’t sure what to do next” by Jon Bloom – Desiring God

WHERE ARE YOU THIS MORNING?

* Change has come to Cornerstone Church.

* Culture is becoming increasingly hostile!

ARE WE GOING TO “STAY THE COURSE?”

Are we going to complete God’s mission for Cornerstone?

Or:

* Let’s Go Fishing?

* Let’s go back to what’s comfortable, familiar, and safe?

* Let’s wait and see what Pastor Mike Moran is going to do or until a new Pastor is called in 12-18 months!

* WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS?

JESUS REACHES OUT TO THEM WHERE THEY ARE

JOHN 21:4-14

At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. John 21:4-5 NLT

Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. John 21:6 NLT

PETER’S EXCITEMENT – MEMORIES TRIGGERED

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. John 21:7-9 NLT

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