Summary: When a person spends time with Christ, it affects his or her life. Everyone around that person can see a change in their quality of life.
· Most of you are aware of the fact that I work for Easter Seals, the non-profit organization that provides services to people with disabilities and special needs. I actually have the privilege of working for their national headquarters in Chicago.
· Easter Seals has had a distinction in becoming fairly famous in America, one of the largest non-profit businesses in the country. As a result we have been blessed with some famous connections.
· Every year, our company president, Mr. James E. Williams, is allowed to take our Easter Seals child and adult representatives and meet with the President of the United States.
· Now, I have never met the President. I’ve never been close to the President. However, the fact that I know Jim Williams, our company President, and to know that he has almost come to know the President’s on a first name basis, is a little awesome to me!
· Every time I have a chat with Jim Williams, I usually think... “Wow, he has been with US Presidents!”
· Needless to say, that is impressive. However, there is another kind of “being with a famous person” that is even more impressive.
· Peter and John got into trouble with the Jewish leaders because, through the power of Jesus they had healed a crippled man, and they were preaching boldly to all the people.
· However, the interesting thing is... the Jewish leaders were astounded that these lowly men, who just weeks before had been very frightened, were now men who where highly powerful in their character and influence.
· The only thing they could chalk it up to is that these men had been with Jesus!
· The great goal of every believer is to determine with everything in their lives that they are to live in such a way as to “be WITH JESUS”.
· How do I go about a commitment to always be WITH Jesus? I must...
o Follow Jesus
o Fellowship with Jesus
o Focus on Jesus
1. Follow Jesus (Mark 1:14-18)
· How amazing, that Peter and Andrew were on the side of the shore, doing their daily work, casting nets to catch fish, and when Jesus called them, they followed Him.
· The gospel of John tells us that they had already met Jesus.
· However, they must have been enamored with Him! They must have known that Jesus was very special!
· When Jesus asked them to come, they DROPPED everything... and left it! They saw that they had an opportunity to be WITH JESUS!
· There is only one way to take the opportunity to be WITH JESUS. We must drop everything in this life that shackles our hearts and minds and emotions, and follow Jesus!
· Do you want to be with Jesus? Do you want to enjoy His companionship, His blessing, His company?
· All you have to do is FOLLOW Him! He will be glad to have you along!
2. Fellowship with Jesus (Mark 6:30-31)
· Following Jesus is necessary, and important. However, there were massive multitudes that followed Him. However, the vast majority of them followed Him only from a distance. They were curious to see His miracles, or hoped to get a free meal.
· However, if you mean business about being WITH JESUS, you have to do more than follow Him from a distance!
· Here in Mark 6, the scripture says the disciples “gathered around Jesus” to tell Him all about what had happened when they went out to minister for Him. He then “pulled them aside to rest”. How wonderful!
· How urgently important it is for us as believers to pull aside with Him to FELLLOWSHIP with Him!
· You are not really WITH Jesus, until you spend time NEXT TO HIM. This means that you are talking with Him, walking close to Him, seeing Him close up!
· How important it is that we have the close communion and fellowship with Jesus in order to be WITH HIM!
3. Focus on Jesus (Matthew 14:25-33)
· However, the final phase of being WITH JESUS is not merely following... It is even more comprehensive than close proximity to Jesus... but it is FOCUSING on Him!
· One of the most amazing and touching miracles we find in the gospels is when Jesus walked on the water and allowed Peter to come to Him.
· The disciples were all afraid, because they thought only a GHOST could walk across a lake on a stormy night!
· But Jesus called out and said, “It is Me! Don’t be afraid.” Then Peter just couldn’t stand it! He wanted to be near Jesus! So he said, “Lord, if it is really you, then let me come to you!”
· You might say, “Peter you ought to be ashamed of yourself! You ought not ask the Lord to do a miracle like that for you! You might be putting God to a test!”