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Summary: God will use what we make available to Him. In the passage in Luke 5:1-11, we see that, even with a smelly, old fishing boat and a broken net, Jesus used what Peter made available for Him to use.

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“The Ministry Of Availability”

INTRODUCTION: God has a ministry for every one of His children … NOT JUST the Pastor. EVERY Christian has a ministry … every one of YOU!

Not all will be great soul-winners … BUT … we all have a part in leading others to Christ. We are ALL a link in the chain … THOUGH … not all are the LAST LINK. For some, it’s inviting … bringing … personal testimony … teaching … praying … Nursery … Children’s Church … V.B.S.

This morning, I want to talk to you about the “Ministry of Availability”. Whatever ministry God has given you (and He HAS) … you need to be AVAILABLE to DO it.

Before God will use anybody, they have to be AVAILABLE to be used … AMEN? NOBODY was consistently and mightily used of the Lord in the Bible … UNLESS … they were first willing to be made AVAILABLE.

EXAMPLE:

• SAMUEL - 1 Samuel 3:4 – “the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.” SAMUEL was mightily used of God. WHY? BECAUSE … he was AVAILABLE.

• MARY – She was the mother of Jesus. There were 1000’s of virgins in Galilee … perhaps hundreds in Nazareth. BUT … Mary was the one who went down in history. WHY? NOTICE what Mary said when the angel told her of her chosen ministry - Luke 1:38 – “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” In other words, “I’m available!”

• JESUS – He walked perfectly in the will of God. WHY? Jesus was AVAILABLE. As the Son of God, He wanted ONLY to do the will of God. His 1st recorded words showed His availability - Luke 2:49 – “Knew ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” In other words, “I’m available!”

• DISCIPLES – They were mightily used … BECAUSE … they were AVAILABLE. Matthew 4:22 – “And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”

• PAUL – When God called him, he was the worst sinner around … killing or putting into prison as many Christians as he could get his hands on … a blasphemer. How could God use him so mightily? LISTEN to what he said after his confrontation with Christ - Acts 9:6 – “And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” He made himself AVAILABLE to Jesus.

“But” … you may say … “I’m no Samuel, Mary, Jesus, Disciple or Paul. I’m just ME! God can’t use ME like that! I’m a nobody!” Sure He can! Just like Jesus used the little boy to feed 5000 people. What did the boy have? All he had were 5 biscuits and 2 sardines! He didn’t have MUCH … BUT … all he did was make it AVAILABLE for Jesus to use. Jesus took what he had, multiplied it, used it … AND .. there were 12 basketful left over!

TURN with me to our text this morning – Luke 5:1-11 (don’t read yet). NOW … let’s look at the END RESULT … the salvation of souls. READ 5:10b.

OUR STORY – Jesus had just healed Peter’s Mother-in-Law. He had healed the sick & cast out demons. The next day He went to a deserted place to rest. The people flocked to hear Him. Jesus then went to the cities of Galilee to preach. They flocked to hear Him there.

NOW … He’s at the Sea of Galilee.

5:1 – “to hear the Word of God”. Is that why you’re here this morning? That’s my MISSION … that’s the GOAL … that’s the means to SPIRITUAL GROWTH … the means to SALVATION. Romans 10:17 – “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” That’s why we invite people to church … tracts … witnessing … Sunday School … It’s so they can hear the Word of God.

How does God get the Word out to a lost & dying world? ANSWER: He uses whatever source is AVAILABLE. What did Jesus find here?

5:2 – Jesus was being pushed into the water by the crowd – 5:1. They were thirsty for the Word of God. To a preacher, that’s like saying “Sick-em!” to a dog! Everybody wanted a front row seat. They must not have been Baptists! Jesus needed a pulpit. He sees a boat … in the boat He could be both seen and heard.

5:3 – Jesus uses Simon’s boat. WHY? BECAUSE … it was AVAILABLE! It was ready for the Master’s use. Simon was willing to give of what he had … EVEN IF … it was a dirty, smelly, old fishing boat. God will use whatever we make AVAILABLE to Him.

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Raymond Potter

commented on May 9, 2008

Brother Ray, Your message on "The Ministry of Availability" really moved me. Thanks

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