Summary: God calls each of us. This sermon explores what it means to respond to God’s call. What do we do? and What does God do for us?
Sometimes when you hear passages like today’s bible reading you can find yourself asking the question.
Does this really apply to me?
You maybe saying hey I already have a life.
I have a family.
I am not going to leave my job and family simply to become a full time disciple.
I can’t afford it financially or emotionally.
And any way it is not where my hopes and dreams lie.
Or I am comfortable right where I am.
Now if that is how you feel I would encourage you to dive a little deeper into this text.
This text is not so much saying what you must do,
but what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
What it means to respond to God’s call?
And there is a difference between what you need to do and what it means to be?
Straight away verse 14 reminds us again that being a disciple means focussing on the future.
The Good News of Jesus.
It means having hope.
It means getting on with living a future with Jesus and sharing this future with others.
Listen again to verse 14
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
Jesus didn’t stick around and wait for everything regarding John’s situation to be dealt with.
He didn’t allow the sins that were happening to John affect him in sharing the Good News with others.
He got on with the life he was meant to be living.
He got out there letting people know things were going to be good.
That the problems we experience in life will not stop God giving people heaven.
Jesus gets out their reminding people that God is present and at work bringing about a better life
Now if we look at our pasts
Nearly everyone has been affected by sin.
It would have been very easy for Jesus to say ahh my best friend John is in trouble I need to focus on him.
Satan loves using sins of the past to get in the rode of us hearing, receiving and sharing the Gospel.
What sins or events in the past hinder you having a good trusting relationship with God and other Christians?
What sins are still pestering and influencing you?
What sins pop up from time to time that get in the rode of you hearing the Good News and sharing the Good News?
If there are any,
I encourage you to do the following.
First focus on the future and the life Jesus promises and what you will have.
Let this dominate your thoughts, words and actions.
Remember as we will hear next week,
Not has more power than God.
Nothing has the power to defeat God and His plans for us.
And secondly if you find it too difficult to let go of the sins of the past
Especially those that affect you.
Although we can’t stop sins happening to us.
We all need to take responsibility of how we react to the sins of the past that affect us.
Be honest with yourself.
Ask yourself what sins of the past are affecting how I relate to other people in this congregation, in our parish, in your family and in the wider community?
Seek help for how you react to these sins.
Seek help specifically from Christians, a pastor or other people who will encourage you to look forward.
And encourage and help you to share the Gospel in your life,
no matter what is happening.
Our hope doesn’t come from the past or what we have done.
But the future that has been created by Jesus Christ.
So the call to follow Jesus is about being influenced by Jesus and grace,
not by sin and revenge.
It is about looking towards the future.
In verse 15 we discover that being a disciple of Jesus means having urgency.
In other words being keen to share the Gospel.
At times we can engulf our lives with many things.
With many other priorities.
And as a result think we have all the time in the world to share God’s love.
However God calls each of us as disciples to have sharing the Gospel as a priority in our lives.
And in fact in every part of our lives.
When this becomes a perspective of life.
It changes how we approach work, family, our relationships with others.
It alters how we deal with problems.
When people hearing the Good News is central.
Then we are concerned with our words and actions in all situations.
And our primary focus is sharing God’s grace and not living legalistically.
This doesn’t mean we become walk overs.
It doesn’t mean we are constantly mentioning Jesus.
And it doesn’t mean we become gospel softies.