Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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4 Andrew – Finding Success – Part 1

John 1:35-42

35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!”37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”

We don’t hear much about Andrew in the scriptures, but he was the first disciples to be called by Jesus. He lived in Bethsaida of Galilee and was a fisherman. Andrew is the disciple that everyone has heard of and nobody remembers. Most of the time when he is listed as a disciple it says he was the brother of Simon Peter. He was a very ordinary man, more of a behind the scenes person, unlike his brother, Peter who got all of the attention. It was Peter who preached the first sermon in Acts when 3000 came to Christ and were baptized. Peter wrote 2 letters in the Bible he is mentioned by name 153 times in the New Testament. Andrew by contrast is only mentioned by name 12 times in the Bible, and 4 those are just the lists of disciples. He is referred to in only four main occurrences throughout all four gospels. When you study Peter and Andrew you find that these brothers are opposites. Even though they were brought up in the same home and ate the same fish they were opposites. This is true of many families. There may be some things similar, but we are different because God made us different and for Andrew that was ok. Are you ok with people being different? Are you ok with who God made you to be? What we need to see is that Jesus wants to use different kinds of people. He called twelve common, but opposite men that were about the same mission. Today we are letting differences caused division instead of utilizing them for the mission. Why because we have forgotten that what we have in common is Christ. As we come to John 1:35-42 and the story of Andrew we see that:

  1. He was Shown the Savior

Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist who pointed Andrew to Jesus because John understood that it was all about Jesus. It is interesting to note that even though Andrew was the first disciple to follow Jesus, he is never mentioned first in any list of the twelve disciples. Peter is always first. Andrew is second and he is ok with this because as a disciple first of John he took John’s teachings to heart that it was not about him, but it was about Jesus. We need to understand that it’s not about our position but our passion for Jesus. John described Jesus as The Lamb of God which for us is a common phrase but not a common one in the bible. This is a description which powerfully portrays who Jesus is. A Lamb picks up on the Old Testament sacrificial system where lambs were sacrificed to cover the debt of sin. That is what we celebrate in communion, the Lord laying down His life as a lamb to not just cover sin but conquer it. Why did John point out to his two disciples who Jesus was and then watched them walk away from him? Because he was more concerned with being a follower that having followers. Followers of Jesus don’t have followers of their own! Not only was John the Baptist a great teacher but Andrew was a great student. So, let me ask you who are you pointing to Jesus? Do you spend more time spotlighting self or the Savior? Not only was Andrew shown the Savior but second:

  1. He was Seeking the Savior

Andrew went to Jesus and began following Him, this was what John the Baptist wanted, people to follow Christ. Success is not found in Self but in serving the Savior. Jesus asked Him a question that every one of us needs to answer today, “What do you want? What are you looking for? What are you seeking?” In other words, Jesus says to Andrew and He says to you today, “Why are you following me?” So, let me ask you, why are you seeking Jesus, why are you following Him? For Andrew seeking Jesus led to:

  1. Speaking with the Savior

What a moment Andrew meets the Messiah that Israel has been waiting for, for hundreds of years and all he could think of to say was, “Where are you hanging out?” The Lord responded in form by saying “Come and see.” What a response! If you could ask Jesus a question what would it be? We talk a lot to Jesus about what we want but Andrew asked for what he needed. We attend church week after week, you may even read your Bible and pray and serve in some capacity, but have you ever really given much thought about why you’re following Jesus?  For Andrew it wasn’t enough just to speak with Jesus:

  1. He Spent time with the Savior

Jesus invites Andrew to spend time with Him, Come He replied. Jesus wants you to spend time with Him, He is not too busy for you. This first meeting with Christ was so memorable that notice they even remembered the time it happened, four o’clock in the afternoon. This was an hour of decision, an hour of opportunity, an hour that was to change his life. There will always be pivotal moments in time when we are invited by Jesus to come and see, the question is what will we do with that time. What else could Andrew have done with his evening that would have been more profitable than spending it with Jesus? So, let me ask you, have you had a personal encounter with the Savior? If so are you spending time with Jesus?

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3. Into the Deep – Part 3

Luke 5:1-11

One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.

Not only were Peters nets overflowing with fish but Peter was:

  • Overwhelmedwith Jesus

Why did Jesus call Simon to go fishing at the worst time of the day? Because He wanted Simon to see who had control over his circumstances. Jesus did the impossible and Simon was awestruck. It was the overflow that overwhelmed Simon and brought him to his knees before the Lord. It was this new revelation of the power and glory of Jesus that gave Peter an acute sense of his own sinfulness. In verse 8 when Simon said “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man” he was not really trying to get rid of Jesus; he was simply overcome with a sense of his own unworthiness. When he calls Jesus, “Lord” it is an entirely different word than master used previously in verse five, it was a word reserved by the Jews as a description of GOD. Simons reaction is what we often see in the Bible as man’s reaction to face-to-face confrontation with God. When the prophet Isaiah “… saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up” he declared, “Woe is me, for I am undone!”(Isaiah 6:1, 5). Job had much the same experience; “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. (6) Therefore I despise myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”(Job 42:5-6). And John would write of his experience in Revelation 1: 17, “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead….”

When we see the power and majesty of the Lord we are immensely aware of our own sin, and do not know what to do but try to escape from his presence. Simon asked Jesus to leave him, not because he does not want to be in his presence but because he feels unworthy of being there. The presence of God should reveal who we are and humble us. Repentance requires seeing our sin, Simon saw his doubt in the catch of fish. But repentance doesn’t just see sin it confesses sin.  Being overwhelmed with the success of the Savior leads to overwhelmed with our sin. But this is not a one time thing. According to John 21 “after the Resurrection Peter, deeply anguished over his denials of Christ, ‘went back to Galilee and in the calm of his old haunts decided to go fishing, He fished the night away without success, early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’ ‘No,’ they answered. He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped into the water. But Jesus doesn’t leave us sinking in our sin because true repentance always leads to redirection.

  • New Occupation

Up until Jesus, Simon’s whole goal in life was to catch fish and with Jesus he met his goal of catching fish in a big way but now in the presence of Jesus that goal becomes trivial. Just as Jesus first command had two parts so does his new one “Fear not fish on” But now Jesus gives Simon a higher calling. Simon let Jesus have access to his boat, his time and his nets but Jesus was not interested in just having access to his livelihood but his life. So, Simon has to give up his boat, time and nets. Here is the real problem with a change in occupation, we are ok with loaning Jesus our lives but not with giving them up to Jesus. Just moments before, Simon was reluctant to launch out into the deep and cast his nets and now, he’s is willing to leave everything to follow Jesus and launch out into the UNKNOWN. Why did they leave their boats and nets and follow Jesus because their success didn’t come from their boats and nets those were just tools it came through their Savior. What are you leaning on and following the tools or the carpenter? How important is obedience, one cast of the nets changed Simons life forever.   Just like Peter, your today is affecting the rest of your life! The question is do you want a Sunday Jesus or an everyday Jesus? Are you going to give Him your left overs or your life?