Fishing Time!

Mark 1:16-17 – Fishing Time!

16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

 

As the story of Jesus continues, Jesus is Baptized by John and then he goes off into the wilderness for Satan to tempt. After Jesus proves that he is not going to sin, John gets arrested for his preaching and Jesus picks up preaching in Galilee. Here is where we want to focus. Jesus is preaching a simple message, He is telling people to turn form their sins. The, Jesus sees the first two of his disciples, Simon and Andrew. Here He gives them the famous command, “Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” Jesus told His disciples that he would make them a different kind of fishermen, the kind that caught people (as in witnessing, not literally).

For us Christians, the lessons is, in the words of Andy Stanley, “to follow is to fish.” Just like Jesus told His disciples that he would make them into “fishers of men”, Jesus can and wants to do the same with you! Jesus wants you to be the kind of person who is out looking for people who need Christ and also the kind of people who are inviting other people to church all of the time. Jesus told His disciples that he would make them “fishers of men”. The question is, are you fishing? When school starts, are you fishing? At work, are you fishing? At home, are you fishing? Get out there and look for people to witness to and people who you can invite to church. Remember, “to follow is to fish.”

 Life Step: Think about it…

What does it mean to be “fishers of men”?

What does it mean “to follow is to fish”?

What kinds of things stop us from being “fishers of men”?

Respect

Mark 1:1-11 – Respect

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 

 Here we have a look at the beginning of the Gospel of Mark. We meet the character of John the Baptizer. John was an interesting man who ran around in the desert eating bugs and honey while baptizing people. In this passage, Mark is recording the baptism of Christ and showing Christ’s greatness. John says that he was not even worthy to bend down and loosen the strap on Christ sandals because of Christ’s greatness.

If Christ was great back then, He still is now. John had a respect for Christ and everything He was. The question is, do you respect Christ? Do you live your life in a way that respects Christ? Can people look at your life and tell that you value Christ? Our lives, as Christians, should have a marked difference from everyone else. Not in a weird way, but in a different kind of way.

 Life Step: Think about it…

How can we respect Christ?

What kind of ways can we disrespect Christ?

Week 13 of Judges – Lessons Learned Part IV

Ruth 1:15-18 – Lessons Learned Part IV

15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.

16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

 

 

For our final lesson learned from our Judges series, we look at the overarching lesson from the book of Ruth: faithfulness. Ruth could have easily gone back to her home and all that she had known before she had gotten married, but instead she decided to stay faithful to her new family and to the God whom they (and Ruth) followed. In the end, God would bless Ruth’s faithfulness by giving her a new husband, a child, and allowing her to be a part of the family that Jesus himself would was a part. What a blessing!

God is unchanging. He is always the same! This means that, for us, if God blessed faithfulness back then, then He blesses faithfulness now! God wants you to be faithful in everything that you do. He wants you to be faithful to Him most of all by continually reading your Bible and communicating with Him through prayer. God also wants you to be faithful to your church, other Christians, your family, school, job, and everything else in our lives! Wherever you are not as faithful in your life as you need to be, fix it now! Put the time and effort in to do the things you need to do well and consistently.


Life Step: Think about it…

In what areas to you sometimes struggle to be faithful?

What are some things that distract us from being faithful?

In what ways can we stay faithful even when it is difficult?

Week 13 of Judges – Lessons Learned Part III

Judges 16:27-31 – Lessons Learned Part III

27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.

28 And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.

30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

31 Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.

 

As we look back on some well learned lessons from Judges and Ruth. Today, we are looking at the moral at the end of Samson’s story: finish well. The Bible remembers Samson in Hebrews chapter 11 as a man of faith. When one looks at Samson’s life, however, he lived a very self-focused life, not one of faith. Samson’s end, however, is an example of great faith! Samson, the hero of Israel, was now the party entertainment for his enemies, the Philistines. Samson, who had lost his strength by now, asks God for one final request. Samson put himself between the two load bearing pillars of the house and asked God one last time for his strength, which God granted! Then, Samson brought down the house… literally!

Samson, for a good deal of his life, lived for himself. In the end, however, he finished strong and defeated Israel’s enemy! Although Samson’s life is not a very good example to follow, he ended his life on a strong note. We need to strive to finish strong in everything we do. If it’s your school work, make sure you finish strong! If it’s your ministry at church, finish strong! If it’s your job, finish strong! Even with life, we need to finish strong! Whatever you do, do not not quit right before the end. Don’t quit and finish strong!


Life Step: Think about it…

How did Samson finish strong?

In what ways can you finish strong in something?

What keeps us from having a strong finish?