"And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
The gospel helps us to understand our place/role in this world.
Jesus didn't say to Matthew and the other fishermen, "You are fishers of men." He said...
Matthew 4:19 - "... Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Jesus then spent his ministry "making" the apostles.
How did he make them? He filled them up so that he could then send them out. He filled them up with love. He filled them up with knowledge. He filled them up with compassion for the sick and the lost.
Then, He stopped Paul on the Damascus road – Paul, who was ...
5 "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ." – Philippians 3:5-7
He met him on that road and He emptied out his love for the Old Law, and filled him up with a love for the Law of Grace and Truth. In a blinding vision, He took away his zeal for pursuing Christians and filled him up with a knowledge that would keep him following Jesus. He filled him with compassion that endured his former Pharasitic friends beating him five times and the Romans making him serve a six year sentence.
He fills us up.
He fills us up with the same love, the same knowledge, the same compassion. What does it mean to be filled up?
When we're filled with His love, a knowledge of His will and His word, a compassion for the sick and the lost, we do the work. We plant the seeds of change: prayers, calls, visits, meals served, clothing given, classes taught, children helped – we know these have a greater reward in Heaven.
Revelation 22:12, 14-15 NKJV
12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie."
This stuff is so simple. Do the work. Shun what's wrong, and do what's right. To make it even easier ...
He sends us out – with a big gospel.
This is your generation to change. This one, right here, right now. What have you done to change the world, to advance humanity? Sure, we know the world has gotten worse and worse ...
2 Timothy 3:13 - "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
... but we are not powerless to affect it. We have authority ...
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
Do you think Jesus didn't know people would get to be more hard-headed; more obstinate; more hurtful; more selfish? He knew. That's why he gave us a gospel big enough to conquer all, big enough to include all.
The world's gospel is tiny, too small even to deliver on the temporary promises it makes. The world's gospel says "You can do whatever you want to do – it's your right." That's it? That's the world's good news?
So many people are finding out that that tiny promise can't, that it won't, that it doesn't satisfy – much less can it save. When you buy into the world's gospel, what it doesn't tell you is that if nothing changes inside you, then nothing changes outside of you. That's why you're let down. You're unfulfilled. You're lost.
Our Lord's gospel – this big gospel – it will change you. It changes you on the inside – it fills you up on the inside with the Holy Spirit. When you surrender your will to His will, it then changes what's on the outside of you, meaning you can see its affects, they're called "the fruit of the Spirit".
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Someone once said when a man obeys the gospel, when he goes home even his dog can tell the difference.
It changes where you live. You no longer live in a democracy, you live in a kingdom. There's a king on the throne and He rules all. He knows who's His, and He judges all.
So, let's go.
He tells us to go. Will you go? You are here, no matter your age, this is the generation you are to shape. The way you love today, shapes the way the others love. The way you serve or shrink back dictates how and whether those watching you will serve, now and once you're gone. The time for you to effect change is now.
Maybe you think you're not ready. You're not the first to think so. The Lord sent Samuel to Jesse to anoint David king of Israel. Jesse brought out seven of his sons so that Samuel could choose the next king. Despite the fact that some where of strength and stature, they were passed over.
1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV - "But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
In verse 11, Samuel asked Jesse, "Do you have another?" He sent someone to fetch David who was in the field tending to the sheep. I'm sure David didn't think he was ready when they called him in from the field. Like Samuel, we're being asked, "Do you have another?"
Let's not be content with what we've already done. Let's be open to knowing more personally, the One who made us. What does he have for you next? This is your generation. This is your next.
Our answer has to be, "Yes, I'll go!" There's no point in coming week after week if we don't believe something can change on the inside of us to help us do something big outside of us. We can, we do, change the world.
I dare you to commit to use your life for Christ. I dare you to say, "Send me, I'll go!" Lord, I'll be the one to show your love. I'll be the one to feed the hungry. The harvest is ready and people are hungry. They are hungry to know their created purpose and their Creator. Hungry to know their God.