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February 15, 2013

Answering the Call – Adam Polk 2.3.2013

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 4:43 pm

ANSWERING THE CALL

Matthew 4:18-25

18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus Ministers to Great Crowds

23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

TWO truths that we need to consider:

(1) The work of God among the nations today is a soverign work. He doesn’t need us to do it. He is capable of drawing the nations to himself in a glorious way.

(2) God CHOOSES to use means to accomplish His ends. He uses instruments of his choosing to bring about His purposes. God is capable of doing whatever He chooses without us. But He has chosen us, to use us.

At this point in His ministry, as he is beginning His ministry, he chooses men to be part of His ministry.

When you consider what the men were doing, and when you consider their response, it’s amazing. They drop EVERYTHING and follow Him. The power of Christ has the power to draw men near. These men had already been introduced to Jesus through the ministry of John the Baptist. They at least knew him and knew about him.

1. Ministry Mobilization (18-22)

A. It involves a call. In accordance with Scripture, the initiative always begins with Jesus. He always calls us. As a Christian, we have a calling to serve the body of believers. We have been gifted by God to serve Him in accordance with His will. God calls people to complete specific roles today.
-The “character” of the called. God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t necessarily call people who are “gifted” or “educated”. These men were fishermen. These were normal, ordinary, hard working men. They were not formerly educated. What that says to us is that every single one of us can be useful in God’s kingdom. All of us can be involved. We have no excuses. These men were often selfish, cowardly, but God still called them to work for His kingdom. This should be and encouragement to all of us. This is only something that God can do. Only God can take a sinner and transform them for use in His kingdom work.

B. It demands a sacrifice. These men had a job and a family, yet they dropped everything they had, and followed Him. Luke 9:23. Kenosis walk. Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. Mark 10, the rich young man who comes to Jesus and wants to know how to go to heaven. With men, this is impossible, but not with God.
-It’s not an easy matter to follow Jesus. He calls us to radically change our former way of life. It’s about losing your life. Abandon your temporary earthly vision and change to an eternal vision. The “americanized gospel” has no room for abandonment for King Jesus. We are to follow Him, to forsake everything, and follow Him.

C. It prioritizes people. These men went from fishermen to fishers of men. They were called to call men and women to follow the Glorious Savior. All of us are called to have a priority in our hearts to love people so that we can call people, to rescue people to God. We should befriend people, show them compassion, so that they can be reached. Raise your children up in the truth. You have been given a glorious opportunity. You must have a change of your focus. Your calling is that of an ambassador of Christ. We are on mission with Christ.

2. Ministry Impact (23-25) Christ reached out in compassion. He healed people. Jesus’ ministry of the Word was accompanied with compassion. We must care for the needs of our community, people are hurting. Our deeds must be fueled by love. Jesus came to preach, teach, expand the call.

Have you answered the call, to be used by Him, no matter what the cost. You do not want to be part of the crowd that when things get tough, you bail.

Based on the sermon of Pastor Adam Polk on 3 February 2013.

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