Sunday, May 20, 2012

From nothing to everything and from everything to nothing.

Luke chapter 5 has an important message of faith in it. As I learned this in church today, I believe this is a message that needs to go out into the world. There are mainly three things we can learn from faith in the first eleven verses of Luke 5. But first, what is faith? I believe the best definition of faith is Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Simply put, faith is believing in what we do not see. Here are the three things:

1. Faith brings confidence:

Verses 1-7: So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.  Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon,  “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”  And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.  So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 

So we have Jesus, before He even had His twelve disciples, teaching these multitudes, and then Jesus told Simon Peter to cast His net into the sea. But Peter said, Lord we have been fishing all night and have caught nothing. Jesus was asking Peter to have faith. Peter did not have to go. He propbally wanted to take a nap after staying up all night. But he instead trusted Jesus and look what happened, they caught so much fish that they filled both boats so much that they began to sink. Peter’s faith in Jesus brought confidence. But look what Peter says after this:

2. Faith is convicting:

Verse 8-9:  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;

Peter admitted that he was sinful. Once we realize how great our God is and that he came to save us, we admit how sinful we are and we cannot bear to stand in God’s presence because of how filthy we are in Gods sight. No matter how good of a person you might be, as Isaiah 64:6a says, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags...” All the good we can try to do to impress God or try to get to heaven are filthy rags before His sight. Peters faith convicted him to admit he was a sinner. But look what Jesus said to Him.

3. Faith is contagious

Verse 10:  and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”

Jesus calls them to be His disciple and to not be a fishermen but a fisher of men. I believe this is all of our calling, to go and make disciples and fulfill the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20: “ And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” We are called to go make disciples. I believe this has been a lost but key principle in the Christian world. We are called to not only share the Gospel with people but to disciple them.

Finally I would like to leave you with this last thought:

Verse 11:  So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

These four people forsook all and followed Christ, are we denying ourselves, picking up our cross and following Christ. They had been given everything, two boatfuls of fish. They could have said, “Thanks a lot Jesus” and left, but no, they forsook it all. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Everything we had was crucified with Christ and now I leave you with this question: Are we Living out our faith? Faith in Christ is not only a choice we have to make, but a life style we are called to live.

Five Smooth Stones

Romans 12:1-2