Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Jesus is Calling Today!

Newly discovered ancient fishing boat from the Sea of Galilee.  Image courtesy of livescience.com via Bing Images

It may have seemed to be just another day on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He may have looked like any other man walking along the waterside that day.  There were3 people all around.  Fishermen, boat carpenters, net repairmen, fish processors, sail fabricators and others, like him, were out looking that day.  The man looking turned out to be no ordinary man, HE is the Incarnate Son of God!  He's looking for fishermen.  No, not ordinary fishermen, "fishers of men!|"

On this occasion, he discovers four men of usual talent for their current jobs.  Unknown to them at the time, he also sees what they don't.  He sees faith, he sees love, he sees perseverance, he sees bravery, he sees loyalty, he sees dedication, he sees men who are ready, willing and able to become...disciples, apostles, evangelists, elders and martyrs.  He not only sees what these men are in 27 A.D., he sees what these men will be in 60, 70, 80 and 90 A.D.  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

One of the men Jesus is calling that day to "follow Him," is Simon Peter.  Many years later Peter recalls the events of that day to one John Mark who is by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit writing one of four gospels.  We know that book today simply as "Mark."  Mark records the events of this day in chapter 1, verses 16 through 20.  The "call" has an immediate and permanent result.  It is 100% effective, all four men answer the call.  No sales pitch, no "features and benefits" presentation, no negotiation...all four men abandon their fishing business and follow Christ.   The world has never been the same since.

Looking at these four men, one sees some qualities we need to have when Jesus calls us.  More on THAT shortly.  On that day as the waves washed ashore the four fishermen who answered the call had these characteristics:

1. They were PRESENT to hear a call.  It has been said that "90% of life is just showing up!"  In order to answer the call of Jesus, they were "present and accounted for."

2. They were OPEN to hear a call.  Their minds were not closed to new ideas.  In order to answer the call of Jesus, their minds were pliable.

3. They actually HEARD the call.  Jesus is continually saying; "He who has ears, let him hear!" In order to answer the call of Jesus, their ears had to remain open.

4. They UNDERSTOOD the call.  Words mean things.  Jesus spoke as plain as anyone ever spoke.  In order to answer the call of Jesus, they had to understand what was said.

5. They ACCEPTED the call.  It was simple; "yes or no?"  In order to answer the call of Jesus they had to accept the premise of the call.

6. They AGREED to the price of the call.  The call was expensive....everything or nothing.  In order to answer the call of Jesus they had to agree to the price of the call.

7. They PAID the price of the call!  Jesus gave them the price, they accepted the price and they paid the price.  In order to answer the call of Jesus, they had to pony up with the price...and they did!

8. They had to STAY FAITHFUL to the call.  No turning back, no second thoughts, no "but I thought..." double mindedness.  In order to answer the call of Jesus, they had to permanently attach themselves to the call.

The four fishermen left everything, everyone and every other ambition in life that they may have had just a few minutes before.  Before the call, they had jobs, they had families, they had hopes and aspirations for a "better tomorrow."  After the call, they had nothing at all except...JESUS!  Ultimately these men heard the call of Jesus that day because they "loved the Lord their God with all their heart, mind and soul...and...they loved their neighbor as themselves."  The call of Jesus defined them for all time and eternity from that moment on!

Now, you may be reading this and ask; "This is all well and good, but what does it have to do with me 21 centuries later?"  Frankly, it has EVERYTHING to do with you!  JESUS IS CALLING YOU RIGHT NOW AS YOUR EYES ROLL ACROSS THE SCREEN OF YOUR COMPUTER OR SMART PHONE.  The inspired writer of Hebrews in chapter 4 and verse 12 asserts that the Word of God is ALIVE!  It is as if the ink on the Bible in your hands is still wet and the scribe is dipping his quill in the ink for the next few words.  Jesus is the Word, the Word is Jesus.  The two cannot be separated.  Jesus is calling YOU.  Jesus is calling ME.  Jesus is calling us all continuously until the moment when we draw our last breath.  Jesus is either calling us to COME to Him, to RETURN to Him or to STAY with Him.

Matthew 11.25 - 30 - Jesus is continuously calling the unsaved sinner to set down his weary load of sin, a burden that he can never bear.  Jesus wants to exchange His burden, which is light, with ours that is so heavy as to eventually drag us into hell.  Answer this call by "calling on the Name of the Lord" in repentance and baptism as did the Pentecostians and the apostle Paul.  (Acts 2.38; Acts 22.16)

Revelation 3.20 - 21 - Jesus is continuously calling the backsliding Christian to return to his "first love" by simply opening the door of his heart and letting Jesus once again be the Lord of his life.  Answer this call by repenting and "confessing your sins one to another."  (I John 1.9)

Revelation 2.10 - Jesus is continuously calling the faithful to remain so, "unto death" if necessary.  Answer this call by focusing on this verse daily!

Now, friend, here we are.  Back in the day the TV tire commercial spoke of "where the rubber meets the road."  What will you do?  Jesus is calling YOU!  What will you do?  Will you get back in your boat of sin or jump out, run to shore and follow Jesus?  He's calling!

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