1/16/22 Come Follow Me (Mark 1:14-20)
1. Kingdom of God is at hand
People misunderstand that the kingdom of God is a physical location, and that Jesus is a physical messiah. They are spiritual and unseen, unconstrained by the limitations of the world. We say we are children of God, but who or what is reigning over your heart? God’s kingdom represents his reign over the world and over individuals. Let’s let God’s kingdom reign over our hearts, so we can live by God’s power alone. When we completely give up our lives to God, giving up their successes and failures to God, God’s power can truly manifest in our lives. Let’s make this our lifelong prayer.
Think about it like this: we often put Jesus in the backseat of our car, while we are in the driver’s seat. Instead, let’s lay down our pride and shame and put Jesus in the driver’s seat.
People also misunderstand repentance, as an apology we give to avoid discipline. Repentance is not just remorse for our actions, but a change of heart, renewing our minds by giving our lives to Jesus, changing the standard of our lives to Christ and turning our direction toward God.
The disciples lived life however they wanted to live before they met Christ. They were also fishermen, in a time when the fishing industry was doing very well. However, the disciples drop everything and turn to God, changing the direction of their lives and surrendering their entire lives to Jesus. We struggle to completely let go of whatever we held before while holding on to Jesus, but we cannot live our true lives as children of God while we hold on to our desire. Let’s live as royal sons and daughters of God who are reigned over by him.
2. Come and follow me
For the disciples, obeying God’s commands meant throwing away their source of income and their lives before meeting Jesus. We think Christian life is keeping rules like the 10 commandments, but God gave them to us not for us to follow but to remind us that we cannot keep them on their own. We need to completely lay down our lives to Jesus.
Faith and repentance work hand in hand. They work simultaneously. We are saved not by our own merit but by God’s promise. Salvation is not earned by gifted to us freely by God. All we need to do is believe, trust and enjoy Christ.
How can we follow Jesus? By holding on to his word and obeying his calling for us to evangelize, meaning, enjoying Christ to the point where we feel compelled to share him with everyone. Jesus promises to the disciples that we will become fishers not of fish but of men.
3. Immediately they left their nets and followed him
The disciples drop everything and follow Jesus. They couldn’t have been able to obey him with their own willpower. Then, how were they able to follow him? They were able to do so because Jesus’ words had the divine authority of God. They were captivated by God’s word. Let’s make it our prayer to be captivated not by the word of the world but by the word of God. Jesus’ disciples threw away their old selves and changed their priorities. Growing up, our parents teach us to prioritize our studies and our success. We make worship an afterthought, something we do if we have extra time. Let’s make worship and Christ our life’s priority. God doesn’t want us to deny the things of the world, but telling us that whether we have them or not, our greatest joy is Jesus.
Jesus came to the world to fulfill God’s covenant, yet he chose to call humble working class fishermen. That is God’s method. The disciples accomplished everything not by their own strength and greatness but by the power and strength of God alone. We have only one life to live and there is no way to know when we will die. All we know is that the life we live is short. Then, how are we going to live it? Will we invest in what will collapse or on what will be eternal?
“Lord, I offer my life to you. Everything I’ve been through, use it for your glory.
Lord, I offer my days to you, lifting my hands to you, as a pleasing sacrifice.
Lord, I offer you my life.”