Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:1-2
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.1 Corinthians 9:24-27
I have always loved these two portions of scripture. Although they are in separate books and arguably written by different writers, they both conceptually speak of running. Together they compliment one another and we can gather some great advice comparing these passages to help us run and finish our race.
1. Each person has a race set before them.
Each of us have been given a life to lead or as these scriptures declare a race to run. God has a specific race for you. It is a race specifically for you that only you can run. The goal for this race is to finish the race and to finish strong. As you run, understand that there is an enemy trying to stop you from finishing the race. This adversity comes in many forms in an attempt to hinder and snare you. It can come in the form worry, doubt, insecurity, uncertainty. It’s different for each of us and you need to identify what it is that is holding you back and hindering. Our response is to throw off every hinderance and sin.
2. The race requires endurance.
“…let us run with perseverance” which can also be translated endurance as in the NKJV. This race is more of a marathon than a drag race. Endurance is a result of training, discipline, self-control, and dedication. Endurance gives the ability to make it to the finish line. Paul speaks of these attributes as they help him finish the race receiving the prize and not being disqualified from the race.
3. Endurance requires focus.
The writer in Hebrews tells us that we need to set our focus on Jesus. We are to fix our eyes upon Him. Life is full of distractions and it’s easy to begin looking at circumstances and ourselves. We need to make sure we don’t lose focus. Losing focus results in running aimlessly. The strength and ability to run and finish this race comes from Jesus, not our strength and ability.
- No walking! All runners run.
- Run to win! There is a prize for finishing the race.
Every kingdom of man has fallen or will fall. Jesus is building His Church and establishing His Kingdom on the Earth right now. People are the common element in this kingdom of God. It’s all about people! The reason He came was people! Jesus values people! The church that Jesus Christ is building and establishing on the earth is a Church not made of building materials, traditions, legalistic rituals, religiosity, or mediocrity. It is a Church full of vibrant, abounding, full of life, full of faith, committed to Christ individuals taking the good news in power to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. The Church is an outward expression of Jesus Christ.
Here are some principles regarding the Church and Kingdom Citizenship:
1. Citizenship comes through Immigration.
Principle: People everywhere need an invitation to the Kingdom.
Immigration means to enter and settle in a country or region or kingdom to which one is not native. You and I are not native to the kingdom of God. Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” We were not born into this kingdom and citizenship only comes through the finished work of Christ. Acceptance to His invitation of salvation is the requirement for citizenship. When citizenship is obtained, you are then subject to the rule and reign of that particular kingdom or government which offers you the maximum rights and benefits available. Citizenship in the kingdom of God means that you submit to the government of God and His principles walking in favor as His children.
It is God’s desire to open up the borders of the church to no longer be exclusive, but to take Him and declare open citizenship into the kingdom of God. We as Christians seem to want to stop people from entering the kingdom by putting up walls and hiding behind them. This is contrary to the will of God. Today the borders of the church are no longer closed, but open to receive all who would declare Jesus as Lord.
A. The kingdom of God requires citizenship.
- John 10:7-14 “Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All whoever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who isnot the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”
- Colossians 1:13 “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
- There is no dual citizenship.
B. Citizenship in the kingdom of God is open to all.
- John 3:15-17 “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
- Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost.
- Acts 2:17 “And it shall be in the last days, God says, That I will pour forth My Spirit on all mankind:”
- 1 Timothy 2:4 “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
C. Citizenship in the kingdom of God is a choice.
- Romans 10:13 “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth you confess and are saved.”
- Acts 2:21 “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
D. Citizenship has its benefits.
- Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
- 2 Timothy 1:10 “but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
- Matthew 11:5 “the blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
2. Citizenship in God’s kingdom is your passport.
Principle: Gospel preached worldwide
We have received 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.” Jesus gave clear direction, to GO! You need a word from God to stay.
- Mark 16:15 “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
- Acts 1:8 “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
3. Be a Rapid Response Team.
Principle: Stay Alert in the Presence of the Holy Spirit and be ready to move with Him at any time.
We need to be ready to listen to the Holy Spirit. A Rapid Response team is ready at a moments notice. They are always ready and prepared and we must have the same responsiveness to the prompting of the Holy Spirit when He calls us.
- Acts 2:14 “But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem let this be known to you and give heed to my words.””
- Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. Acts 8:29 “then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.”
- Acts 10:19 “While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold three men are looking for you. But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself.”
- Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;”
4. Put away the microscope and pull out the telescope.
Principle: Maintain Global Mindset and Prayer life to expand the Kingdom
Telescopes were designed to search and seek the expanse of space. We must maintain a larger perspective and increase our prayer life so we can expand the kingdom. Prayer creates expansion.
- Colossians 1:9-11 “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy;”
- 1 Timothy 2:1 “First of all, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men”
Today the landscape of Christianity is changing and the metrics we use to determine effectiveness have shifted from biblical to cultural. This has created great criticism of church styles, church culture, and methods used by the church in an attempt to be culturally relevant. This shift has taken place due to the lack of reconciliation between biblical soundness and cultural relevance. These two ideas are not mutually exclusive and only when combined together create maximum effectiveness.
Static systems are unable to account for different demand factors that create shifts. Religion is a static system designed to demonstrate power of a few; creating a following of people unto themselves. Jesus’ desire for the Church was not to be static, but to be a powerful organic body of believers centered on and around people. People have to be more important than the system. This does not mean we throw away structure and not have churches; it means we must change our mindset and shift from going to church to being the church as God designed and intended it to be.
So what is the problem? The problem is relevance. In the 90′s there was a survey in a southern city where a church was going to be planted and they asked a simple question: Why don’t you attend church? The numbers were sobering and are still true today. 74% of those surveyed felt there was no value in attending church. 34% believed the church had no relevance to the way they lived.
The greatest critics of the church today are not from the secular world, but within Christianity. Many churches are attempting to reconcile biblical soundness and cultural relevance, but are met with resistance and criticism. The problem is the criticism is coming from a place of being static while the world changes. Pastors and leaders are passing judgment through metrics based on comparisons and insecurity trying to find fault with others while not addressing the real issue; ineffectiveness based on irrelevance.
The Church needs to become prominent in our culture again. We need to become co-builders with Christ who is the head of the Church and make a difference in our culture. We need to focus on Jesus and making the word of God relevant and applicable to the culture today. Relevance is staying true to the word of God while making it applicable to current culture. It means answering the question that people are asking. The result is shown on the Relevance Demand Curve below. The more biblical relevance we can bring to the culture, the more effective change will take place.
The metrics to measure effectiveness within our culture should be:
- Is Jesus the main thing?
- Is the community the church is in different because of it?
- Are people getting saved?
- Are people moving from salvation to discipleship?
- Is the Bible being applied to everyday life circumstances?
- Is the church known for its love outward?
- Is the Church answering the question that people are asking?
Great leaders embrace change rather than the security of comfort. Security of comfort has been the anchor that has held organizations stagnant causing them to become irrelevant, dead, and lack in power and influence. Embracing change is more than acceptance, it requires the leader to navigate it. In the challenge of navigating change, change has the potential to catapult an organization into new dimensions of growth and influence.
Individuals and organizations who seek comfort over change and progress create comfort zones. Comfort zones come with an illusion that movement happens within them. Reality is movement, progress, and influence happen outside of these comfort zones. Comfort zones are:
- Limitations disguised as boundaries
- Business as usual
- Safe with little risk
Change is not easy and it hurts. Most people feel that constant change is chaotic; and it can be. That is why navigating it is so important. The better we become at navigating change, the better we will be in leveraging change and harnessing the momentum it brings. Here are some common roadblocks to change:
- Addiction to comfort
- Potential resistance from others
- Misdirected ownership
- Loss of control
Facts About Change
- Change is inevitable. Although change is, God is not.
- Growth demands change.
- Change is progressive. Change is required from vision fulfillment and being “On Mission”.
- Change must be strategic, not tactical.
- Strategic means a new way of thinking, not just a new way of doing things.
- Change must not be for the sake of change.
Dealing with Roadblocks of Successful Change
- Operate according to principles. Matthew 7:24, Psalms 127:1
- Vision is progressive.
- “If we idolize the ‘elements or processes’ of church life, not willing to embrace relevant and creative means to reach people and grow the church, we can restrict and limit our churches potential in God. We are not struggling a deviation from doctrinal foundations of faith or lessening the standards of holiness but also not equating processes and procedures with biblical absolutes and thereby being willing to embrace change.” – Gini Smith
- Change is not about you. Acts 13:36
- Don’t disengage. Change requires structure and direction.
- Change will challenge and test the leader’s self confidence.
- Procedures and policies
- Style and preference
- Employ positive actions to reinforce change.
- Focus on good communication.
- Adequately prepare.
- Build for the future.
- Let go of insecurity and fear.
- Maintain boundaries and reinforce change at every level.
- Your attitude will set the standard.
- Stay people focused.
- Renew your mind.
- Maintain a healthy outlet for stress.
- Watch what you say consistently.
Genesis 28:15-22: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
There is plenty to talk about and write about when it comes to this portion of scripture. The purpose of this post is to simply point out three points taken from this passage that was impressed upon me when I read this portion as apart of my devotions.
1. We like Jacob have a divine promise of God’s presence.
God gave Jacob a promise. The promise was God would watch over Jacob wherever he went, and that God would never leave him until the promise was fulfilled. We have an everlasting promise of God’s presence in our lives. Whether if you are in the middle of a crisis, or on top of a mountain, we have a divine promise of the presence of God.
2. Jacob recognized the superiority of God and acknowledged Him as Lord.
If you want God to move in your life, move out of the way. This is something I must tell myself often. I am continually getting in the way of God. Jacob recognized that God was superior and acknowledged Him as Lord. We must on a daily basis acknowledge Him as Lord of our lives and put our trust in Him. His way is superior.
3. Jacob vowed to give to God.
This is not a post on tithing, but what we see here is an instance of the principle of the tithe (tenth) given to God. This predates the giving of the law…but that is for another post. Jacob received the promise of God and had a personal revelation of God; God is awesome, faithful, and His presence true. He was moved by God and understood that God was his source. He vowed to give him a tenth of everything that he received.
1. Walk in the promise which is the presence of God.
2. Get a personal revelation of who God is and acknowledge Him as Lord.
3. Know that God is our source.
4. Become a giver to God.
The world we live in is vast and wonderful with an estimated 7 billion people living today. With that many people, one would think you could never be lonely. However, the opposite is true. Loneliness is a chronic problem that has reached epidemic levels. Loneliness is an emotion; a feeling of isolation and separation from the rest of the world. Part of God’s design for you is the need for companionship, never to live in isolation and separation from others. He created you with the desire for friends. He created you to have friends!
Kings Solomon was very wise king in the history of Israel. Josephus, the famous Jewish Historian writes, “Now so great was the prudence and wisdom which God granted Solomon that he surpassed the ancients, and even the Egyptians … He composed a thousand and five books of odes and songs, and three thousand books of parables and similitudes, for he spoke a parable about every kind of tree from the hyssop to the cedar … There was no form of nature with which he was not acquainted or which he passed over without examining, but he studied them all philosophically and revealed the most complete knowledge of their several properties.”
King Solomon writes in the Book of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, that ‘two are better than one’. Why? If either one of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. This is a model and the character of true friendship. Life is a struggle that each person must face where there are great times of celebrations as well as lows of failure. How we respond to these times is crucially important to our health and happiness. The most vulnerable times is when we fall. By design, walking out purpose and fulfilling the call that each person has on their lives, it was never meant to be done alone. It was meant to do it with the help of God and with the help of others. Who should that person be? Who should be there to lift us up when we fall? Who should we have as friends? Likewise, whose friend should you be?
Here are 5 characteristics of friendship:
“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Amos 3:3 NKJV
This question was given in the context of a warning of impending judgment upon Israel. This was a rhetorical question that was asked by God. In Amos chapter three, God was letting Israel know the seriousness of the judgment that was coming upon them because they chose to let sin reign in their hearts. They let sin come between them and their relationship with God.
Broken fellowship is when there is disunity; there is no longer a partnership or a sense of participation in which two people share commonality. God was telling the children of Israel and is telling us today that we cannot walk together with Him or with others if there is broken fellowship. Broken fellowship separates. Being like-minded does not mean that you have to agree with everything, but there must be a partnership or a sense of participation in the relationship for it to flourish and bring unity.
B. Friends are trustworthy.
“A gossip betrays confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:13 NIV
This principle of trustworthiness is a deep truth that goes beyond being able to keep a secret that someone shares with you; it goes to the very nature of God. If we have been entrusted with information that is secretive, we must be mature enough not to share the information with others. As scripture states, we would be committing the sin of gossip if we shared it and would betray the confidence of the one whom shared the information with us. In this verse, trustworthy means faithful in spirit. The word in the Hebrew is ‘aman. It means to support, confirm, to be faithful, uphold, nourish. It also means pillars, supporters of the door, be carried, to trust and to be certain.
Solomon is giving us a two-fold principle in this verse. The first is that we need to be careful about who we share our secrets with. The person we share our secrets with should be one that we have fellowship and unity with. That person should demonstrate what it means to be faithful in spirit. The second is, if we desire to have such a person, we should demonstrate those same characteristics. We need to be able to nourish and uphold others in that same manner..
C. Friends love at all times.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born out of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 NASB
Love is one of the most misunderstood words in any language creating confusion as to what love really is. It means so many things to so many people. God is the true example of what love is and we get this revelation of his character and nature through His Word. He is love and He chose to love us, despite our circumstances. True friendship has no respect for circumstances. Friendship is not governed by circumstance, but relationship. A true friend will not love just because it is convenient, but because they genuinely care for the individual in good times and bad. Brotherhood is one of the most endearing forms of friendship. Solomon says that through adversity a friend becomes a brother. This is so true. The closest friends are often those that have been there through the difficult situations; when you have been in your deepest need.
D. Slow to Anger.
“Make no friendship with an angry man.” Proverbs 22:24a NKJV
Why are there so many warnings about who we should have as friends? Who we should and should not associate with? You become most like those you have relationships with. Those that are around you have influence on your actions and the same applies to those you are around, you have influence on them. This is most evident in your relationship with Christ. If you spend time with Him and fellowship with Him, you will find that you become more like Him. The same principle applies for your relationships here on earth.
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm” Proverbs 13:20 NIV
One thing that God detests is strife. God desires that His people be in unity, not strife, which is the outcome of anger. Strife will damage goodwill and trust. Strife will hamper progress toward goals and cause you to become self-centered. Guard yourself against relationships that would influence you in a way that is contrary to God and His word.
E. Men and Women of the Word.
“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 NASB
Sharpening is a process that is difficult, time-consuming, and takes a lot of effort. The word of God in the hands of a true friend is the honing stone that is used to make us sharper.
“and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” Ephesians 5:21 NASB
Each of us should have someone who we are accountable to. Someone that we can share our trials and struggles with. This is harder to do as men. We do not like to be vulnerable. To open up to someone, especially another man, goes against what our culture would say and is contrary to how many of us were raised. We have been deceived into thinking that this is a sign of weakness. In reality, it’s a sign of great strength.
The term “be subject to one another” has a two-fold meaning. As a military term, it means to arrange the troops in a military fashion under a leader. As a non-military term, it means cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.
Not only should we make ourselves accountable to leadership that God has placed over us, we should make ourselves accountable to other men so that we can cooperate and help to carry burdens. This is a delicate aspect of friendship. We should have someone we are accountable to, but we must use great wisdom in whom we chose. Those that you choose to have relationship with and accountability with should possess the traits that we have outlined: like-mindedness, trustworthiness, a loving heart, slow to anger, men and women of the Word, and should have the same desire as you to be accountable.
‘Friendship is the bridge between lonely and loved, between a glance and a gaze. It stretches from the fog into sunshine, hopelessness into faith, between despair and joy. It crosses the chasm from hell and to heaven, from God to man, and from you to me. ~~unknown
As these are all qualities that we strive to find in our friends, we also should be striving to have these qualities. Friendship is a two-way street. We need to have friends, and we are called to be a friend!
In the world today, there is great confusion, instability, fear and uncertainty in peoples hearts. There is an epidemic of immorality, social injustices, and an economic crisis’ worldwide—not regulated to the US alone—seen at levels of catastrophic proportion. Bankruptcy and unemployment—uncommon words now made common—are inevitable based on current circumstances. Companies that were deemed bedrocks—foundational to our countries survival—are now crumbling under tremendous pressure causing a gripping reality of the year to come. In addition, there has been an all out attack on our generations at the core of who they are—function and purpose—a shaking at the generational foundations with the results being what they are today made evident with the current conditions of our nation with the hope of tomorrow in the hands of what circumstance would bring. Amidst all of the despair and discouragement, where is the Church?
This confusion, instability, fear and uncertainty must not be allowed to be the gripping reality for the Church and the people of God.
This is not the will of God. God has called us to live a life of purpose that is beyond circumstance. No matter what the media would portray, no matter what the world’s economy looks like, no matter the circumstances, It is a life that is contrary to what popular culture and present circumstance would tell you. God has called you to live a life of purpose!
What role do values play and what do values have to do with the current state of affairs in our nation. I say that it has everything to do with it. Every institution, movement, society and culture has been built upon a value system—a set of values, standards and convictions—whether good or bad. Values, standards and convictions shape and mold character, action and thought. The life and effect of an institution, movement, society and culture are in direct relation to its values, standards and convictions.
The life and effect of an institution, movement, society and culture are in direct relation to its values, standards and convictions.
We are living within a culture that the very nature is due to the fallen state of man. It is a culture, no matter the society, that demands conformance unto itself.
Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
This conformance is dictated to the members of the culture through external forces or influences within the culture that attempt to produce a shift in your value system—making your values, standards and convictions relative, or changeable. These forces or influences include music, media, internet, TV, video games, movies, radio, fads, and fashions.
It is critical to understand that culture through its demand to conform is defining rather than being defined. Through this process has become a living, moving, always changing organism operating separately and independently with an agenda that is in direct confrontation—though subtle at times—with the purposes of God for His Church and for His people.
If successful, this shift in values will create a shift in purpose. Purpose is defined as:
- The object toward which one strives or for which something exists;
- A result or effect that is intended or desired; an intention.
Satan knows that: intended, created purpose=power. Use some examples like a guitar, piano or car. At the core of who we are is purpose. This is the one question that everyone ask at some point in their life and for some this is a lifelong quest ending up no further than where they started. Searching for the answer to why am I here? But purpose is the key. Not only purpose, but we must know the source of our purpose. Purpose governs values, standards and convictions. Everyone was created with a purpose! Rick Warren writes in “The Purpose Driven Life”:
Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life.
We were made to have meaning. This is why people try dubious methods, like astrology or psychics, to discover it. When life has meaning, you can bear almost anything; without meaning, nothing is bearable. Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope. In the Bible, many different people expressed this hopelessness.
Isaiah complained, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.” Job said, “My life drags by—day after hopeless day” and “I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone. My life makes no sense.” The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.”
The scriptures tell us,
“Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” 2 Timothy 1:9
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
“God made everything with a place and purpose” Proverbs 16:4a
Jesus: Man of Purpose.
Jesus was a man of purpose. Everything He did was to achieve that purpose. He was driven, focused, and did not allow anything to deter Him from accomplishing that which He was purposed to do. He was all about purpose.
At the age of 12, Jesus responds to a distraught mother after He had been missing from His parents for about 3+ days in Luke 2:49 “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” As Jesus began His ministry, He was tempted by Satan. He would not allow Satan to stop him from achieving His purpose. Luke 4:1-13
As his popularity went out and the crowds came, He would not allow the crowds to stop him from achieving His purpose. Luke 4:43 “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”
So if Jesus was all about accomplishing His purpose, what was His purpose? We find His purpose in Luke 4:18-19.
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
Read Luke 5:1-11. God is saying Launch out into the Deep. Growth happens when you are out of your comfort zone. The following seven points are taken from this passage.
- Jesus used a natural act to demonstrate a spiritual concept.
- When Jesus calls the disciples, he identifies their purpose with His purpose.
- The Word went forth and demanded a response.
- Obedience was the premise to the promise of a catch.
- It was against logic, contrary to conditions and circumstances.
- Jesus called them where they were.
- To fulfill your purpose, it will require teamwork.
Get out of your comfort zone. Move away from the shore. Launch out into the Deep with Faith and Purpose!