Today we will look at the time when GOD gave a special invitation to Simon Peter, inviting him to follow Jesus. As you read/listen, think of the time when you received that special invitation, and ask yourself if you are following Jesus with all your heart. GOD Bless You All. :O)
“ 1And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3And He entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And He sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4Now when He had left speaking, He said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O LORD.9For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him.”
Are you following Jesus with all your heart? I urge you all to ask yourselves this question as we go along in this lesson. The above scriptures tell us of the time when Jesus was calling a man named Simon who’s name would later be called Peter by The LORD. Peter was a fisherman by trade, and I’m sure had done this line of work his whole life and most likely his father had been a fisherman as well. In those days usually the sons of a man did for work what their father did and his father before him.
I’m sure that morning, Simon had come back in from a night of fishing on the ship as usual, but that morning, with no fish. As he and the others were there washing their nets so that the salt did not ruin them, here comes a man asking for use of Simon’s ship. Not just any man, The SON OF GOD! What had started out to Simon as any usual day, was not usual at all! Still unknown to him, he was about to receive an invitation by The LORD that would change his life forever, he was about to be given a choice. It would be the biggest decision he would ever make. See GOD had created Simon (Peter) for a special purpose, and he had no idea what all GOD wanted to do through his life. He simply just had a choice to make.
When Jesus asked for use of the ship, Simon very well could have said no, get off my ship, but he did not. I wonder often what was going through Simon’s mind as he listened to Jesus teach from his ship. Maybe he was exhausted from a night of fishing, and discouraged because he had nothing to show for it. Fishing was his lively hood. Jesus came to teach all those who listened to Him that day, but He had asked to use Simon’s ship on purpose! Do you remember the time with JESUS came just for you…on purpose? I sure do. I was a 9 year old little girl, sitting with my mom in the back of a full church during a revival meeting. I had been in church my whole life, but sitting there that night, it was time. I realized that I was lost and in need of a Savior. My time had come and Jesus came to me. I received an invitation to follow Him. I had not idea at that time the things I would go through, or what GOD wanted to do in my life and through my life, I just knew that Jesus was calling and I wanted to follow! Are you following Him today?
When Jesus had finished teaching, He turned to Simon, knowing how discouraged he was about not catching any fish I believe, and said to him, go out deeper Simon, and let down your nets. Simon replies, Master I’ve fished all night long and caught nothing, but if you want me to I’ll let down A NET. The LORD had told him to let down the nets, plural, with an s…Simon let down a net. This makes me smile and think of myself at times. Simon let the LORD know, hey I’ve already tried this all night, I’m an expert fisherman, I’ve done this my whole life, and I didn’t catch anything, but if you say, ok I’ll let down a net, no use in getting the other nets back in the salt water, we already washed them. Have you ever been there? You’ve tried and tried haven’t gotten anywhere or made any progress, and you’re tired and ready to just quit, and GOD says, do it again, and you think, what’s the use??? I’m tired but oh well if You want me to LORD I’ll do it but really inside you are doubting. See this is how Simon was, but he had just heard Jesus speak, and something was stirred inside him enough to go ahead and cast out a net…just in case. :O)
Can you imagine ole’ Simon’s face when his net broke because of all the fish!!! Then when the others came to help and they got so many their ships began to sink…he was so overwhelmed that he fell to his knees and said, LORD just leave me, I’m such a sinful man! I’ve been there before too, just in awe at the goodness and grace of The LORD and realizing how unworthy I am and thinking LORD why do You love me so, just leave me I don’t deserve you but inside begging Him never to leave me, to stay with me always. I’m sure that is what Simon was feeling, he said with his words what was true, LORD I don’t deserve You but inside I think he was terrified that The LORD would turn and leave because Jesus said to him, Fear not, from now on you will catch men. He said don’t be afraid Simon, I am not going to leave you, I am calling you for a special purpose and all you have to do is follow me. It was then that Simon had a decision to make. He could have let that overwhelming feeling of unworthiness and undeserving take over and have stayed, or he had a choice to accept the free gift of grace offered to him in that moment and leave it all behind and follow The LORD, and that is exactly what Simon did, not only Simon, but the others that were there with him.
Yes, we know that it was the wisest choice to make, but Simon didn’t know at that time how great GOD would work through his life. In order to follow this man Jesus, he had to put complete trust in Him. He had to leave everything he had known his whole life behind, and follow this man called Jesus, not knowing where he was going. He had to be willing to let go of what was comfortable and safe, leave it all behind and obey this calling. You and I who are followers of Jesus must make the same decision. Are you following Jesus? If so, are you following Him with all your heart? Have you let go of this world and the things that are so safe to you, and given your everything to Him? Are you trusting Him today understanding that you may not know what He wants to do in and through your life, but that nothing is worth missing out on it? See, it seemed risky for Simon to leave everything and follow The LORD to the eyes of the world, to this carnal flesh, but Simon understood that all that stuff didn’t matter, that he needed this man called Jesus and anything he had to leave behind, did not compare to what he would be missing out on if he did not follow Him, so the real risk was not to go!
If there are things you are holding on to, that are hindering you from giving your whole heart to The LORD, know that it isn’t worth it. Jesus said in Matthew 10 the following.
Matthew 10:37-40 “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth HIM that sent me.”
In other words Jesus was saying, if you put others in front of me, or if you put things in front of me, then you are not worthy of me. Let all this go, love me most, follow me no matter what the cost and you will have your life, but if you try to hang on to the things of this world instead of following me, then you will lose what is really important.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first The Kingdom of GOD, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
GOD will take care of everything you need, if you will trust, obey, and seek Him follow HIM above all else! That is a promise in His word! Nothing or no one in this life is worth losing and missing out on HIM! Praise You FATHER!
We know reading further in GOD’S word how Simon Peter was greatly used by GOD and the things accomplished for The Kingdom by Peter. Oh the reward he has now, and all because of Grace. All because of that invitation given to him by JESUS that day on the sea, and him being wise enough to say Yes LORD…I will leave all this behind and I will follow YOU!
Anything or anyone you have to leave behind in order to follow The LORD, He will make it worth it. It will be hard to give up what you have and what you know, but if you know that GOD is calling you to something, GO, because you don’t want to miss out on a life with HIM and an eternity holding on to the things that you can see with your eyes now, that will pass away very quickly. The greater risk is not to choose JESUS!
Dear Heavenly Father…
Today I thank You and praise You for that invitation you gave to me asking me to follow You. LORD I pray for the ones today who You are calling but are having a hard time letting go of this world. Father release those chains of satan on them and help them to make the wise decision to follow You, to choose You. Help me always to follow You with my whole heart knowing that the greater risk would be not to go. I love You LORD and I praise You for Grace. Bless Your children LORD, help us to love You as You deserve to be loved. Thank You for supplying our need and loving us. Thank You again for Grace! In JESUS name we pray…Amen.
March 17, 2012