“Come Follow Me” ( John MacDiarmid)

Sermon preached at Poole High School for Poole Christian Fellowship on 3 January 2016

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The biggest honour that a UK citizen can have is the honour of having their name called by the Queen to be honoured at Buckingham Palace. Sitting in the investiture room at the Palace, along with the others who are to be honoured, you hear your name called and you step forward, kneel, and are called by name by the Monarch as you receive your honour.

An even greater honour is ours as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been called by the One Who created the Universe, who flung stars into space and who will return as King over all things. What an honour.

At the start of 2016, we are considering the call of God on our lives.

Our passage is Mark 1 v16-20:

 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

At the start of 2016, we are considering the call of God on our lives.

Jesus walks:

In fulfilment of Isaiah 9, Jesus walks in the land of the Gentiles, Galilee, a place not of great religious significance or heritage. God often works in places where you would not expect Him.

Jesus sees:

The people that catch Jesus’ eye are not the ones of great education, leaning or righteousness. They are ordinary people. In this case it is two sets of brothers, in the fishing business. Not at the top of the tree, but not at the bottom either. Ordinary people doing ordinary things. People like you and I.

Jesus Calls:

Walking in an ordinary place, seeing ordinary people Jesus issues His call. And we have  to realise that He still walks in ordinary places,  still sees ordinary people and still issues his call to people. This call can be seen in a number of different ways:

  1. The Call to Follow

It is likely that these four men had met Jesus before, believed in Him and were His disciples. But here they are called to a deeper level of commitment.

Elsewhere Jesus said that if anyone wanted to come after him, they must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him. In other words, following Jesus is a life of self-denial and a living death. There is nothing else worth living for, and no one else worth following, but let there be no mistake: to follow Jesus means to put our own desires to death.

  1. The Call to Mission

Jesus cleverly uses the trade of the people He calls to describe what they will do. He would tell a teacher that they would be teachers of Gods truth, and doctor that they would bring Gods healing to a broken world, a carer that they would bring comfort to the hurting… and a fisherman that they would catch people for God. So God takes us as we are, our gifts, our desires and turns them into part of his mission

The call of Jesus is to be involved in his mission to win back a lost world for Him. Note that we do the following, He does the sending, and He equips us for mission.

  1. The Call to Leave

The call always requires a response. Here they leave everything they have, well paid jobs, family security and business, to give everything to Him. Today Jesus requires nothing less.

In a society where there was an assumption of loyalty to family, this was a big deal. To us as well it can be the loyalty to family that can be the biggest stumbling block in following Jesus. But we then become a part of a new family, a family made up of people who have the same call, the same challenges and the same opportunities.

At PCF those who become Christians become a part of a family devoted to Knowing Jesus and making Him known, a family of people who are committed to developing their relationship with Jesus, take every opportunity to share the good news of the gospel,  make disciples and meet together to encourage each other in our shared mission.

Each year and each the call of God comes t0 us afresh. How do we respond to it?

John MacDiarmid

January 2016

Posted Under: Talks

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