Sermon June 2, 2007 : Luke 5 - My boat belongs to Jesus
- Presenter: Dr. Roberto Miranda
- Date: June 2, 2007
- Location: Congregation Lion of Judah, Boston MA
Tonight I want to lead you to chapter 5 of Luke, the gospel according to Saint Luke and the reason tomorrow I’m going to be giving a presentation at our daughter’s Baccalaureate service, Abigail, our youngest daughter is graduating from Boston Trinity Academy and they’re having a service for the graduates at Boston University, and they’ve asked to bring the Baccalaureate message, and I felt of the Lord to issue a challenge to the young people who are graduating about living passionately and fully and in a committed way for the Lord.
Presenting that style of life as the best platform for a fulfilling life, for a life that is blessed and prospered, not only in the spiritual realm but also in the financial, in the physical, in the emotional realm. As you life fully for God and as you serve him and as you give yourself to him, you know, all kinds of wonderful things begin to happen. I’m reminded of the words of the psalmist, delight in the Lord and he shall give you the petitions, the requests, the needs of your heart. You know, that has been a favorite verse of mine, throughout all my life and I have seen it fulfilled time and time again. There’s nothing like serving, there’s nothing like giving your life to the Lord. And this passage in Luke 5 brings this out in a very graphic sort of way. I just want to keep in my mind, you know, roving around this idea of service and dedication to the Lord being the origin of great prosperity and great blessing for those who take God seriously. And so, here you have, and I hope to develop that and show how this passage brings that truth out in a very, very powerful sort of way.
It says here in chapter 5, of Luke that: “… One day as Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, Jesus saw at the water’s edge two boat, left there by the fishermen who were washing their nets, and he got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon who was also known as Peter, one of the Apostles later on to become, and he asked Simon to put out a little from shore, -in other words, to take the boat and bring it out a little bit from the shore- and then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch’. Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything, but because you say so, I will let down the nets’. When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break, so they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them and they came and filled both boats, so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said ‘Go away from me, Lord. I am a sinful man’, for he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid, from now on you will catch men’. So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”
Isn’t that a wonderful passage? I love this passage for so many, many reason, but as I said before, it shows us in a very, very powerful way, this idea that as we serve the Lord, as we give our lives to him, as we yield our will and as we put our plans and our dreams and our visions in his hands and chose to trust him, and give him the first parts of our lives, we give him the prime aspects of our lives. We give him the first fruits, we let him have his way with us first and then we see that great blessing comes into our lives as a result. It’s really the life of discipleship, the life of total yielding on to the Lord.
Now, how is this played out in this passage? Look at the seen that is presented to us in the beginning: Jesus alone, surrounded by a multitude that presses upon him. In the Greek original there is this idea that the multitude was pushing against him, they were pressing, they had an urgency to hear what he had to say. If you look at many passages in the gospel you see these people in crisis with huge sense of urgency coming to Jesus’ feet many times asking to get an audience with him. We think for example of Zachaus, the tax collector, hearing that Jesus was going to come by the city, and having had a sense of who Jesus was, and thinking I won’t be able to see him, there’s too many people around him, and Zachaus was small of stature, and so Zachaus conceived a plan. He got on top a tree, waiting to just catch a glimpse of Jesus as he passed by among the multitude and Jesus saw him, and Jesus saw the need reflected in his eyes. Jesus saw the emptiness that only he could fill and said, ‘Zachaus come down from your tree and tonight I’m going to stay in your house and we’re going to have dinner, and I’m going to get to know you and you’re going to get to know me and your needs are going to be fulfilled by my presence.
I think of Bartimaeus, another one, who heard of Jesus passing by. Bartimaeus was blind and he also knew that Jesus had the answer to his need. And so, Bartimaeus starting screaming, ‘Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me’. He knew that Jesus could heal him. And people were telling him, stop, don’t bother the Master, he’s too busy to be concerned about somebody like you, a mere beggar. But Bartimaeus just kept with more urgency screaming for Jesus, and so finally Jesus stopped and said, ‘bring him to me’, and Jesus said, ‘what can I do for you?’ Bartimaeus said, ‘Lord, I want to see’. Jesus put his hand on Bartimaeus’ eyes and Bartimaeus was healed and he picked his mat, where he used to beg every day and carried it in a signal of victory and went on with his life, healed for ever.
And I could tell you on and on, the woman with blood who came to Jesus, broke through the multitude, violating the law that said she could not touch anybody because she would rend them impure, but she had a need. So she pressed through that multitude, touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was instantly healed and received from Jesus consolation and blessing and validation for all the lonely years that she had spent, separate from human company because of her disease.
So, we see people flocking to Jesus. This urgency that the masses had to hear what he had to say, to be touched by him and Jesus in his human form had submitted himself to certain limitations. Now, at times we see miraculous moves that he made which showed that behind that Clark Kent suit was really Superman and Jesus when he wanted to, he could break through and do incredible things, but here we see him limited by his human frame. The multitude is pressing against him, he’s trying to make his voice heard in order to feed them, but they keep pressing on him and probably talking out loud and trying to get his attention. He can’t communicate the words of truth and life that he wants to communicate to them, because he’s limited.
So, he looks around and he sees two boats on the side and he conceives an idea. And so he gets on one of the boats and calls Peter, the owner of the boat, Simon, and says, ‘Would you let me use your boat?’.
Again, in the original language the idea is that Jesus requested that Simon Peter allowed him to use his boat. Jesus had a need and Simon had the means to satisfy that need. Jesus wanted to communicate his words of life to a hungry multitude and Simon had the means to do that. Why? Because if Jesus could pull his boat back a little bit from the shore, he could have the necessary distance to be able to communicate to the multitude and be heard. He could calm them down and then they could go ahead and hear the words of life and healing that he had to communicate.
So, to me, there is a very moving picture there of the Son of God boundless in his possibilities, in his power. Jesus had been present at creation, when the very Adams that made up that boat were formed and he could have very easily dispensed with his human limitation and address the multitude with a booming voice of an archangel, and heal everyone, and done everything that was necessary without any human aid, and yet he chooses to use human means.
And he doesn’t impose himself upon the owner of that boat and says, ‘I am the Lord, I am God and therefore let me use that’. He doesn’t hypnotize Peter and put him in a trance and force him to let him use his boat. No, he comes and gently, graciously, tentatively says, ‘would you let me use your boat?’.
And you know, I see a beautiful image there of God choosing to limit himself in his desire to communicate the words of salvation to humanity and to use mere human beings to communicate his truth, as he has done with the church and Jesus left the earth, he commissioned his followers to communicate the message of salvation. He could have sent angels, he could have asked a couple of archangels, with all their might, their beauty, and their impressive countenance, and their inability to commit sin to carry the message in a moment with huge effectiveness, without the limitations, and the problems that we, human beings, have created in communicating the message of salvation throughout two thousand years. He could have done that, but he didn’t. He chose to leave his church and he chose to leave his Holy Spirit to encourage us, to instruct us, to guide us, to empower us so that we could communicate the truth of the gospel. So, he used human means to communicate divine truth.
And if Simon had not allowed Jesus to use his boat, probably Jesus would have, either used some other means, or maybe he would have simply chosen to stay limited in his ability to communicate his truth to that multitude. And there’s a mystery there, because the Bible says that Jesus will not come until the gospel has been preached to all the nations, and he has left us to fulfill that task. And if we do not do it, then I’m not sure what the answer is, God will continue dealing with human kind until that purpose is fulfilled, but we have such power, I think, to limit God’s progress in redeeming mankind, because he has chosen to do so and he is expecting us, he is requesting that we allow him to use our lives for the communication of the gospel.
So, you see, in a sense we could say that I am the boat that Jesus needs to communicate his divine truth to humanity. This story repeats itself every day as the words of Jesus come to human hearts and say, ‘would you let me use your resources?’ ‘would you let me use your mind? Would you let me use your education? Would you let me use your gift for people? Would you let me use your money, your professional training, your energy, your courageous heart, your entrepreneurial attitude? Would you let me use that so that I can address the multitude, so that I can continue spreading my word of salvation and challenge to humanity? That scene repeats itself time and time again.
And if I don’t do it, maybe he’ll have to go to somewhere else, but wouldn’t it be good if he could use me. And God is asking you, and God is asking me, God is asking each of us every day, would you let me use your life so that I can complete my purposes in the world? It’s a mystery. Why would God do that with any of us? But he’s chosen that way. God loves to work in relationship, in association with his creatures.
The Bible says that God will not do anything without revealing it to his prophets. God is a gregarious, social being. He likes to work. He likes to use us. He is gratified in using these creatures that he has created to redeem mankind. We made such a mess of things and so Jesus wants to redeem us by allowing us to clean up the mess that we ourselves have created in the world. Isn’t that marvelous?
And we have the choice to say, ‘Yes, Lord, you can use me’. Just as Simon Peter had the choice, you know, ‘well, you know, God I’m busy right now and I’m just frustrated because I spent the whole night trying to fish and I haven’t caught a thing, I just want to wash these nets and go home, and take a shower, and have dinner, anything but fish by the way, but I just want to get it over with, and I don’t have time, I’m too busy, so, get somebody else, please.’
Thankfully Simon Peter said, ‘ok, Lord, you need me, you need the boat, no problem’. So Simon stopped what he was doing and took the boat, brought it a little bit from the shore and Jesus was able to complete his message. The multitude was blessed, the multitude was satisfied, pacified.
And then, when Jesus was finished, interestingly enough, you know, he turns to Peter now, and he says, ‘Peter, let’s take your boat for a ride, let’s go deep into the sea and let see what happens.’
Now, here begins something which is very interesting in this passage, which I think it’s there, at least I have gotten a lot of benefit from looking at it that way. This boat in the passage goes through 3 different physical locations and stages which, to me, are representative of 3 stages of Christian walk, or 3 steps of the spiritual journey of a human being, 3 steps, 3 stages than we can acquire as we grow in our relationship to the Lord. That’s one level of this story.
But there are other levels as well, the fact that Jesus is very concerned about Peter. You see, Jesus uses Peter’s resources to complete his divine mission, but he is also thinking about Peter’s condition, Peter’s needs, Peter’s situation. He knows that Peter has spent the whole night, as we find out later on in the passage trying to fish, and hasn’t caught one single fish. His attempts have been totally sterile, fruitless, he hasn’t accomplished anything the whole night. Fishermen, apparently, like to fish at night. Why? Because the darkness reassures the fish, because there’s no noise and so they’re more abundant, they come to the surface and that’s the optimal condition for fishing, the night.
And Peter knew this, he was an experienced fisherman and yet he hadn’t caught a thing. now, I wonder if God was involved in that, God was preparing a spiritual lesson for Peter. He was going to show him something very powerful here. And so, you know, when Jesus finishes using Peter’s resources, now it’s time to address Peter’s needs, to solve his situation. I wonder if Peter was concerned and worried about the fact you know, how am I going to pay this boat? How am I going to feed my family? How am I going to continue my business? I’ve tried fishing and it hasn’t worked, that’s my only livelihood and I don’t know what am I going to do? He must have been frustrated, he must have been anxious and uncertain, and Jesus knew this because he was the Son of God and everything else that he does, reveals that Jesus knew exactly what Peter’s situation was all about.
And you see, there’s a deep truth here. You know, which is God is never interested in merely using you and extracting benefit from you as many human employers want to do. You know, human beings can exploit, human beings can use you. They can get what they want from you and then they kick you into the gutter and they go for another fresh piece of meat to do the same thing too.
But God is not like that, when God uses us he also invests in us. He invests in our renewal, he is interested in the drama of us. See, God is such a loving, tender, providing God that he will never extract benefit from you without giving back to you much more than you have given him. I have found that throughout my life. I’ve been serving the Lord for 23, 24 years. My wife and I have been pastors all that time and remember all the fears that I had when as a graduate student, my second year in graduate school, the Lord put a call into my life of taking over that young, fledging congregation that had been left without a pastor, because the founding pastor had to return to Puerto Rico and I, being an active member of the congregation at that point, sort of being the pastor’s second in command, so to speak, as a lay leader, was left holding the ship until a pastor would come and take over the congregation of about 40, 50 people. And you know, the Lord had spoken to me about a year an a half before that, as I stood for the first time, when we moved to the building that we occupied in Cambridge at that time. We were in Cambridge for 15 years, the first 15 years of life of this congregation, and as I stepped behind a small pulpit that was at floor level to teach Sunday school, for the first time in that new building that we had acquired, a feeling came over me that said something to the effect, ‘this church has been planted so that you would pastor’. Now that was the furthest thing from my mind, to pastor a congregation. I was very deeply involved in my academic work, with dreams of academic success and a comfortable academic life and my dream was to just get into that and ride it for all that I could, and the Lord says, ‘would you like to serve my church?’.
Few months later the pastor gave his notice that he had to return to Puerto Rico, and so the church was left without a pastor and that nagging specific assignment of God, do not let this church die, it has been planted so that you would become its pastor, kept bothering me. And I looked at the Lord’s request and I also looked at my own dreams of personal fulfillment and I compared and finally I said, Lord, you know what? I will serve you, I will become the pastor of this church. It’s been twenty some years since that happened.
I had fears of, well, what am I going to do with my family? We had just recently married, and you know, we have a daughter on the way, and I’m going to leave my dreams of financial comfort and you know, how am I going to make ends meet if this congregation doesn’t grow, if it dies out, if it doesn’t like the way I do things, because I’m just new at this and I haven’t had any theological training, or seminary training, or anything like that? I was full of all kinds of fears.
And I can tell you, twenty some years later that none of those fears have materialized. God has been more than gracious. God has been more than providing. God has been more than faithful. We have never lacked anything, and not only have we never lacked anything, we have had more than we ever dreamt or that we needed. And God has blessed us, our family, our marriage, our daughters, our health, our life as a whole. God has not stopped showering his blessings on us. Yes, there have been times of stress and there have been times of huge demand, but, you know, the faithfulness of God has not lacked, ever. And I tell you, I have not seen anyone who moves in the truth of God’s word and in faith of God’s provision and power and faithfulness of his promises, that did not see blessing in their life, one way or the other. Because God always provides for you when you give him the first fruit of your life, when you let him use your life, when you prefer him above all other things.
And you know, that is the key. How is your heart for Jesus? How is your heart for the Kingdom of God? How committed are you? How hot is your temperature vis a vis the Lord in the Kingdom of God? Is your heart truly committed to the Lord? Or do you simply go being religious, you attend church because it’s the thing to do, because that’s something good to do on a Sunday, in this case on Saturday night, your routine and you do it? Do you it because you’re a decent person and you know that it’s good to fear God and it’s good to go to church, so you do it? Or do you do it because you know that without God you are nothing, that your life has meaning because God exists? That anything good in your life is because God has opened his hand and given it to you? Whatever blessing, whatever positive quality there is in your life and in your character is because God’s grace flows through you and without God you could not exist. Is it because your heart says like the salmist, as the dear pant for the water so does my soul yearn and thirst for you.
You see, when you live like that, as David did, then all kinds of magical things happen in your life. This is what happened to David, he was pulled, he was plugged from the care of the sheep, deep inside the wilderness and brought out by God, because God recognizes hearts for him and put in a position of great authority over the entire kingdom.
When you give God your all, when you love God above everything else, when you put him above your dreams and your desires, when you preemptively yield your life to him and say, ‘Father, here is a white sheet of paper with my signature below it, write on that sheet anything you want.’ When you do that, then God’s blessings are poured on your life, then you see the beauty of God’s heart and his loving kindness towards you, his faithfulness, his miraculous capacity to move powerfully in your life and to break through all of the obstacles that life may put in your way.
And this is what Peter experienced. Jesus says to him, ‘come, take your boat now. Let’s go deep, Peter, and I’m going to show you that I can provide for you as you have provided for me, as you given to me without expectation of reward, now I’m going to show you that I can bless you, that I care for you, that you don’t need to live in poverty, you don’t need to live in lack, because I am the owner of everything. I did not need your boat. I’m going to show you that I am Master over nature. I am Master over the physical. I am Master over the spiritual. I know the present from the future. I don’t need your boat, but I want to allow you to be dignified by entering into society in collaboration with me. That’s the beauty of this passage.
And you know, in the journey of that boat there’s an interesting story about us and how we can enter more deeply into a knowledge of who God truly is. Those 3 stages of that boat: 1. right at the shore, right where all the people and all the multitude and the superficial understanding of God is, is one stage of the Christian journey. That boat, when it is pulled a bit from the shore and establishes distance between the ground and itself, far enough that it can be used for the purposes of God is another stage of the Christian journey. And finally, that entering into the deep, deep waters, alone with Jesus to receive a fresh, original, unique vision of his divinity, is a third stage in that journey.
And you and I, in our Christian walk, go through these stages ourselves if we choose to. we can be like that boat right at the surface, where everybody is, where the multitude comes and goes. Many Christians are like that, we stay there. many Christians simply limit their Christian journey to coming to church every once in a while, throwing a few coins in the offering plate, hearing, half hearing a sermon, mouthing a couple of words during worship, and then they leave and they think that they have come into the presence of God. They think that they have worshipped. They think they have experienced the Christian life and they lead fruitless, powerless life, at the mercy of circumstances and situations and people and they pray, and they do not see any answers, they don’t see miracles in their lives, no one is blessed, no one is transformed through any influence of their life. And they think, you know, the Christian life is boring. God is not as real as he says he is.
The problem is not God, the problem is their heart, their superficial walk, their staying at the shore, their boat is there lifeless, fruitless, without being used in any way because it is laying there. Boats are not made to lay there. Boats are made to ride in the waves, to fish, to give pleasure to whoever rides it, to roam the waters, that is the nature of a boat. The shore is simply a temporary place for the boat to get repaired or whatever, but when the boat is in its full identity, it’s out there, in the waters.
And you know, as a Christian you have not been made to be superficial, you have not been made to be merely religious, to have a very bland experience of the divine and of the spiritual. Unfortunately, so many believers, that’s all they know about the Christian life and they think that they have touched the Christian life. They have not even come close to it.
But when you allow Jesus to come inside you and to start using you, when you start serving the Lord, when you start letting him activate your gifts and you live sacrificially and you begin to read the word of God and you begin to prepare yourself for service, when you begin to pray like you know that God is real, and that he means what he says, and he means what he says, when you start sacrificing and taking small ventures of faith and risking things for the Lord, when you get out of the comfort of your anonymity, and you begin to suffer a little for the Lord, to give a little for the Lord, to sacrifice things for the Lord, to try new things, to acquire your own voice, and to begin to fashion your own spiritual profile, you know what happens? Your boat becomes activated, it’s enlivened, it is used of God, and it can serve others, it can bless others, it can be used to advance the interest of the Kingdom of God. God can through your life, God can bless. God can use your voice and your energies and your gifts and your resources to bless the world. That’s what we have been made for, to be servants, to bless the world with the power of the Holy Spirit moving within us. We enter then, into the true Christian life, and then we begin to experience the miraculous. When God uses us, he says, ‘hey, now I want to invest in you, I want to renew you. You’ve been used, you’ve spent your energy, now come with me to a separate place and I will give you a view of my divinity.
And you know, that’s the third stage of the Christian life. He says to Peter, ‘Peter, let’s go out into the deep. Let’s go for a fish, let’s go for a ride’, and this is truly where God wants you and I, that deep secret place of worship, of devotion, or prayer, or deep exploration of his word, of experiences with the spirit, the use of the gifts and the fruits of the spirit, that’s where the Christian life really acquires its full magic. And you cannot get there unless you’ve gone through those two other stages. See? And Jesus wants to show himself, Jesus wants to show who he truly is, but he needs people who are committed, he needs people to believe in him, to invest in him first and pay upfront and to risk, to see whether they’re willing to believe his word. And when he’s satisfied, then he says, come into the deep waters and I will fish with you, I will bless you, I will give you what you need.
You know, the place of greatest probation and power for the believer, and safety and protection is in the deep waters with Jesus. You serve him, you will see his face, and this is what Peter experienced. When they went out into the deep, Jesus says to him, now, probably with a slight smile on his face, Peter, go ahead, throw your net into the water and let’s see what happens. And Peter says, ‘Lord, I very skeptically, we’ve tried the whole night, nothing has happened, you’re a novice in this thing, but you know what? I’m going to trust you, I’m going to cast the net in your name, in your word.
Isn’t it wonderful when we trust the Lord, when we take risks in the Lord? You know, the life of faith is the life of taking risks. You know, nobody is going to prove to you that Jesus is real, that he is who he says he is, and this other stuff. You know, there’s a lot of people who are expecting to receive a perfect, convincing, undeniable answer to all their questions before they can take a step of faith and believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
And they have a thousand questions, well, what about all the other religions? What about those Christians that do this and do that and all the hypocrisy? And what about all the historical mistakes and the wars that have been carried out by Christians? And what about Cain and who did he marry? I mean, if there was nobody else, did he marry his sister? All kinds of other questions and you know, they go through all these spiritual gymnastics trying to have all the answers given and all their doubts solved before they can say, well, you know what? I’m going to trust in Jesus, that’s not the way it works.
Jesus says, cast your net to the water. Take a risk. Go for it. I am who I say I am. Now, are you willing to take the risk? And you know the beautiful thing is that when you take that risk, you take that jump into the abyss as the theologian Kierkergard said many, many years ago. You discover you never are disappointed. When you choose to trust in Jesus and to give your life to him, and take the risk of finding yourself having made a big mistake. You just do it out of faith.
You see, believing in Jesus is a journey of faith and faith is simply embracing the unknown without any reason except that you have chosen to do it. And if you perish, you perish, if you make a fool of yourself, you make a fool of yourself, but you’re going to do it anyway. That’s what faith is. No assurance, except believing that God is faith. And you’re going to risk your life for it, and you know what? When you do that, the words of the psalmist again come to mind to allow your body to be dashed against the rocks, but he will send his angels to take you into their arms in safety.
I have never taken any risks in the name of the Lord and lived to regret it. God has always, always honored his promise, and if you choose to believe in Jesus, if you choose to trust and trust your life to him, if you say, Father, I entrust my destiny to you, I don’t know what I’m doing and it seems that everything points to the foolishness of what I’m doing, all the conditions are the very opposite of what would seem promising, yet I will do it anyway, you will never be disappointed. You will never regret it because God is a faithful God.
And Peter cast his nets into the water, and you know the story, a multitude of fish to the point that the nets would break and they had to call others to come and help them, the catch was so huge. And that’s what happens, you see, when God blesses you, when you enter into the full knowledge of who God is, when you associate yourself with him, the blessing will emanate from you in such a way that you will have to call others to come and help, because there’ll be so many of them. You see, we bless others out of the excess of God’s blessing in our life, out of the excess of vitality, this passion that we have for Jesus, we want to share with others, we have to unburden ourselves of the passion that we feel for Christ, of this knowledge that he is the Son of God and out of that excess, others are blessed, others are touched, others come into the kingdom because that’s the way God wants us to serve him. He doesn’t want us to serve him from hand to mouth, living a hand to mouth existence. That’s not the way. God blesses people, he fills them with his power, he fills them with his provision, and they out of the excess they receive, they give and they’re always giving and always receiving. They become channels of God unlimited grace as it flows from time and time again. Wonderful.
God, Jesus wants you to see his divinity. Peter understood when he saw what was happening, he knew, he was no theologian, but he was smart enough to know that he was contemplating something that only God could do. So he, like all the people who have seen a vision of the divine being, experience huge terror, and say ‘I’m dead, I’m done for, I’ve seen divinity and I’m a sinful man and the impure cannot be in touch with the totally pure’, and so he feared for his life and the words of God that were given to prophets before in other parts of the Old Testament were also given to Peter, said, ‘Peter, do not fear. Do not be afraid’.
God is a loving God. God doesn’t want to terrify. God doesn’t want to kill you. God doesn’t want to spoil your party. God wants to bless you, he’s a wonderfully, fatherly, tender, merciful, gracious God. when you relate to him, he’s so mindful of who you are, of your broken, fragile frame, but his there to cooperate and work with you and take it to your mistakes and take through your failures and take you through your failed efforts and he wants to mend you and bless you and provide for you and turn you into an agent of blessing and good for others. That’s the beauty of this story.
He says, Peter, don’t be worried man, from this day on, forget about smelling like a fisherman, forget about fish. You have been elevated in rank, you are now assigned and commissioned to become a fisher of men, a blesser and healer of souls. Your name, he was probably saying, will be mentioned throughout the ages. You will write books that will bless generations. You will be one of the foundational human elements of my church. You will be the Apostle, the main Apostle of my people. All of that from that poor, failed, ignorant, unpromising fisherman, because he believed, because he gave himself, because he trusted in the Lord, because he allowed God to use his resources, because he took the risk of becoming a fool for Christ, he came out a winner.
And so my challenge to you and to myself tonight is, let’s live that Christian life, my people. Let us embrace a heroic existence with God. No mediocrity here, no living itching out a Christian existence, measuring every little thing with a tea spoon, but really doing something so much more abundant. That’s what God wants for your and that’s what God wants for me. He wants you to experience the true Christian life, the full Christian life, like Peter did and to know him. Jesus wants to be known for who he is. He’s still into revealing his divinity to those that trust him and that serve him, and that love him above everything else.
Would you lower your head right now for a moment and would you take a moment to ask yourself, am I willing to live life like that? Am I willing to live the Christian life at that level? And if you are, then, you know, why don’t you re commit or simply for the first time commit your life to that Jesus, renounce a superficial Christian life, reject it, there’s nothing there. Renounce the life at the shore and let the Lord pull your boat from the shore. Let him use your boat.
Say, Lord, whatever resources I have, I preventively give them to you. Use them any way you want them. I give you the titles of all the aspects of my life, my property, my gifts, my career, my talents, my future, my relationships, my body, everything, you have the title to it all and if you want to claim it any time, go ahead and do it, Father. I will say, yes, I will serve you. I will follow you. my life belongs to you and if you want to put me as a sacrifice, then so be it. I will do that. If you want me to live in obscurity I will do that. If you want me to yield all the dreams that I have over to you, so that you can do whatever you want with them, I gladly give it all to you.
And you know what? Jesus may just take them in his hands and say, thank you, ok, I have now the titles to your life and may or may not choose to claim them. I may choose to let you continue normal life. I may choose you to let you be that medical technologist. I may let you be a doctor. I may let you be that engineer or that journalist, or that college professor, but if one day I have need of you, I will call on you and I expect you say yes, I expect you to live your life knowing that I hold the title to your boat. Meanwhile live fully, enjoy life, I’m going to bless you. My hand will be upon you, my fatherly heart will be with you wherever you go. If you make a mistake, I will correct it, I will straighten your path, I will bless you, because you’re my child, you have preferred me, you have given me the first fruits of yor life.
That is the way that Jesus wants to live with you. would you say yes to Jesus, right now, would you invite him into your heart? Would you invite him into your life right now and say, Lord, I have heard of you but now I want to see you with my own eyes, I want to know you like Peter got to know you, deep, deep, deep in the waters. I want to know you and the power of your resurrection and I want to know you in your sufferings and I want to live an authentic, genuine Christian life. Come into my heart, Jesus.
Invite Jesus to come into your life and to take ownership of your life. Would you do that? Because if you do that, truly, authentically, sincerely, something is going to break through, the blessing of God is going to start flowing in your life. Jesus is going to say, you know, you are my son, you are my daughter, nobody can touch you for as long as you live. My mercy will follow you. my protection, the shadow of my protection, my covering will be with you every day of your life.’
But you have to give your life over to Jesus, you have to give your priorities to Jesus. Do not pretend to hide from scrutiny. He will know whether that is sincere. If it is sincere, you can be sure, you have his commitment as well to bless you and to walk with you. it has to be a genuine commitment. I urge you. do it, it’s not a church, it’s not this church, it’s not this pastor, it’s not being protestant or catholic, it’s about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Lord of your life, the savior of your life. He gave his life for you, he rescued you from destruction and from utter hell. He gave his all and he expects your all and as you give him your all he says, I will bless you. I will provide for you. I will walk with you all the days of your life and at the end of your life I’ll be there to receive you and you will hear my words, ‘Come, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in the small things, now come and enjoy. Come and enjoy the blessing of your Lord.’
I want to hear those words when I die and I want to live my life while I’m here in an authentic, genuine sort of way. I want a genuine Christian walk because I want to know the Lord, I want to know his power. So, let Jesus enter into your life, please, and then live a full Christian life, live an authentic Christian life. Do not play games with the Lord, he cannot be fooled. As you give yourself to him you will prove himself more than faithful.
And Father, we declare you are more than faithful. Thank you because we’re not talking about some anecdote that happened two thousand years ago, this is truth, this is truth and we celebrate it tonight father. We celebrate your truth. May we, who have heard your word, Father, be compelled to live it out. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord in the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen. Amen.
|Sermon delivered by Dr. Roberto Miranda taped June 2, 2007 at Congregation Lion of Judah||Listen|||||View (100K)|||||View (400K)|
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