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January 3, 2021 12:24 pm
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This podcast is made available by this increasing media as to the generosity of our support is your donation today means great podcast ideas remain available to help people look to God daily presentation at our nation today send out all day. You are a one-of-a-kind creation far beyond your fingerprints and unite God has a unique role in the story of so much of it on the you can prove that I am Turning Point of the jury, marshes help that truth is illustrated in the life of Peter the fisherman group to fulfill his God-given purpose from the life God blesses is the conclusion of his message. Knowing who you are, will thank you for joining us and welcome to a new week of Turning Point because we open our Bibles again today to the 21st chapter of John talking about how to know who we are.
From this experience in the life of the disciple were going to take some principles away and put them to work in our own lives and now let's get going with today's lesson. This is important to knowing who you are when we know it or not, were all followers of something Peter had followed his family into the fishing business. Some of you even today in our culture you follow your family into your careers or into your business or into whatever it is that you do, but were all followers of something and we all get in line behind someone. Whatever it is we do.
Peter had followed his family into the fishing business.
But one day he was asked to leave that fishing business and he began to follow the Lord. The Lord is issuing to him the same challenge now is being called again by his Lord, after his failure and his forgiveness the word of the Lord comes to Peter. The second time and our Lord's words are follow me and I must've brought back to Peter the memory because if you go back to Luke five. Those are the very same words Jesus used when he called Peter in the first place. He said follow me and I'll make you fisherman now peters at the end of his life in Jesus of St. Peter follow me is this call that had dominated Peter's life between these two calls of following are all the ups and downs of Peter's experience all the progress and the backsliding all the lights in the shadows which go to make up humanity, are on display in Peter's impulsive life in general. Peter was always first whether he was right or wrong.
Notice that always first. He was first to give an answer at Caesarea Philippi, he was first to talk on the amount of transfiguration.
Although John and his youth beats Peter to the empty tomb. Peter is the first one to walk into the empty tomb peters the first one to jump out of the boat when he thinks Jesus is on the shore. He denies first and his relationship with the Lord poses a personal threat.
Peters always first is something about how he's wired it, then make any difference what is right or wrong, he just wants to be first, Jesus is probably the only one who could have ever put up with Peter after the denial we would've all written off when you wake, but Jesus forgave him and Jesus restored him to know that there are three ways in which he says to us today. Follow me. First of all, he says to us, follow me in salvation as he did to Peter back when he was fishing follow me some wonderful journey to follow the Lord when he says to us in another way to follow him and that is to follow him in service. He said to Peter, follow me and I will make you to become a fisher of men.
Almighty God is calling some of us today to follow the Lord in service. We followed him in our salvation within we just sort of got inside the door of salvation, and we've gone dormant and he's calling us now out of that passive many of our life in the same followed me in salvation. I want ask you now to follow me in service and then one day we will all therefore Christians will follow him to the father's house locally. The Bible says that where he is. We are going to be someday to Paul prays that the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and so shall we ever be with the Lord will follow him one day into the father's house. So here is Peter and the Lord is speaking to Mrs. Peter I told you to follow me once and you got lost. We had to do some repair work to get you back on the road now here is my instruction to you again follow me. Where have you been where are you going what are you doing here is the fourth question. What is your purpose here is one of the most amusing episodes in Peter's life up to this point. If you didn't know what was coming, would say you know the Lord has finally gotten Peter straightened out. He's finally gotten Peter going in the right direction and he understands what it's all about.
Watch what happens. Then Peter turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved him as a class. John is talking about Johnny's describing John Peter seeing him said to Jesus, but Lord, what about this man and Jesus said to him, Peter if I will that he remain till I come. What is that to you. Follow me. Here are three principles that emerge from this last point that I hope you will miss first of all, God has a comprehensive purpose for your life for your life not somebody else's life is your life, what is that to you said Jesus you follow me, although the Lord's will is not seen by everybody. The Lord's will is sovereign over everybody and Peter needed to review that principle when the Lord said, follow me.
Apparently Peter began to do just that, until he turned around and he saw his good friend John and he turned to Jesus and he said will Lord what about John Peter did not need to have his attention diverted to the Lord's will for somebody else. He was having a hard enough time dealing with the Lord's will for him.
Peter had a history of starting to follow and then getting off track back in Luke five when the Lord called him Peter started to follow and then he got his eyes on himself and he said, Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinful man and what he was walking on the water.
When Jesus told him to come to him as he was walking on the water. Remember what happened there. He was doing great. As long as he kept his eyes focused on Jesus within he looked around at the waves and he began to sink like a rock. Peter was a good starter but he didn't always stay focused around people like that they get started. Real good, but it doesn't take much to get them off track and this time Peter heard John walking behind him and he lost his focus again and he said Lord what shall this man do and Jesus answers with a rebuke and he says and I want to say the way I think Jesus said, I think, is what is that you is that you you follow me, and I think the Lord's frustration may have been born out of all of the effort he put me in the Peter to get him up to this point it looks like there. He's got himself figured out he knows who he is. But before he can really get far down the road. He gets his eyes on somebody else and the Lord has to come back and rebuke him.
These are strong words from the Lord.
They are meant to convey to Peter the importance of his own personal obedience. There's no time to worry about God's will for someone else when his will for us is still unrealized. This is a lesson that every believer in every age needs to take the heart, friends, and is especially necessary for those of us who are in the occupational ministry. How easy it is for us, no matter who we are, what were doing to look around and see that someone else is doing something that seems to be more successful or more exotic or more well-received or more recognized and we can arise off on them and we can almost hear the words of the Lord in the back of our mind saying Jeremiah what is that to you. Just follow me what I want you to do.
I haven't called you to do what someone else is done. I called you to do what I want you to do and if you don't do what I want you to do that friends I want to tell you something. This is one of the real issues and Christianity today that we have lost the sense of importance, of our own personal identity of the Lord is a gifted everyone of us uniquely called us uniquely wants us to be his disciple and our eyes are to be on him when we stay focused on him.
We will get caught up in all this other stuff that complicates so much of our walk with the Lord.
It's interesting to me that I think Peter finally finally got it for later on he wrote a letter called first Peter his father's little verse in first Peter that I was intrigued by first Peter 415. He writes these words, but let none of you suffer as a murder a thief and evil doer or as a busybody in other people's matters. So I think Peter finally got it. I think he finally figured it out. He finally realized what God was trying to teach and how we know it would be such a great thing if we could learn not to be a busybody in other people's matters.
Just a focus on the Lord God has a comprehensive purpose for your life. But note number two God has a creative plan for your life is as if I will that he remain till I come. One is that you you follow me know if you read the rest of the passage, you realize that some of the people who heard this thought Jesus was saying that John was going to live until Jesus came back and Jesus straightens this out in the text. I love this. This is one place where Jesus corrects a misunderstanding about what he said.
Jesus said, I didn't mean that he's going to live until I come back. What I meant was if I wanted to live until I come back I can do that. What is that you Peter.
That's all he was say little bit of sarcasm there if you want to know the truth. The Lord knew sarcasm.
Can you believe it. I want John to live until I come back again, what you care is follow me. Interestingly enough, there was a little bit of truth in that, because John's the one who did see the Lord come back again did me and wrote about it in the book of Revelation. He didn't see it. In actuality, he sought in prophecy and it is true that he's the one who saw the Lord come back Chinese evangelist watchman Nee has written a book on this passage of Scripture are forgotten until I ran across again in the book actually has the title of this passage. The title of is what shall this man do written by watchman Nee was very popular.
Many years ago and I don't want to go back through and give you the distilled version of his book, but simply to say that in the book.
What he did was he distinguish the difference between Peter, Paul and John and pointed out that God had a different plan for all three of these very famous apostles, Peter was evangelist the first time he ever preached the gospel 3000 people got saved and later on 5000 men were converted and have the gift that Peter had for evangelism be what Paul did.
Paul was a builder he was in encourager he was a teacher. Paul would go in where the evangelism had been preached and Paul would teach only did evangelism but Paul primarily was the teacher. That's why we have all of the theology of Paul in the New Testament almost all the New Testament was written by theologian Paul. Paul wasn't Peter. He didn't win 3000 people at one time Peter wasn't Paul. He didn't teach like Paul did. And then there was John, you know John did watchman nieces John was the mender of nets when he did was he came back and fix things that were broken.
He was always taken something that needed to be reworked and put it back together. He was the lover.
He was the peacemaker.
All of them were different in watchman. The says the question that was asked by the Lord to Peter is the question he asked us you're not Peter you're not Paul you're not John here you what is it to you know that God is called someone else to do something else. Your job is to follow him all, if we could get that vote. It would simplify our walk with the Lord so much just to know that what we have to do is follow him.
God has a comprehensive purpose for your life in a creative plan for your life.
But thirdly, God has a clear priority for your life and I want to end this message by trying to help us all understand what this means. What is that to you.
You follow me, follow me. Gandhi was asked what time by a very close friend. This question is that if you admire Christ so much that you become a Christian, and Gandhi said if I can ever find a Christian follows Christ.
I will want an indictment upon all of us.
Did you know that we can be quote unquote Christians and still not be Christ followers. Did you know that today being a Christian just means you're not a Jew or a Muslim. That's all it means right what you are a Christian.
If you see the forms that you fill out. What is your religion.
That's was – that was sometimes they do and they give you through three choices.
Christianity and then a few other religions that are around the world and people think well if I'm not one of those. I must be one of these and so Christianity becomes not what you believe but what you don't believe in his book following Christ.
Joe stole rights. Although we may hear a multiplicity of voices from both within and outside the church.
Therefore, Christ followers.
We only listen to one voice is the voice of Christ to simply said, follow me, no conditions, no negotiations, no particulars, no contractual exceptions. Just follow was the first thing and the last thing that Jesus said to Peter and is the beginning and end of what it means to be a Christian and everything in between is measured by it. Are you following him are you a Christ follower.
If your Christianity is dull and boring. If it is a burden and not a blessing. Then probably you are involved in the project instead of a person probably you're involved in the system instead of a Savior and probably you're involved with rules instead of a relationship because Christianity is in any of those things. Christianity is not a religious thing. Christianity is not a host of rituals and philosophies are the best choice among all the possible lifestyles, authentic followers do not live for liturgy.
Following is not celebration it is not contemporary or traditional following is not jubilant dance or compelling drama. It is not preaching. It is not praising it's not obeying it's not conforming here is its Christ and Christ alone. We are prone to embrace the forms when people ask you, who are you do you say I'm a Baptist.
While it's okay to admit that, depending on the circumstances.
But what you want to say before you say any of that is on the follower of Christ. I'll tell you what, that'll open up some conversations if you use that answer we are prone always to embrace the forms and the functions as though they were the essence.
But they are only the expressions. The essence is Christ. The essence is Jesus.
So these words of Jesus to Peter, follow me, are a reminder that Christianity is Christ, not just believing in Christ, in some abstract way, but believing in him to the point of turning our back on everything else so that we might follow him.
That's what it means to be a Christ follower today in our world of pluralism. It's almost become acceptable to be a Christian, along with a lot of other thing but I want to say to men and women today. When you follow Christ you turn your back on everything else. Following Christ is an exclusive walk in, follow him and you turn your back on all else, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who suffered for his faith said in abstract Christology a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace around the forgiveness of sins makes discipleship worthless and Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ, which, if you're not following Christ, not a Christian. That is a mean you have to be a riproaring preacher or evangelist or whatever, it just means that you got your eyes on the Lord and trying to find out where he's going so you can following be obedient. A few years ago.
Hollywood remade the movie Sabrina and in the movie, Harrison Ford plays a second generation CEO who is savagely addicted to the growth and gain of his inherited Empire when he meets the daughter of his family. Chauffeur, she intrigues him and slowly but surely she begins to demonstrate to him that there is more to life than the marketplace. If you remember the film as the lives of the commoner and the conqueror began to merge.
Harrison Ford follows Sabrina to Paris, drained and ready for more to life.
He says broken link in the film Sabrina. I've been following in footsteps all my life. Help me Sabrina fair. You're the only one who can save me in this moving moment in this film is a metaphor of our relationship with Jesus Christ. We are tired and disillusioned in achieving success without significance were addicted to what we thought were objects of liberation and were weary of working for an end that only leads to emptiness and we look into the face of Christ to his promised abundant life in a moment of surrender say Lord help me. I've been walking in the footsteps of others. All my life. You were the only one who can save me and we hear Christ say to us, follow me, follow me. Are you following him are you a Christ follower. I'm not asking you today for religious. There are so many religious people don't know anything about following Christ. I would try something.
This is the most liberating truth you will ever hear is not about all of the stuff that often gets talked about when we talk about church and religion and all of that, it's just about following Jesus. Are you following up when people ask you who you are doing Assam a Christian that's okay when asking start saying this when people ask you who you are. You say I'm a Christ follower. It will catch you up short at first. You think I really am I really a Christ follower and then you will start to make some adjustments in your lesson asking this question. When asking out loud. Who are you and I want you to respond. I am a Christ follower who are you high you don't sound very convinced. Okay let me try one more time. Who are you and I pray that you are and I want to say to you that if you haven't started following him. This is the greatest day you will ever have.
I don't want to call you at church membership that might come down the road. I want to call you to denomination.
I want to call you some creed or some practice or set of rules or legalism or catechism. Here's what I wanted. I want to call you to follow Christ. Are you willing to turn away from all of the emptiness of your life all the things that you thought were meaningful and say I tried it all and I'm sick of it in its endless and I want to start following Christ.
When you decide today to follow him. Some of you need to follow him in baptism.
Your questions already which you have never been baptized so you're a Christ follower.
He was baptized Judy to follow Christ in baptism. Some of your questions and you rebaptize what you're just considers you don't do anything to serve the Lord Jesus said, follow me and I will make you to become a fisher of men or a theater of the sheep or attender of the flock. So what are you doing to serve the Lord follow him every day. Get up and say Lord I don't know where I'm going, but you doing I'm hanging on for dear life. Let's go. It will be the greatest adventure you ever had in your life you will never turn back, you will always what was I doing before I started to follow Jesus. He cries out for you to come and walk behind him today and he says take my yoke upon you and learn of me for my burden is light. My yoke is easy when you following you do that today. Tomorrow when I talk about taking the step of faith which is kind of like okay decided to follow him know what you do next. This is the series the life God blesses it's the inaugural series of 20, 21, and were so glad that you've joined us on this journey. We are very excited to let you know that we have a magazine that were so very excited about very proud of it because it's designed in a really special way to help our viewers and our listeners move forward in their walk with the Lord.
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The hard copy of the magazine and then of course there are many who just download the devotions and I don't have a total for that. But almost 1/2 a million people reading this magazine you can have a copy yourself all you have to do is ask for it when you get in touch with Astellas you'd like to have this magazine will send you the next copy without any requirements or any obligation on your part and you can see for yourself how valuable this magazine can be going forward in your walk with the Lord. What a great way to start 2021.
Well, as I mentioned tomorrow were going to move onto the next major lesson in the life God blesses and was he right here that message today resided from Shadow Mountain Community Church and Dr. David Jeremiah, the senior pastor would you like to tell us have tending 40 minutes this to you is right. Lesson tending 40 PO Box 3838, San Diego, CA 92163 or visit our email@example.com/lighting real property object complement God's blessings just for you is 100 inspirational leaders and reflections is yours for a gift of any amount still have Chris today with you daily devotional for 2021 spring day. There is no copies of.
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When you visit David Jeremiah.org/radio. I'm very hopeful he can join us tomorrow as we continue the series the life God blesses here on Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah for taking time to listen to and from these increased in size and all