In Luke chapter 5, Jesus called four fishermen as disciples. Peter had been out on the water all night long trying to catch fish. On his own, he hadn’t caught a thing. But Jesus told him to throw his net into the water one more time. Peter’s response was, “I’ve been doing this all night and haven’t caught anything, but at your word, I’ll do it.” That was the first example. Walking the walk means recognizing that by our own strength we fall short, but if we trust Jesus He will make a way. Because Peter trusted Jesus and did as He said, he caught more fish than he could handle. And instead of trying to keep all of the fish to himself, he called other people to share in the blessing. Example two: when God says that He will open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing you won’t have room to receive, how many of us think about sharing that blessing with others? Peter did. He didn’t keep it to himself. Don’t you think people would come to Christ if they see people sharing in each other’s blessings? Next example: when Peter saw how much the Lord had blessed him, he fell to his knees and told Jesus, “I’m not worthy of all of this.” Somewhere along the lines we have come to believe that we are entitled to God’s blessings. Some of us feel we deserve to blessed by God when in reality the only thing we deserve is death. But what a powerful testimony to share with someone who doesn’t know the Lord that God has blessed me in spite of me being a sinner. He loves me enough to give me all of this even though I don’t deserve it. The final example is often the hardest for us as Christians. After Peter and the others had seen what Jesus had done, they left all they had and followed Him. To be a real disciple you have to give up some things. You have to leave some people behind. You have to drop some habits. You have to do it if you want to walk with Christ.
Actions speak louder than words, cliché yet powerful nonetheless. In church we learn a lot of inspirational scriptures that make us feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside when we hear them. They give us comfort in our time of distress and suffering, or at least that’s what we say. The truth is, they comfort us before our time of distress and suffering and even after its over but what really goes on in our hearts and minds while we are going through our struggle. “God will supply all of our need according to His riches in glory,” sounds really good when the money is coming in steady and the economy is strong. We can smile all day long while we say that but what happens when you lose your job or the money doesn’t seem to come in as steady as it used to. Our prayers change from, “Thank you Jehovah Jireh,” to, “Lord I don’t know what I’m going to do.” We start looking for help in so many places but forgetting the action of standing on God’s word that says He will supply our need according to His riches in glory.
The scripture says, “We walk by faith and not by sight.” So how come when we can’t see the promises of God right away we start to lose our faith. If we are going to walk the walk we have to walk by faith. That is how we lead others to Christ. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me.” But when get to a trial we stop lifting Jesus up and start lifting up our problems. We should be praising God for supplying our needs when we lose our job. We should hold on to our joy even though the money is not there. We can do that because we trust God to do what He said He would do. We should hold on to our faith and praise God for what He is going to do in our life even though we can’t see it yet. The way you can make more disciples is by allowing people to see your struggle, to see what you don’t have, but then allowing them to still see your joy and peace in the midst of the storm. They should look at you praising God and say “I want whatever it is that they have. They’ve been out of work for over a year but they are not late on one bill and have never missed a meal. The God they serve must be some kind of wonderful.” The way you make disciples is by allowing them to see that you have given up your old ways and how God has prospered you in ways that you never could have imagined.
Walking the walk also means walking in lowliness and gentleness. That means if we want to lead others to Christ we need to humble ourselves and realize that we don’t have it all together. When some of us get saved we act as if we never sinned a day in our life and will never sin again. But the word of God says that all have sinned and fall short so we cannot look down on others just because they are not saved.
To be continued next week…