ALTAR CALL: Listening to God’s call
JESUS NEEDS HUMBLE, ordinary men and women who will give themselves to Him, so He can mould and shape them into whatever He wants them to become.
Reverend Joseph R. King declared this to his congregation at St Cyprian’s Anglican Church at 7th Avenue, Belleville, St Michael, during the 6:30 a.m. service last week Sunday.
His sermon was based on Matthew 4:12-23 and dealt with Jesus’ calling of His disciples and the patience it takes to follow Jesus.
King said it was “interesting to note” what kind of men Jesus’ disciples were.
“They were not men of great scholarship, or influence, or wealth, or social background. They were poor, simple working people with no great background, and certainly anyone would have said that they were persons with no great future.
“Surely there must be a reason why Jesus chose fishermen as opposed to persons of another profession. They recognised the authority that Jesus possessed and they chose to follow Him,” he said.
The cleric said many scholars had pointed out that those who were good at fishing must possess certain qualities which would make them equally good at catching people.
“First of all, they must have patience. Fishermen must learn to wait patiently until the fish takes the bait. If we are to bring people in, we will need to have patience. Very seldom in preaching or in teaching we will see quick results, so we must learn to wait.
“Or to put it another way, we must be like Job.
We must accept the plan that God has for our lives, so that in the end we will receive the best blessings from God. This may mean putting whatever occupation or vocation or role in life we have chosen to one side, so that our first priority is to fulfill the destiny God has planned for us.”
King said Jesus needed to be in Capernaum inorder to fulfill God’s plan for his life, and it was there that He called His disciples.
“He called each of them in the same way: ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people’. Immediately they followed him. They left the old behind. To be a disciple of Christ requires patience and it also requires letting go.”
He added that whoever wanted to follow Jesus must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Him.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake and the sake of the gospel will save it,” King quoted Jesus from Mark 8:34-35.
He added: “I really don’t believe that Jesus intends for us to just up and quit our jobs or turn our backs on our families. However, I do believe that He wants us to get our priorities right and reduce the influence and the pull that others have on our lives.
“Of course we would continue to love them and honour them. But when it comes to the major decisions of life, we should give our ultimate allegiance to God alone. Letting go in order to follow Christ is a part of God’s plan.”
King told his listeners that true living involved far more than making money or making a name.
“True living is about listening for God’s call, and immediately responding in order to fulfill His will for our lives. A true Christian will follow Jesus wherever He leads. When we go through the mountains and valleys in our lives, we need to stay close to Jesus and follow Him . . . .
“If we decide not to follow Jesus, we will never make any progress in our lives, and our lives will not have the meaning and purpose that God has in store for us.”
He concluded: “My prayer for us is that we will always immediately respond to Jesus when He bids us to follow Him. Let us always leave those people and things behind that will distract us from being fishers of men and from reaching those people who need to hear and understand the Good News.”
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