Matthew 4:11-22 “INTENTIONAL Faith Development” BRUMC October 25, 2009
11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. 12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 15 "Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." 17 From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." 18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
In the Peanuts cartoon series, Lucy is in business as a psychiatrist. “Advice—5 cents,” says her sign. Charlie Brown is her client. Charlie Brown woefully asks Lucy’s advice on finding meaning in life. Using the metaphor of the bow of a large boat, Lucy responds, “Some people go through life with their deck chair facing backwards, looking at where they’ve been.” Then she asks,” Charlie Brown, which way is your deck chair facing?” Charlie Brown concludes sadly, “I really don’t know—I’ve never been able to get my deck chair unfolded!”
When we can’t make sense of life, or future, even the present..
we experience chaos, frusitration, and fear.
To find our course toward God begs one of two methods:
· Trial and Error with a hope that we eventually find God.
· Intentionally set the coordinates of our faith toward the things of God with a specific intent.
From time to time we try the purposeless wandering. It is attractive because of its lack of commitment and responsiblity. We will head home our boat, if and when we want to.. But eventually the shore begs us home or the waters toss us so much we are helpless to them.
I have always been intreaged by Matthew’s account of Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John’s IMMEDIATE response to follow Jesus. Did they know him? Were they under a charismatic spell?
Q:What makes you immediately leave work and family to follow anyone.
Does it take disaster to motivate us to action for Jesus Christ?
911 took people to actions beyond family and work.
Katrina empasioned people to leave and go serve…
I think not. It calls for regular, intentional choosing of our direction, purpose, meaning. Whichever term: “Choosing this day whom we serve”
We must not lose sight of the term “intentional.” There is intentionality in purpose. Paul tells the Philippians, “Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for win the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (3:12-14).
Faith development must be intentional because faith development requires discipline. Too often in life the temptation is to take it easy, to relax, and to take the path of least resistance. But without Intentional Faith Development, we cannot find our God-designed purpose, because the only way we can discover that is to have a relationship with God in Jesus Christ. IF WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR CHRIST, we will become lost.
SO WHAT: Pray with–, Study with–, Search with–. Live with Intent.