Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World

Come Follow Me

January 26, 2021 Pastor Dave Tucker Season 5 Episode 7
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Come Follow Me
Chapters
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Come Follow Me
Jan 26, 2021 Season 5 Episode 7
Pastor Dave Tucker

Jesus calls each and every one of us to come and follow Him. Along with that call, Jesus gives us a job to do for further His Kingdom. 

Originally presented January 24th 2021 
Based on Mark 1:14-20 and Jonah 1-4

Show Notes Transcript

Jesus calls each and every one of us to come and follow Him. Along with that call, Jesus gives us a job to do for further His Kingdom. 

Originally presented January 24th 2021 
Based on Mark 1:14-20 and Jonah 1-4

COME FOLLOW ME
Mark 1:14-20; Jonah 1-4

Today, I will be telling two contrasting stories from the Bible. Since this is a devotional format, I get the liberty of changing things up a little bit. I will be giving the scriptural references for your personal study before each story, but these references will be for your own study and contemplation. I will only be telling you these stories and it will be up to you to ask yourself how you engaged with the stories. I WILL be giving you journal prompts at the end to help you get started. I will tell you that my thesis statement for today’s devotion is, “Jesus calls each and every one of us to come and follow Him. Along with that call, Jesus gives us a job to do for further His Kingdom. 

Our first story is found in Mark 1:14-20. Jesus’ cousin John had just been arrested. John had been preparing the way for Jesus by proclaiming, “Repent, be baptized, for the Kingdom of God is near!” This story begins with Jesus continuing John’s proclamation, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As you can probably imagine, Jesus drew quite the crowd with this message. I am certain that people were drawn by that message that seemed to God’s chosen people a continuation of the message started by John the Baptist. Perhaps there were some who were asking, “This message got John the Baptist arrested, wonder what’s going to happen to this new teacher?” 

As Jesus walked, proclaiming this message, with masses of people already starting to follow Him, he came up on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. There he saw two young men Simon and his brother Andrew. They were casting their net into the shallow water in hopes of catching fish. Now these weren’t your casual fishermen, out on a relaxing weekend excursion of fishing. This was their livelihood. They sold their fish to the market to put food on the tables for their families. I can imagine in my mind’s eye Jesus using the ol’ fisherman’s greeting though, “‘Dja catch anything?” And perhaps Simon, having heard that greeting a million times before, rolled his eyes. Then something amazing and miraculous happened. Jesus, said, “Come and follow me and I will teach you how to fish for people!” Scripture tells us that IMMEDIATELY, the brothers left their nets and followed Jesus. No questions asked… They. Just. Followed.

A little further down the shoreline there were two other young men, James and his brother John. Now these guys were bad hombres. At least they constantly fought and argued with each other. Perhaps these were the kind of guys that you would see on an old western movie, in a bar, breaking a chair over someone’s head. I dunno… I do know this, Jesus later nick named them, the “Sons of Thunder.” They were always ready for a rumble! Anyway, on this day, something wonderful and miraculous happened. Jesus looked at these brothers, sitting in the boat, mending nets, and invited them to also follow Him. And they IMMEDIATELY left their father, Zebedee, with the hired help to follow Jesus. No questions asked… They. Just. Followed.

My second story is found in the entire book of Jonah chapters 1-4. Today I will be focusing on Chapters 1-3. I will be focusing on Chapter 4 during the Lenten season, so you will want to be on the lookout for that. The story begins with a prophet of God named Jonah. Now Jonah, had already been called of God and to be called a prophet, somewhere along the way, he had to have said yes to the call of God to follow. Whatever the situation surrounding the call was, this much we know. One day, God called Jonah to make a pilgrimage to Nineveh. The mission, to give the people of Nineveh a message. The message was that “God had seen the wickedness of that city and had heard the cries of her victims and it was time for judgement.” So, Jonah went and packed up his things and went to ship docks of Joppa and boarded a ship heading for… you ready for this? TARSHISH! Not only did Jonah refuse the call, he intentionally got on the wrong boat heading, in the wrong direction, to the wrong city! THE NERVE! Now as a prophet of God, surely Jonah knew that you can’t run and hide from God. But he sure tried!

As soon as Jonah boarded the ship, he went down to his cabin, curled up in his comfy bed, pulled the covers up to his head and fell fast asleep. Meanwhile, the crew on the deck were dealing with a storm of Titanic proportions! The waves were so high and the wind was so strong, the crew started to become concerned that this ship would break apart. They all started praying to their gods to save them. When that didn’t work, they started tossing cargo overboard to lighten the load of the ship. That is when the captain of the ship noticed Jonah, sleeping… not a care in the world. As you can imagine, the captain screamed at him. “DUDE!” “What the hey!” “We are dealing with the storm to beat all storms and here you lay in this boat asleep?! Shouldn’t you be praying to your God?!” Get your sorry behind up and pray to your God, perhaps your God will have mercy on us and save us. So, Jonah reluctantly crawled out of bed and just sat there. The sailors all knew that this was not just any storm… this was a storm brought on by some supernatural force and they were going to find out who was responsible! Scripture tells us that the sailors cast lots… I don’t know exactly what casting lots entailed. Perhaps it was like ‘rock paper scissors’ or maybe it included dice. Or maybe it had something to do with picking straws… the one who got the short straw was the one responsible. I don’t exactly know. This much I do know. The casting of the lots pointed directly at Jonah! Then the sailors were like “DUDE!” “What the hey?!” It was only then that Jonah spoke up. “You are right, I am Hebrew and I serve the God who created the heavens and the earth. This storm is because of me. I was supposed to be on another ship heading to Nineveh. You see, I’m running away from this God” At that news, the crew of the ship became terrified! They were much more afraid of this God than they were of the storm at this point! 

Jonah informed them that if they just tossed him overboard, the sea would calm down and they would be saved. So, after much debate, and even trying to row the ship to shore, the crew of the ship picked Jonah up by his suspenders (They didn’t have a plank for him to walk) and they tossed him overboard. Immediately the storm subsided and a big fish came along and swallowed Jonah whole! Who says the Bible is boring! After being in the fish, much longer than Jonah would have liked, (And believe me, Jonah was praying the entire time) The fish swam up to the shore of Nineveh and belched him out on dry land.

Jonah walked around inside the city proclaiming, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” The people of Nineveh believed God and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth and begged God for forgiveness. The King of Nineveh also removed his robe, put on sackcloth and sat in ashes. The king sent out a proclamation: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.”

You know what? Scripture tells us that “when God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.”

Here are your journal prompts for this devotional: Please continue your 5 daily gratitudes. Do you feel Jesus calling you to follow Him? Who do you relate to most? The disciples? Jonah?