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Posted: June 22, 2015 in TLCC
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Twitter was launched in 2006. Nobody was paying attention to it. Not Burger King, McDonalds, VW, KFC, Nike, Hyundai, Wendy’s.

One person, however, did use Twitter to change his address. How do you explain a dark-skinned guy with a Kenyan father and a middle name HUSSEIN elected president? Barack Obama tweets. (You know it’s the president’s personal tweets when posts are accompanied by his initials, BO).

Twitter only knows two categories: whom you follow, and who is following you.

The church has focused so much on the word “leader” and has ignored a word that is found hundreds of times…follower/disciple.

We will focus on who are you following. We are to follow Christ. What are the things we need to understand in following Him?

Read Luke 5:1-11; 27-32

#1 Having an Encounter with Christ (v3-8; 27)

3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

______

27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.”

Tale of two men. One a fisherman, and another a tax collector. Both of them stink. One stinks from manual labor, and the other stinks of corruption. Yet Jesus chose both men to be his disciples. His call was not just for the laborers. It was an extreme choice of choosing between a man who knows how to work with his hands and a man who knows what luxurious living is. Both men were sinners. Unclean. But they had an encounter with Christ and were never the same.

Simon had an encounter with Jesus in such a very dramatic moment. Imagine not catching anything at all but when Jesus came, he was able to catch a large number of fish that the nets were breaking. They would need help from their neighbors.

Levi (Matthew), on the other hand, did not have that miracle. All he had was Jesus asking him to “follow me”. Imagine what was in his mind. Jesus calling him meant giving up his profession. He was earning big time. He was saying goodbye to a life of comfort.

Both encountered Christ and responded.

Similar to us today, some of us would encounter Christ in a very miraculous way. Some of us encountered Jesus in a camp, or in an event, or when we were sick. Something that turned our world upside down. But some of us are like Matthew. Jesus asks us to follow him. Plain and simple.

Both men were sinners. Unclean. Same with us today, we are sinners, yet God calls us into His kingdom. He asks us to follow Him.

#2 Leaving Everything to follow (v11, 28)

11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

_______

28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.

The fishermen saw what Jesus can do. He can give them the biggest catch of their lives. Having seen a miracle, they immediately followed him.

Matthew left everything when Jesus called him. He rose, and followed. It was not…

“he rose, set his house into order, make arrangements to ensure the kids and a nice retirement plan…” but it was “he rose, and followed him”. That was with a sense of urgency. That was immediate.

There was no asking…”where are we going?” or “how long will the discipleship session be?” There was no questions with “how are we going to feed ourselves?” or “Lord, how about my family?” It is with faith, that they followed Jesus.

What is everything to them? Their jobs. Their families. Their comfort zones. Their lives. Everything they worked for. Everything they accumulated. Everything familiar.

Jesus calls us today. He calls us to follow Him. To leave everything.

What would it cost you?

To some of us, it would be our love life. To others, it’s our time. We are not going to be comfortable but we are following Christ.

If you knew what you are going to gain with Christ, you would understand why these men were just willing to let go of everything.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. – Jim Elliot

If you knew what you would be having, you would do the same.

#3 Using your Enterprise (resources) to reach out (29-32)

29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Matthew used his resources to throw a party and invite people in his house to meet Jesus. The pharisees (religious leaders) were there too.

Would we be caught dining with Janet Napoles? Or how about with the people we despise?

To Matthew, he used his resources to get people to know Jesus. Not just people…but the sinners.

Question.

Do we do the same with our resources? Or do we only love those who love us back? How much of our resources is actually God’s? Do you know how much it is to run a small group? Do you know how costly it is to disciple a person?

Until you come to that point of surrendering everything, including your money, and your resources, you really are not following.

That’s why there’s a saying…put your money where your mouth is.

In following Christ, it is going to be costly. It is going to take an encounter with Jesus to have us a change of heart. It is going to cost us everything and we do need to understand that giving up everything is necessary because we are going to get something better, way way better than what we have here on earth. This is just our temporary home. The best place on earth is nowhere compared to what we will have in eternity. Following Christ meant putting our enterprises (resources) into what we believe in. Do we really believe him? Then we must have act to match our faith.

If we don’t enjoy God on earth, we won’t enjoy him in heaven either.

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