Sunday, January 08, 2012

Sunday's Sermon Notes

I wanted to start a new feature on my blog called Sunday's Sermon Notes.  These will be notes that I have taken during the sermon that is given at the church I attend by the various pastors.  This serves a couple of purposes.  One, it helps me to review and remember what was said, and two, it gives me a chance to share with you, my readers, the notes taken.  I will be including the link to the podcast for the sermon given as soon as it's available, as well as the community group questions that are printed out for us to use in our community groups. (Our version of small group study groups.)  I hope you enjoy this new feature, but most of all I pray God will use it to whatever degree to further His purpose and His kingdom.

The sermon today was the second in the series entitled "In His Image: Becoming More Like Jesus" and covered Matthew 4:18-22 and Luke 5:1-11.

One of the first things that Pastor Bill brought to our attention was that this was two separate times represented in the Bible, whereas I thought they were a single time told from two points of view.  Pastor Bill said that call to Peter and the others by Jesus in Matthew was the first call and the call in Luke a "recall".  Another way to look at it was that in Matthew, the response by Peter, Andrew, James and John to Jesus' call to "Follow Me" was an "immediate" following.  They left everything and followed Jesus.

However, in the passages in Luke, there is a different response.  Once Peter realizes the divinity of Jesus by the miraculous catch of fish, Peter falls to his knees (in the piles of smelly fish) and tells Jesus to "Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!"  Jesus tells them to not be afraid, for now they would be fishers of men.  This time when they arrive on shore, all four leave their boats full of fish, and truly follow Him.  Pastor Bill called this the "complete" following

So what were some of the things learned today?  Here are three points taken from today's sermon.
  1. Jesus calls us into a relationship with Him not religion.  Christianity has always been about having a personal relationship with Christ whereas religion is something made by man; not by God.
  2. Jesus calls us to be with Him, and become like Him.  How is this done?  Back when the twelve walked with Jesus, he taught them, mentored them, showed them what to do.  Now we have the Bible to show us these things, to teach us how along with the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead us.
  3. Jesus calls us to follow Him fully, not partially. 
I have to admit that this last point is one that I am truly thinking about more and more.  I know that my surrender to Jesus back in 1997 was real and I was truly changed in that moment, but I am not sure if I fully follow Him.  To fully follow Him you need to love what He loves, hate what He hates and emulating Him.

I'll be honest, it's hard, but it is what we all have to do.

The last thing I took away from today's sermon was this:  If we want those surrounding us to be transformed by Jesus Christ, then we ourselves MUST be fully transformed by Jesus Christ.  I know that I am not yet at that point in my life but that is why I have chosen to follow through with my new year's resolution to do everything it takes to become more like Jesus Christ.

I'm not perfect in this; even today I was finding myself irritable and snappy, much to the determent of my family, but I will be continuing with this, or as some of my friends say, "keep on keeping on!" with this.  I hope you will as well with me.

Have a good day!


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