Gabriel's Horn, Pastor Tim, February, 2011

posted Feb 19, 2011, 12:15 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Feb 19, 2011, 12:31 PM ]
Reprinted from the February,  2011  Newsletter, Gabriel's Horn
Pastor Tim

     Jesus calls each one of us to be his modern day disciples.  Each of the four gospels depicts Jesus calling his disciples to follow him.  There is something unsettling about the way Jesus calls his disciples.  Jesus spots some fishermen “casting a net into the sea” and calls out to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19)  What I find amazing is that the fishermen respond immediately, drop their nets, and in one case leave their father in the boat and follow Jesus.

             Of course what we do not know is that God had been working in their lives preparing them for that moment.  When Jesus called them, they were ready to respond.  Almost twenty years ago I took a group of people to the Billy Graham Crusade in Philadelphia.  When Dr. Graham gave the invitation, thousands of people all over Veteran’s Stadium got up out of their seats and went forward.   I was touched by how many people responded.  The truth is that God had been working in their lives leading them to that moment.  Like the disciples of old, they responded by saying yes to Jesus.

             God is at work in our lives as well.  God never wastes an experience.  Only God can take all of our experiences and transform them into something good.  The Apostle Paul knew this was true in his own life as he wrote these words, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)

             As disciples we learn from Jesus.  It is commonly accepted that the original twelve disciples traveled with Jesus for three years.  Most likely they were with him every day.  They learned from him. They watched how Jesus responded to persons in need and even those who disagreed with him. As modern day disciples, we too continue to learn from Jesus.  We learn by spending time reading our Bibles and being in conversation with other believers.  We encourage one another to greater faithfulness.

             Sometimes we get discouraged.  There were times when the disciples did not understand Jesus.  There were other times when they failed him.  In our own walk of faith there might have been times when we were not too proud of our actions.  There might have been times when we knew that we should have spoken up, defended or helped another person; but for whatever reason we did not.   Jesus still loves us.  Even at those times when we stray, Jesus calls us to get behind him, to take the position of a disciple, and follow him.

             The twelve disciples experienced God’s grace as they followed Jesus.  Never once did Jesus say to any of the disciples that they could no longer follow him because they made a mistake or they failed to do the right thing.  Jesus was patient with the disciples.  He continued to love them and teach them.  We too are showered by God’s grace—a grace that covers all our sins and short comings.

             In time the disciples would go out into all the world proclaiming Jesus is Lord of all.  Once they received the Holy Spirit, there would be no stopping them.

             We surrender our lives to Jesus; we get behind him, willing to follow wherever he may lead us.  I believe that God has been at work in our lives, preparing us for this moment in time.  Jesus calls us and we respond by following.

See you in church where we continue to follow Jesus.

Your Pastor,

Tim Smith