15 December 2017

RPM 3

RPM is designed as a motivational tool for people who live in the fast lane. Its purpose is to challenge us into becoming intentional in our witness to others.

Each month we are challenged to:

Read a particular text.

Pray into situations.

Move into the opportunities that God gives us.

Over ten issues of ‘Rejoice Always’ we are going to study Luke 5 verses 1-11 and see what we can glean in regards to a lifestyle of evangelism.

READ:

Our text is Luke Chapter 5 verses 1–11.

V2 “… The fishermen had gone from their boats and were washing their nets.” Firstly, we must remember that this is a true story and not a parable, however, by using it as an illustration (the boat being the church) there are a few points that come to mind:

1. There is no better place to fish from than the ‘church’ boat. With all the best intentions in the world, evangelism that is not done through the context of the local church can leave a trail of decisions without discipleship. Even before we look outside the walls (and we should!), a vibrant church family provides a wealth of opportunities for outreach including some that are often overlooked such as weddings, funerals, dedications and baptisms.

Michael Green, in his book ‘Evangelism through the Local Church’ writes, “I am convinced that there is no evangelical force so powerful as a loving, outward-looking church.”

2. Statistics show that people are leaving the church at an alarming rate yet many are still professing to be Christians. This produces a vacuum in the church, people leave and no one steps in to fill the void. Just as fishing boats need fishermen, every believer is needed in a local church. Also those who leave the church have limited opportunities to exercise their gifting. The Bible teaches that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to edify the church and glorify Christ. Too much time outside the boat will also produce rebels instead of disciples. Belonging to a local church puts each of us under authority, something that is incredibly important for spiritual growth.

3. And finally; the fishermen in our story leave their primary calling as they become distracted by secondary issues. We can convince ourselves of the importance of cleaning and mending nets but this can never be done at the expense of the practice of fishing. With evangelism we can become easily distracted, focusing and talking on the issues around it without casting out our nets. This year in the ‘Crown Jesus’ office we have a little motto, “The main thing, is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

In Luke chapter 7, when John the Baptist’s disciples asked Jesus, “Are you the one?” Jesus didn’t reply with a long list of clean doctrines and theology but rather He told them, “Go and tell John what you see.”

Jesus didn’t show them a list of beliefs, or a college certificate but rather He displayed to them the actions of Christianity… May each of us be motivated to the practice of fishing for men.

PRAY:

Heavenly Father we pray that each of our churches would become a centre of excellent evangelism. We pray also for those whom we know are Christians but have left the church boat. We ask that Your Holy Spirit would lead them into a Bible believing church and empower them for service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

MOVE:

If you feel you have been sidetracked by other things; Stop! Don’t waste your time mending nets if God has called you to fish for men. Make preparation for change and act on it. Remember Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers if men.” How will we become fishers of men? By following Jesus.

MITCH