15 December 2017

RPM – part 4

READ:

Our text is Luke Chapter 5 verses 1–11.

V4 “When Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’”

V5 “Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’”

I can hear the whispers amongst the fishermen, “Did you hear Him? A carpenter coming down here and telling us how to fish! My grandfather fished this lake, as did my father. I know these waters better than most and a ‘tourist’ from Nazareth wants to tell me about fishing. I don’t think they even have a river in Nazareth, never mind a lake!” Another one comments, “Fishing mid-day, in this heat! Madness. Does He think I fished all night because I was bored? Fishing in these parts is best done at sun down.”

Simon takes the role of spokesman. There is something in Jesus’ teaching that has captured his heart. He addresses Him as Master and begins to explain, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” There is a full stop; a pause… he intended to say no but he can’t refuse the request… what if…

What if? Now there is a great thought; two small, simple words that can drive us to prayer and stir us to evangelism. A neighbour is sick; what if you call to their home and pray? A colleague in work shows no interest in Christianity, what if I invite him to Alpha? My son said he will never set foot in church again, what if I asked him to read a Christian book? What motivates us to go beyond the obstacle? What made Simon obedient to the call? “But because You say so, I will let down the nets.” Because He said so. Why pray? Why evangelise? Because He said so.

Simon has been called by Jesus to fish at the most inconvenient time, but what if… He had a tired hungry crew of men but God calls them. God calls them not when it suits them best, but when it is His time. They obey and enter a Kairos moment. Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment.)

Sometimes evangelism must be done at the most inconvenient of times, it may involve sacrificing a Saturday morning with the family or Wednesday night when football is on T.V. Many churches build their outreach calendar around a time that suits them, but this must never be the case. Imagine a Search and Rescue team (think fire service) who will not answer 999 calls after 7.00pm or during meal times! In the same way our outreach must not be dictated by our comforts, it must always be lost centred not searcher centred.

Question: Why does the church often do more evangelism in the cold, dark winter months when everyone runs from the car to their front door and we seldom see our neighbours? Why do we stop our church organisation and outreach in the spring/summer months with the exception of 1 week of kids’ clubs?

Answer: Because it suits us.

But what if…What if?

PRAY:

Father God, help me see the Kairos moments. I pray that you would help me to discern the times and seasons, to hear the voice of your Son when He calls me to ‘let down the net’. Father, give me a greater sensitivity to your Spirit and His leading and grant that like Simon, I would be obedient to Your call. Father, I want to pray specifically for (you can name not-yet-Christian friend or family member here) and ask that your Holy Spirit would continue to work in their lives to bring them into a full revelation of Jesus and His justice, mercy and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

MOVE:

Simon responded to Jesus’ word. We cannot respond to that which we do not hear or understand. May each of us be moved into a position to hear from God’s word. Maybe have a more regular quiet time, join a home group, attend Bible college part-time, read more of the Bible and books that can inspire us to witness. Sometimes in a church meeting I need to move seats in order to hear the message clearly. May each of us be moved to hear from Jesus.

MITCH