20 September 2017

RPM part 9

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.

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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:

Verse 11

…they forsook all, and followed him.

I remember almost 20 years ago watching a fuzzy VHS recording of Katherine Kuhlman, an evangelist who ministered in the 1960’s and 70’s. This particular recording, if my memory serves me right, was from an arena in Toronto, September 1973 the same year and month that I was born.

Much controversy followed her ministry but that one recording left a powerful imprint on me. She seemed to know the Holy Spirit in an intimate way and at one point she said this, “Do you really want to know the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?“ She repeated the question again to the audience before giving the answer, “It will cost you everything. I could take you to the place where Katherine Kuhlman died… not some of self and some of thee but none of self and all of thee.” That message still gives me goose bumps.

Let me ask you a few questions:

How much do we really want to see the Holy Spirit work through our lives?

How much do we desire a revival of holiness?

How much do we want to see effective evangelism that will transform communities, even cities?

It will cost us everything. Not some of self and some of thee but none of self and all of thee.

These fishermen left their business, their communities, their families and homes to follow Jesus. They forsook all.

When Jesus calls, He demands everything; but only because He has already given everything. He calls us to a Christ-filled life, one where He takes priority over all things.

In Luke 14:26 we read this:

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.”

Now at first this passage seems a little difficult to contemplate, but when we look at it in line with the rest of Jesus’ teaching, He is simply saying this:

“If you want to be my disciple, if you want to follow me you need to give me such pre-eminence in your life that it almost seems like you hate everyone else by comparison.”

He doesn’t want us to hate anybody; He simply wants our very best. He wants us to forsake all and follow Him. Now what does this mean for us? Are we all as Christians to leave our homes, business and family in order for us to be effective for God? Certainly not! Jesus wants the attitude of our heart to be such that we are willing to hold all things with a ‘loose hand’ in order to grasp His.

In Genesis 22 God commands Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice, but after Isaac is bound to an altar, an angel of God stops Abraham at the last minute saying, “now I know you fear God”. God had no intention of seeing Abraham kill his son, but He wanted to test the sincerity of his heart.

God is first and foremost looking for a people who are prepared to count the cost. To spend an extra hour on their knees in prayer, give a little more of their income toward evangelism, walk a few more streets, talk up their faith and live a life that reflects the challenge that Katherine Kuhlman brought 38 years ago.

I dare you to do it. Forsake all and follow Christ.

Chris Bowater sums up the challenge beautifully in the words of his song,

“Here I am”.

Here I am, wholly available

As for me, I will serve the Lord

Here I am, wholly available

As for me, I will serve the Lord.

The fields are white unto harvest

But O, the labourers are so few

So Lord, I give myself to help the reaping

To gather precious souls unto You.

The time is right in the nation

For works of power and authority

God’s looking for a people who are willing

To be counted in His glorious victory.

As salt are we ready to savour?

In darkness are we ready to be light?

God’s seeking out a very special people

To manifest His truth and His might.

PRAY:

Father, today I lay down my finances, my family, my vehicle, my very life for You. I choose this day to put You first and in doing so I make You Lord over all of my life. Holy Spirit I crucify the flesh, I put to death the old man and ask that You will fill me anew and empower me for service. Father today I pray that You will use me as a witness and testimony to Your mercy and love. May Jesus be seen in me through my words, actions and deeds. Today I choose to live for You and to make myself wholly available to You. I ask this in Jesus name, for His glory and fame.

Amen.

MOVE

What has God been saying to you through this message? The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will be our teacher and guide (John 16:13), a guide who wants to lead us into truth. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your attention anything that you are holding too tightly? With His help make sacrifice and change.

See you on the lake!

Mitch