Starting December 5th, service times are moving to Sundays at 8:30, 10, & 11:30 am!


Thursday, February 1st
By: Chrissy Cooney
Matthew 4:12-25

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
    the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
    Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people living in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
    a light has dawned.”[a]
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Jesus Heals the Sick
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[b] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Imagine with me what it was like to experience the personal calling of Jesus to come and follow Him.  To be standing there by the water, sweaty from working, the smell of fish in the air - and then Jesus enters the scene. What was it like to be recognized, chosen, and invited by Him?  The truth is - we are just like them. He has chosen and invited us and how we respond is entirely up to us. I don’t know about you, but I want to be like these guys in my response.

Jesus called to them and they immediately left their tools, their livelihood, their family, and followed Him. They left it all. This isn’t the kind of “follow me” that is asking them to go along to the next city, it’s a call to leave the old life behind and follow Jesus into the new. We may not be called to leave jobs or family, but we are called to leave our old lives and become followers of Christ – it’s a call to enter the discipleship program offered by Jesus. It’s an individual call, and each of us must choose how we will respond.

Will we leave our old lives and follow Him? Will we put Him before everything else in this world? And if our answer is YES, then there is the promise, “I will make you fishers of men.” When we love God and love people, when we shift from self-preservation to servant leadership, Jesus can and does use us to introduce others to a relationship with Him. When people see Jesus in us, they are drawn to Him; fished from the sea of sinners by His Grace and Redemption and brought into the Life that He offers. Thank You Lord, for calling us to follow You!

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