by Pastor Matthew Bishop
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At once they left their nets and followed him (Matthew 4:20).
Wow, I was blessed on my birthday this year! The water was as smooth as glass at the beautiful Venus Bay on the western Eyre Peninsula. I baited up and threw my fishing line out. Bang! Immediately, I got the first King George Whiting for the boat for the day – a ‘huge’ keeper. We had our bag limit by lunch. It’s only now, as I’ve read today’s verses, I realise how inconvenienced I would have been had Jesus walked out to me that morning and asked me to come and follow him.
It can be more than just inconvenient being chosen by God for his mission. On Tuesday, we had the commemoration of St Paul’s conversion. ‘I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’, said the Lord as he prepared the terrified Ananias to receive Saul, as Paul was still known then (Acts 9:16). ‘When you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go’, said Jesus as he reinstated Peter after a post-resurrection fishy breakfast (John 21:18).
Why would anyone follow Jesus?
It’s because it’s good news that he proclaims, isn’t it? Astoundingly good news. And that good news makes a life-giving call on our lives, doesn’t it? ‘Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people … people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralysed; and he healed them’ (Matthew 4:23,24). We are children of the promise. The Holy Spirit has lodged his promise of life, healing and salvation in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:21,22). We know it’s true. We want others to know that too. Simple as that, isn’t it?
What costs, inconvenience and pain of service in God’s mission have you been counting and need to repent of? Where can you serve anew or share his gospel promise?
Lord Jesus, thank you for your call to repentance and for bringing your kingdom of forgiveness, life and salvation to us. Forgive me for counting the cost. Graciously inconvenience me every day for the sake of your gospel so that someone else can also receive your glorious promises. Grant this by your Holy Spirit’s faithful work in my life. Amen.