Are You Willing To Be A Good Follower?
Lesson Objective: God expects us to be good followers before we can be good leaders
Scripture: Matthew 4: 18-22
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.
It is interesting that great athletes no matter the sport have 3 things in common 1)They want to be the best that they can be and 2) They want to be coached and 3) They are good followers. While we may have our own style in doing something, we learn the basics from those who come before us. Some people have a certain arrogance that is reflected by their failure to be good followers and therefore they never find their true destiny. Many very talented athletes with natural ability become failures because they never accept coaching and think that they know it all. A certain amount of humility is necessary if we are to obtain our ultimate goal in life. The disciples became leaders because they humbled themselves before Christ and sought his teachings. The disciples said teach us how to pray and asked to be taught how to have more faith. Joshua was a great leader because he learned from Moses how to really trust in God.
Thought for the day: Remember it may be the first time that you traveled down this path but it is a path because someone paved the path for you.
What Are You Willing To Do?
Are you willing to step out of the boat?
Lesson Objective: Some people call it risk while others call it faith.
Scripture: Matthew 14: 28-30 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Several years ago I read a book entitled “If You Want To Walk On Water You Have To Step Out the Boat”. There is also a saying that the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result. Both are quite similar meanings when applied to our lives. Most of us are creatures of habit. We travel the same way to school or work each day. We eat the same basic foods each day. We find our comfort zone and never wander far from it. When my son was younger he always chose the same item on the menu; Bacon hamburger. It did not matter whether steak was on the menu or chicken or anything else, he only ordered bacon hamburger. Just think of the other options he missed because he was unwilling to go out of his comfort zone. It is like that for many of us today as God has many blessings for us but we miss out on them because we are unwilling to leave out of our comfort zone. We say we want something big to happen in our lives but we are unwilling to do something different. As I was reading an article the author made several observations. 1) Stepping out the boat is taking a risk 2) There will be storms 3) For most there is a degree of fear and uncertainty 4) Things will not always go smoothly 5) Christ is there. Christ is not in the boat with Peter and told him to go out alone. No, Christ was out of the boat and simply said “Come”.
Thought for the day: Begin today.
How much are you willing to risk?
Lesson Objective: To understand that life can have what many call risk
Scripture: Daniel 3L 16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.[c] 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.
Poker is an interesting game. It is not a game of pure chance but also a game where each player must determine how much risk they are willing to take to win, I have seen people lose money because they were unwilling to stay in the game and risk even more money and I have seen people lose money because of the risk that they chose to take. Many people would argue that risk is inherent in everything that we do and that some things are riskier than others. The three Hebrew boys appear to be willing to risk their lives to serve God. I would suggest the exact opposite. They understood that serving God offered no risk at all.. If God chose to save them, they would continue to live in captivity. If they died here on earth they would die serving their God. When faced with decisions, one can choose the risk or no risk at all. Serving God has zero risk for he has promised eternal life if we only trust and obey.
Thought for the day: Do not take the risk. Just do what is right
Are you willing to be the only one?
Lesson Objective: We must be willing to step out alone sometimes
Scripture: And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
The story of Columbus is retold numerous times in classrooms around the world. It is said that most people at the time of Columbus thought that the world was flat however Columbus set out to prove them wrong by setting out with three ships that reached what we now know as the Americas. While I am sure he had many distractors he was able to obtain financial backing and a group of men willing to travel with him. I think of this sometimes when I compare it to Noah. I am sure that Noah had distractors as well and many thought he was crazy as he built the ark without financial backing from anyone and no others willing to sail with him. Just Noah and his family. Noah was willing to pay the price of stepping out alone when listening to God. The Bible says that Noah was just and walked with God. There will be a time in life when we must not follow the crowd and stand alone in our beliefs in what we know is right. Our decision may not be popular with friends, associates or even family members but we must do what we believe is the right thing to do.
Thought for the day: Never allow others to dictate who you are
Lesson Objective: To understand the price we will have to pay to get what we want
Scripture: Matthew 20: 21-22 “What is it you want?” he asked.
She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
I can only imagine how the mother of James and John felt when addressing Christ about her two sons. But I think that if she really understood what she was asking she may not have been so bold. It is said that the difference between some winners and losers is what they are willing to do to be winners. Muhammed Ali said that he won the boxing match before he got into the ring. He won the match when he was running miles in the morning while others were sleeping. I oftentimes look at sports figures or other celebrities and think about how it would be to be famous like them or be as good at sports as them. I then turn over in the bed and get an extra 15 minutes of sleep (smile). The reality is that I am not so sure that I would be willing to do all that it takes. This is especially true without knowing exactly what it takes. I am not so sure that John and James would have been so quick to say “we can” if they really knew what Christ would have to suffer. I am almost certain of that because neither spoke up at the trials of Christ. We all have certain goals in life but the question is how far are we really willing to go to reach those goals.
Thought for the day: If you want more you must do more.