This morning, I preached a different perspective of Luke 5:1-11 in comparison to an outline I have preached everywhere else for the last 11 years. As I was reflecting on seasons in our ministry since our first service in January 2017, I have noticed that the first Sunday after school is back in session is always a relaunching pad for us. With that in mind, I went to the one passage in Scripture where I remember the word “launch” very clearly. Jesus told Simon Peter to launch out into the deep for a large catch of fish. If I were to clarify the vision for this season of ministry for Overcomers Church, it would be “launch out into the deep” – deeper evangelism, deeper outreach, deeper intentional relationships with people (specifically those without Christ – not engaging in their activity but loving them where they are), deeper discipleship, deeper commitment, deeper organization, deeper worship, etc.
As I reflected and prayed over this passage of Scripture this week, I saw three levels of commitment in this passage. I asked us to analyze ourselves individually and collectively as a local body of Christ.
- Am I a spectator? Some of us are like the ones who came to hear Jesus preach. We’re curious. It’s a good Southern custom. We like the Sunday morning show. We like the pastor’s “talks”. We like to listen and watch, but that’s it. Don’t ask us to get wet or dirty. Spectators are just there to enjoy the experience.
- Am I semi-skeptical? I’m not talking about those who are not convinced that Jesus is the only way to salvation. I’m talking about those in the church who have enough faith to keep them out of hell but not enough faith to believe God for healing, provision, growth, intervention, breakthrough, etc. Many have saving faith but not sustaining nor serving faith. Simon Peter was a professional fisherman who knew the strategies of catching fish. When Jesus challenged his method, he was skeptical.
- Am I surrendered? While they were somewhat skeptical, they still obeyed. I want you to see some characteristics of surrendered people: they know they cannot grow alone (v. 7) – these guys recruited help because their catch of fish broke the net, and it was enough to cause two boats to sink. They are humble enough to admit they are wrong and repent of their wrong mindset, attitude, and actions (v. 8) – Simon Peter came back to Jesus and asked forgiveness for his lack of faith. Surrendered people know their mission – make disciples, baptize, and teach (v. 10). Surrendered people also leave distractions to follow Christ (v. 11).
Are you a spectator, semi-skeptical, or surrendered? I hope you are the third. To what kind of body of believers do you belong – the spectators, semi-skeptics, or the surrendered? Once again, I hope it’s the third. You can’t help the way your other Christian brothers and sisters are, but you can choose to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer. Don’t let others set your temperature. You change your atmosphere.