The Word at the Cross February 4, 2018

On Sunday
we discussed four facets of a winning strategy for the game of life from Peter’s example in Luke

Peter’s amazing success followed his obedience to Christ. We would be wise to follow his lead and adopt the winning strategy of obedience where we:

1. Obey Christ immediately and fully.

What would Peter have missed if he hadn’t obeyed? What if it was the miraculous catch of fish that opened Peter’s eyes to what Jesus could empower him to do, to become? What if he hadn’t had that experience? I doubt we would be
reading in verse 11 that they left everything to follow Jesus as His disciples. We see in Luke 5 that obedience to God will open the way for miracles to flow, and it will open the way for us to be directed by God into places and spaces where we can have a fuller impact for the Kingdom of God. Peter not only obeyed immediately, but he also obeyed fully. He didn’t just get the boat back out and pick the fishing spot he had always fished or the one he thought could possibly be a good one, but he went to the spot Jesus had requested. The deep water.

Secondly, Peter utilized the strategy of pushing past obstacles in order to experience great victory.

2. Push past obstacles.

In order to have a winning day, Peter had to push beyond some personal challenges. He had already fished all night and caught nothing. Just think about where that puts a person emotionally. To expend all that effort and all that time and have nothing to show for it could really impact your affect. We cannot give in to despair or defeat. We are called to live the life of an overcomer, but many times we live life overcome. Romans 8:37 tells me we are more than conquerors. We have to learn to push past moments of defeat. Don’t let a moment become a mountain.

Peter also had physical challenges to overcome. He had to have been tired after pulling an all-nighter on the lake. There will be times when our physical bodies place restrictions on us and we need to take time to rest or heal, and there are other times when we will need to push past an ache or a pain in order to get out into the deep. A winning strategy will include a tenacity to push beyond personal and physical challenges.

One way we learn to push past obstacles is to draw strength and gain help from others around us. I see this in Peter’s story. He relied on some other people when he got in over his head. Peter utilized strategic partnerships in order to experience and manage a great victory.

3. Form strategic partnerships.

I don’t know exactly how many people were with Peter during his all-night fishing expedition, but Matthew’s Gospel tells us his brother, Andrew, was there, and verse ten of Luke 5 tells us James and John, the Sons of Zebedee, were there as Peter’s partners. Verse nine also speaks of companions that were with Peter.

I don’t know if Peter had to do some convincing to get the other folks psyched up to go back out with him into the deep, but they went with him. It wasn’t just Peter in the boat. Whoever went with him had the same emotional and physical challenges to overcome, and they made the effort to support Peter’s commitment to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. They didn’t try to talk him out of going back out.

Verses 6 and 7 tells us that Peter’s partners became very important in that overwhelming and miraculous moment because they had to signal to their partners to bring the other boat to them in order to keep their boat from sinking and in order to be able to haul in all of the fish they caught. Thank God for Peter’s partners.

Your friends, your business partners, even your family, can make you or break you in many circumstances. Who you surround yourself with, in your inner circle, needs to be strategic. You need people in your life who will support your desire to have God as the Master of your life. Don’t let anyone talk you out of obeying Jesus.

4. Put your full trust in Jesus.

No one living in the world for the things of the world would tell Peter to quick work on the heels of his greatest business success. But Peter and his partners saw an opportunity to partner with Someone who could take them here they had never been and use them beyond what they could ever dream. He saw a different dimension to living, a deeper reality. He believed that life with Jesus could be better than life on his own. He believed that a spiritual life with Jesus was better than his best day at work.

This text isn’t about walking away from worldly success, but it is about desiring to give your all to Jesus and to respond to His invitation no matter what that invitation requires or where it leads. It’s about trusting Jesus so fully that if He asked you to leave it all, you would be able to lay down whatever, wherever, and whenever to follow Jesus.  That attitude is a winning strategy.

Winning, for me, is walking so closely with God that when I hear His instructions, I have the faith to obey and that when I receive His invitation to a new way to impact people for the Kingdom that I trust Him enough to follow.

Have a question?

Please contact any of our ministry leaders with any questions.

Lead Pastor
Pastor Melissa Pratt
Connections Pastor
Pastor Thom Pratt
Worship & Arts Pastor
Pastor Mandy Bohm
Youth Pastor
Pastor Jed Worline
Children’s Pastor
Pastor Megan Cloninger
Support Ministries Pastor
Pastor Brenda Kraft
Financial Secretary
Ralph Jones