Two students named Andy and Pete stumbled upon a last minute opportunity to work on a fishing boat in the South. They had graduated and were interviewing for jobs in Miami when they met a guy in a restaurant who said he needed to downsize his business to pay for his daughter’s health treatment. Pete and Andy felt an “adventure” was in the making, so took the man up on his offer, and were soon in the charter fishing business.
They combined their resources to upgrade the boat, pay all the license fees, and started advertising their new business. They had been at it a few months and were just starting to make some big money to pay off their initial investment when a man walked up one day at the dock. As they were washing the boat, the man looked the rig up and down, and then complimented them on their work ethic. He introduced himself and invited them to join him on a new and better fishing venture. He said they would become richer than they ever imagine. The man did not pressure them, hand out a business card, direct them to a web site, or leave a phone number. He started walking away, saying he was looking for a few good men and women to broad his growing family business around the world.
Pete looked at Andy to see what he was thinking. Andy shrugged his shoulders as he looked back at Pete. “Okay,” said Pete, “We will join you.” Not wanting to waste any time (or even leave a “For Sale” sign), they turned their backs on their past and accepted the man’s challenge. There was just something about this guy that piqued their interest.
By now, you may recognize the call of Peter and Andrew placed in a more contemporary context. Imagine a modern day account of the Lord Jesus calling a few young people to become his followers. We know from history how dramatically their lives were changed, and that story has happened time and again to men and women down through the centuries. It is an event and process similar to how each of us responded to Jesus.
The first step we took was to respond to Jesus. John 1:12 says to all who believe and receive him, He gave the right to become children of God. We say yes to his offer of forgiveness and redemption through faith in Him. It is a decision rooted in the crucifixion of resurrection of Jesus, cemented by an empty tomb. He died to save mankind and He rose from the dead as a demonstration that His sacrifice has been accepted by the Father.
The second step on the journey is to start the process of becoming more like Jesus. He sat down his followers (read Matthew 5-7) and described what people of His kingdom looked like and acted. He modeled the character of God, lived a life of love, walked in the power of the Spirit, and called his disciples to imitate Him. Train = become.
The third step is to start experiencing our faith. When you test your faith, it will grow. It may be in choosing to assert your faith in Jesus and defend it. It happens by identifying with those who suffer, are poor, widows, orphans, or hurting. It develops as you practice Jesus’ teachings and walk humbly, live frugally, give generously, and model purity.
Walk wisely. I hope you have taken the first step. How are you doing with step two – the training? How are you experiencing your faith day by day? Keep following Jesus because His promise in Matthew 4:19 still stands.
Love is a verb,