Make 2017 the year of stepping out.

Stepping out of old habits, securities, and ways of doing things.

In Matthew 4:19-22, Jesus challenged Simon Peter and Andrew, two brothers who were doing their everyday fishing routine, to come and follow Him.  He challenged them to leave their known world of everyday routine, in exchange for the unknown world of “fishing for men” alongside Him.  A few verses later, Jesus encounters more fishermen, James and John, as they’re siting in the boat, and he calls to them as well. Jesus says:

“Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish [for people]. And they left their nets at once and followed Him. A little further up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father repairing their nets.  And he called them to come too, and they immediately followed Him, leaving the boat and their father behind.” // Matthew 4:19-22

Jesus brings meaning and purpose in waves of opportunities for refreshment to our everyday routines and meaningless tasks.  How does He do it?  He invites us to the live a devoted life that invites us to live a devoted life that involves a much bigger mission than ourselves.  He takes our everyday tasks of casting nets down for fish, and He comes in and casts vision for our lives.  He gives us something much bigger to believe in, pray for, and spend our life upon.  He invites us to give our time and transfer our energy to a much more worthy cause: people.

He didn’t invite these men to fish for a different kind of fish or offer them strategies of how to make more money in the market; He casted something much deeper into them, and it hooked into the center of their hearts.

He magnified a great need for people around them to know about the Great Hope of Jesus when He asked them to come and follow Him to fish for people.  He gave them eternal vision they could depend upon, something that they could trust was a worthy cause to spend their days on.  He also called them together, which is my favorite part of the whole passage.  He called them by two’s.  He went ahead and settled any question they could ask, and gave them the beautiful gift of community in one another, and because of that, they immediately followed Him.  They not only knew they could depend upon the cause of fishing for people, knowing that this would be a mission and great purpose that would not only count in this life, but also in the life to come.  And even further, He gave them each other to physically depend upon when they came to their breaking point and couldn’t walk any further themselves.  He never calls us to be alone or to go alone.

Friends, we can make 2017 a year of something so much greater than what we could draw up ourselves if we will lift our eyes from our everyday routines, habits, and securities, and look ahead to see where He is calling is.  What is He calling you to give up or set aside for a season?  Who has He softened your heart for?  Who has He placed in your life for you to walk out your faith with?  Dig deeper, press into more of Him, and make your life about fishing for people, because friends – it is a sure, worthy, and confident mission to devote your 2017 to.  Don’t be afraid, He goes before you, and He has more for you than for you to sit in your comfortable boat repairing your nets.  He has something new to offer.  He has more of Himself to show you. Declare that 2017 is going to be a year of diving into community and loving the lost people around you like never before!

Shae // @shaetate

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