7-6 I Have Decided

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listen not
Listen to I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Then He said to them [Simon Peter and Andrew], “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt. 4:19)

Andrew was Peter’s brother and a disciple of John the Baptist. When he learns about the “Lamb of God”, he immediately tells his brother, Simon Peter, “We have found the Messiah” (Jn. 1:29-42). Jesus finds Simon Peter and Andrew engaged in their business of fishing when He calls them to “Follow me.” Up until this day, these brothers were casual followers, but now Jesus is offering them the opportunity to become His friends, His constant companions. Before they could be released into ministry, they had to learn what it meant to follow Jesus. They had to learn to deny themselves and take up their cross daily (Lk. 9:23). They followed Jesus. They heard His Word and watched His miracles. First hearers then preachers; first witnesses then proclaimers. Andrew carried the Gospel message to many parts of Asia. Like his brother Peter, he, too, was crucified on a cross, tied upside down. It has been said that Andrew praised the cross as a symbol of Christ’s redemption, “O blessed Cross . . .  Take me, carry me far from men, and restore me to my Teacher.”

Jesus found these disciples fishing on the shores of Galilee when He called them. He often finds us when we are engaged in our daily business. When we answer His call, it is a call to Him. He does not call us to do this—or not to do that. He calls us to “Follow Me.” The fishermen cast their nets into the sea, gathered their catch, repaired their nets, and repeated the process. The sea represents our troubled and evil world. The fish are the souls of men that must be caught and taken from it. The net is the church. A net with meshes too wide will give sinners a painless passage through it. Meshes woven too tightly need frequent repair. Such nets are easily broken and quickly become useless. Through discipleship and fellowship, brotherly love and Christian care, the church’s job is to close the net upon those that have been caught and lead them into a closer walk with the Lord.

Do you know what it means to follow Jesus? Are you a casual follower of Jesus or His constant companion? Right now, today, won’t you make a commitment to follow Jesus and become a fisher of men? Set your mind to carry forth the Gospel message, courageously announcing its truth by word and deed, no matter what the cost. Agree with the Lord that “My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus; no turning back, no turning back.”