Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, March 17 - Follow Immediately

“And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” — Matthew 4:19-20 (ESV)

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As a basketball coach and someone who enjoys athletics, I love picturing Jesus as our head coach. Players look to their head coach for guidance, instruction and encouragement. The head coach must also find ways to motivate and administer discipline. Head coaches are ultimately responsible for selecting or recruiting their teams, and each player is responsible for fulfilling their role.

In Matthew 4, Jesus’ earthly ministry is about to begin. It’s important to note that He is God and doesn’t need us, but He does allow us to play a part and fulfill our roles. In today’s Bible verse, we learn that Jesus is getting ready to select His team. His mission is to train, lead, instruct, motivate and guide 12 ordinary men to do some extraordinary work. He calls His first four guys. All four are fishermen, and you can read the account of these four men in Matthew 4:18-22: Peter, Andrew, James and John.

What I love about this process is the response from all four of these men. Here they are as fishermen; it’s their occupation. Their identity. Who they are and what they do. Jesus saw something way more in these guys. He knows their potential and what He could do through them for the Kingdom. He says to them in Matthew 4:19 (ESV), “’Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” Here’s their response: “Immediately, they followed him.”

Immediately! What a response. They didn’t think about it. They didn’t go home and talk it over with their families. They didn’t ask their dad what to do. They didn’t say, “Can we get back to you?” They didn’t make any excuses. They didn’t say, “Can I pray about it and call you in a week?” They had their answer. They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

What about us? What about me? God calls us to a certain task, ministry, occupation, etc. We are approached for a specific assignment and we know it’s what God would have us do. Do we immediately obey? Do we immediately follow?

I’m afraid that, if you are anything like me, our response isn’t always immediate. We delay. We overthink the situation. We contemplate and even struggle with our decision. I’ve learned that God wants us to say “yes” even before we know His question. That’s what a true follower does. What a real disciple should do. They immediately follow Christ. Surrendering is saying “yes” to God before we know His question.

What happens when we delay our response to Christ? We start thinking of the unknown. We let fear creep in. We are afraid of the uncertainty rather than embracing the calling. We like our comfortable situation, our comfortable job, comfortable home, comfortable schedule and, ultimately, comfortable life. We like easy. At least I do. But easy doesn’t change us.

I read a quote that says, “We can either have easy or we can have growth; we can’t have both.” Let’s choose growth. Choose uncomfortable. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s when we change. That’s when we rely on Him rather than our own strength. God wants us to embrace the challenge. There’s no doubt that the journey will be difficult, but God promises to always be there with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. So when Christ asks us to follow Him, let’s do so immediately!

Prayer: “Dear God, may I immediately obey You and Your call on my life. I trust Your perfect plan and will. Please let my faith be bigger than my fear as I do my best to live for You.”

— Jim Good

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