“As Jesus was going down the road He saw Matthew sitting in his tax-collection booth, ‘Come be My disciple,’ Jesus said. So Matthew got up and followed Him.” Matthew 9:9
Jesus taught in the Synagogue.
He travelled by boat over the Sea of Galilee.
He taught from the boat.
Many healings and miracles were carried out at Capernaum.
Are you being fed by a personal relationship with Jesus?
Are you taking Jesus the light of the world into the dark places ?
Are you being a Fisherman?
Take your God given gifts and let Jesus feed the people.
Simon Peter answered him Lord to whom shall we go? YOU have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the holy One of God
You must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer if necessary to share the Good News. 2 Timothy 1:8
Daniel stood out because of his professional competence, his personal character, and his public commitment to God - so much so that he survived three kings and two empires. At the age of 82, he was still in demand and being promoted. Daniel’s success made others around him jealous.
When a group of them conspired against him, Daniel continued to pray and be faithful to God.
“I have heard that the Spirit of God is in you, that you possess brilliant knowledge and extraordinary wisdom.” Daniel 5:14
Daniel was known for his wisdom and knowledge. The measure of a person’s success can usually be evaluated by their reputation. When we need help with something we want to call on the people who know the most about what’s puzzling us.
Daniel was called on to “interpret dreams, explain the meaning of mysteries and solve difficult problems” (Daniel 5:12) and he was known as having the Spirit of God in him.
We can learn from Daniel, a man of integrity who put into practice what he learned and honoured God with his life.
“If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Luke 16:11
Success tests our character.
Success raises in us questions of pride and humility.
As the leader of the Babylonian empire, King Nebuchadnezzar was the most successful man in the world at that time (Daniel chapter 4). But with pride, ego, and arrogance, he took all the credit for his success and never acknowledged God’s role in his life.
Nebuchadnezzar’s story helps us see some of the potential pitfalls that come with success, and how we can avoid them.
“As soon as the music starts, you are to bow down and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Anyone who does not bow down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Daniel 3:5b-6 (Good News Bible)
Movies and sports teams give us plenty of people to idolise. Social media shows us how to make ourselves appear greater than we are. But God tells us He is to have first place in our lives. When confronted with social pressure to conform to the world’s standards, God is there to defend us when we believe in Him and declare our allegiance to Him. Trusting God frees us, gives witness in the world around us, and grows our faith.
“Always remember what you have learned. Your education is your life, so guard it well.” Proverbs 4:13 (Today’s English Version)
Most people don’t care what we believe. But there are a vocal few who want to belittle our faith. Daniel gives us an example of someone who was indoctrinated against God’s teaching for three years, yet he grew in God’s wisdom and understanding. His advice was ten times better than all the king’s other advisors (see Daniel 1).
Proverbs 23:23 tells us to “invest in truth and wisdom, discipline and good sense, and don’t part with them” (Contemporary English Version). Good counsel for all God’s life long learners.
“Lord, I want to live a blameless life, but how I need your help Lord, especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should.” Psalm 101:2 (Living Bible)
One of the hardest places to show love and mercy is within the walls of our own homes. There, we're being seen 24/7 for the person we really are. So family members can hurt, and are hurt by each other, in ways that are especially challenging.
Nevertheless, we can show love and mercy at home, by -
overlooking irritations and offences,
being kind even when others don’t deserve it,
letting go of past hurts, and
believing God is working in the lives of others.
“… all the foundations of society are being shaken to the core.” Psalm 82:5 (Living Bible)
Sometimes our world feels like it’s being turned upside down as we encounter injustice, idolatry, and immorality. Of course none of it is new! Scripture shows us that these kinds of situations happened to God’s people many times throughout history.
Nevertheless, in a rapidly changing world God wants us to “keep on” – not just surviving, but thriving.
So we shouldn’t be surprised by adversity, but instead look at how God could use it for good, and trust God for the situations we don’t understand.
We live in a world in which the winner takes all. Consider the Olympic swimming. As little as one hundredth of a second can separate gold from silver in the final.
But we only value the gold medal. We only remember the gold medalist.
Yep, it’s definitely a winner–takes–all world we live in, because the one thing that this world values above everything else, is success.
And who doesn’t want to succeed at whatever you turn your hand to. You start a business, you embark on a career, you enter into a marriage relationship, you bring children into this world. Is there anyone amongst us who doesn’t want to succeed at those important things?
Of course not!
And yet there’s something about ambition that can get real ugly, real quick. There’s something in each one of us that wants to shy away from ambitious people.
Think about it, how much do you value the quality of “ambition” in other people. It’s not up there in your top ten is it? Even in your top 20?!
In any case, didn’t Jesus say that “if you want to be first, you have to be last?”
So now, we have a dilemma. We all value success, yet we don’t much like that “ambition” label. But don’t you, at least to some extent, need to be ambitious in order to be successful?
Well, this Sunday, we’re going to take a look at the rights and wrongs of ambition.
From a different perspective. From the Bible’s perspective. From God’s perspective.