God rescues you when you are in trouble. Psalm 50.15
God promises to be your protector. Psalm 84.11
God gives you his peace. John 14.27
God will never leave you or abandon you. Hebrews 13.5
God walks with you in times of trouble. Psalm 138.7
God’s love never ends. 1 Chronicles 16.34
God meets your everyday needs. Matthew 6.33
God promises abundant life. John 10.10
God promises that if we search for him we will find him. Deuteronomy 4.29
God promises to listen when we pray. Jeremiah 29.12
God is your strength and help in trouble. Psalm 46.1
God heals your wounds and hearts. Psalm 147.3
God gives you eternal life. John 3.16
God helps you. Hebrews 13.6
God directs your paths. Proverbs 3.6
God cares for you. 1 Peter 5.7
God comforts you. Psalm 23.4
God gives you rest. Matthew 11.28
God strengthens us. Philippians 4.13
God provides for your needs. Philippians 4.19
God is faithful to keep all his promises. Hebrews 10.23
God comforts you. 2 Corinthians 1.4
God has power to do everything he has promised. Romans 4.21
God promises not to lie. Numbers 23.19
God promises no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering in heaven. Revelation 21.4
Take a moment to share one or more of these with someone.
Which one(s) bring the most comfort to you?
It’s been stated on more than one occasion that, people follow vision. We see this principle in action here is this moment. Men follow the lead of Jesus by putting their nets out in the deep water. This after a full day of fishing. They were tired, hungry and perhaps a bit frustrated.
In the midst of this, Jesus urges them to go back out for a catch. Once the men follow his lead they see the power and potential of this man. People are looking for leadership. People want to follow people who are leaders. But it goes much further than this one fact.
Of course knowing the end of the story is one advantage we have that the disciples did not. Peter and the others have no idea where this will carry them. Jesus knows. He is setting them up to become leaders. Shouldn’t this be the aim of each leader? To birth more leaders, capable of making more.
The men are simply happy to be following a leader. Little did they know that they will one day become leaders of the Church and the initial leaders of Christianity. Jesus takes a few men who were simple fishermen and turns them into world changers! That’s leadership!
Yet it doesn’t seem to be that the men would be leaders that draws them into following Jesus. It is something about Jesus that draws them. It is more than Jesus simply knowing how to fish. Regular fishermen would be happy to ask Jesus where the next catch would be and fish in that place next time. After all he had already led them to a great fishing spot once. Certainly he can do it again and again.
They see something in Jesus that compels them to leave their nets and lifestyle to follow.
What do you see in Jesus that urges you to follow?
What have you laid down in order to follow?
How is Jesus shaping your leadership? Where do you see him leading you?
This portion of Jesus’ journey begins with three words, “On one occasion…” Jesus had many of these type of events during his time on earth. John tells us that this is just one example of Jesus’ style of leadership.
People pressed in to hear the word of God. We can conclude two thoughts from this. First Jesus has said and done enough up to this point for people to have a desire to hear the message. Second, Jesus was not so much interested in promoting himself, but rather, the message.
Don’t get caught in the trap of leading people to yourself. Lead them to what brings life to their situation.
Notice Jesus’ leadership in the midst of chaos. The crowd is pressing. It’s loud. People are jockeying for position. The smell of fish and sweat. The breeze off the sea. Some are washing their nets, others are walking past wondering what’s up, and parents are attempting to keep track of their children.
It’s in the midst of all of this that Jesus formulates a strategic move. He jumps in the boat and immediately summons Peter to put his net into the deep water. The crowd is silenced. Jesus is focused on his mission.
The vast amount of distractions don’t seem to bother him. He is steadfast and resolute. Leaders know how to remain focused in the midst of chaotic happenings. They have a plan and stick to it. While others are watching what is happening, leaders are making it happen.
How do you handle chaos? Are you a fight, flight or make it right individual?
Leaders need rest.
Jesus takes moments for himself following a long night of meeting with people. Verse 42 tells us that when it was day, he departed. We don’t know whether he was able to sleep or if he ministered to people throughout the night.
Either way it appears he needs to break away from the crowds and spend time in solitude. Leaders know the value of solitude. It rests them from the demands of others, while preparing them for the opportunities ahead of them.
Our culture has turned things around when it comes to this subject. We should rest in order to work, rather than work in order to rest. It’s in our work that we worship. Rest then is God’s gift to us.
Once the people find Jesus he tells them he has to preach the good news to other towns. This was his purpose. This was why he rested.
Rest is a part of God’s purpose for your life as well. Those with the greatest vision and most potential for leadership view rest as a close friend. Without this friend, failure is inevitable.
What do you do to rest?
How are you enabling and encouraging those who follow you to find rest?
Leaders know how to take an obscure vision and make it practical and attainable.
Immediately following John’s words to bring fruit in keeping with repentance, the crowd asks, “What then shall we do?” I love John’s response.
Share with others. Don’t take more than is yours. Don’t threaten anyone.
Three simple things. Practical and attainable.
Note that John addresses the entire crowd in his delivery. He tells the everyday person to share a tunic. He charges the tax collectors to only take what is rightfully theirs. He commands the soldiers with do not extort money from others. In other words he breaks down the vision for each person. He makes it real for them.
As leaders, we can have incredible vision but the real question is whether the vision will reach all people. Can everyone be included in the vision? Are the first steps attainable? As a leader, do you know how to include, involve and initiate change?
Finally, allow me to draw your attention to the motive behind vision. Compassion.
If our vision is not about helping others, it’s a vision about us. Selfish.
How are you including others in your vision?
How can you make your purpose wrap its arms around compassion?
Your vision carries history and destiny with it.
Luke 3.4 – “As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet…” A God vision has been breathing for a long time. God patiently waits for the individual to walk out the vision. This was the destiny of John the Baptist. He was simply putting feet to the vision written hundreds of years prior to John.
As Kingdom leaders we are to prepare the way of the Lord with each vision. This requires us to know the history of Scripture and the destiny it brings. As mentioned before our leadership is to help others in their pursuit of Christ.
Note John’s call. “Prepare the way of the Lord.”
“Make his paths straights.”
“Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low.”
In other words we are to level the playing field for all. The purpose behind this? To grant access for all to come to know Jesus. If our vision does anything less than this it is a selfish one at best.
We can’t afford to have more of a vision for erecting a building than we do in building people into giant Christ followers. Every aspect of our leadership should be meticulously designed to make rough places, level ways (verse 5).
How is your vision as a leader helping others in life?
What are you doing to make crooked paths straight?
Leaders constantly prepare for their time to lead.
Jesus is 12 years old when he gains opportunity to teach in the temple. Other leaders are around him asking questions and listening to him (verse 46).
The first 12 years of Jesus’ life are silent. We really have little idea of what was going on in the home of Joseph and Mary. What we can conclude is that Jesus was learning all he could from his parents and the voice of his Father.
Remember, his parents are righteous people. They would have taught Jesus the Scriptures and raised him in an environment of strong character. Now at age 12, Jesus puts all he learned to the test, one might say, before the leaders in Jerusalem.
We realize that for five days Jesus is left on his own. We know this as his parents spend one day traveling from Jerusalem, one day traveling back and three days searching. Each day he is meeting with leaders. What did he do at night? How did he eat? Where did he sleep? He obviously knew more than the Scriptures. He knew how to take care of himself.
We marvel at the fact that he was sitting with other leaders. What I find fascinating is that he had no trouble in finding food or a place to sleep. This tells me of the character he had developed over the past 12 years.
Jewish individuals were very hospitable so I’m sure he had others offering places to stay and food for him to eat. Yet it was in Jesus’ ability to relate to the everyday person that is remarkable. I believe this is the mark of a leader’s ability to walk in humility.
He knows how to ask politely. He knows how to say thank you. He knows how to conduct himself when he is not with leaders. This is the mark of true character. Being authentic when you’re not in the spotlight.
What character traits do you posses?
Which character traits do you need to improve on?
What else did you notice from this passage as it relates to character?