Scripture References: Luke 5:4-11,  Mark 15:17,  Acts 3:15-16,  Matthew 4:19,  Psalms 91:1,  John 21:3-9, 15-21,   Romans 10:9,  Numbers 6:24-26,  Acts 3:6-8,   Acts 4:12,  Luke 22:60-62,   Matthew 26:31,  Matthew 26:33-35,  Matthew 26:58, 69-75

            

            He said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night, caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word, I will let down the net.” When they had done this, a great number of fish came into the net, and the net was breaking………they had to summon others to come and help them. Simon Peter fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” Jesus responded, “Do not be afraid! From now on you will be a fisher of men”. Then they left everything and followed Jesus. (Luke 5:4-11)  

            This is a huge moment in the Bible. Simon Peter for the first time encounters Jesus personally. Peter knows he is ashamed of who he is, the life he has lead, and asks Jesus to depart from him. In Matthew 26, Jesus tells Peter that he would deny him three times before the rooster crows. When questioned by Jesus, Peter says, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never denyyou!” (v.35) Later when confronted by several women as being seen with Jesus, Peter denies Jesus three times to them. (v. 69-75) However, as we see in Jesus always, He turns it around and says to Simon not to be afraid but to follow Him.                                                                                                                                         How many of you have told the Lord, in some weak area of your life, “I will never do it again”?  Our promises to the Lord have been that in some area we will not do it again… and you did it again and again and again. You love the Lord, maybe even given your heart to the Lord. But the years have brought about a distance, and now you are not as close as you once were. Remember, His death, burial, and resurrection provides you always with another invitation for you to recommit to Him. Get close and Follow Him again.

 

How do/did I lose sight of Jesus?

1.  You are reminded over and over by the enemy about your mistakes (hearing the  rooster).

2. You think by making a mistake that He has cancelled His plans and assignments for you

3. Your “guilt” overwhelms you to a point that you don’t think you will ever be forgiven for that mistake.

 

How do I get back to “Follow Him”?

1. Read the Word and the truths it represents about you.

2. Recommit and follow Him.

3. Believe always that you are loved, accepted, forgiven, and a child of the Most High.

 

Connection Questions:

1. Were you at one time close to Jesus but now follow Him from a “distance”?

2. Do you really believe God completely forgives you and sees you through the blood?

3. Will you recommit and draw closer to Him as a shadow draws close to you?

 

Final Thoughts:

            We need to remember that so many of us start out eagerly when the Lord calls us and we answer,  “Yes, I will follow.” You love the Lord and you follow the Lord. You made that very clear to Him at the beginning. However, as the years have waned many of you have followed the Lord “from a distance.” You used to close. You used to be tight. But now you follow from a distance. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.”  He doesn’t care about your past. He knew you would mess up over and over again. However, you are the very person He wants to advance His kingdom. The enemy has told you you’ve gone to far, you’ve done too much. He told Peter all of that and yet God used him mightily. It’s not too late. You haven’t done too much. You haven’t gone too far. If you are distant He misses you, He wants you back, and His arms are wide open to receive you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Romans 10:9 speaks God’s Word of truth on this. Come back to Him. He is patient and He is waiting.