Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
What Does “Fishers of Men” Mean?

What Does “Fishers of Men” Mean?

And yeah, so super cool
stuff going on here. Another thing that you guys may not know, did y’all know that Seacoast
Church is celebrating our 30 year birthday coming
up this Easter Sunday. 30 years we’ll turn this
Easter which is really cool. (audience clapping) I don’t know if anybody knew
it would would make it this far but anytime you have a birthday
with a zero on the end of it it causes for some reflection, doesn’t it? You kind of look back on your life and look at what matters
and what you’ve done and you also want to look ahead to see if you need to change courses or
go in a different direction. And so if you’ll humor me, I’ve been reflecting a little bit about the journey of Seacoast. 30 years ago, you know, for me it began when we lived in Freeport, Illinois. I was about eight years old and my father, who’s the founding pastor, came and had a family
meeting in our living room. And basically what he said was, hey guys, I’ve got a vision. Mom and I are excited, we’re gonna move to Charleston, South Carolina. He could have said Korea,
I had no idea where that was but it was a long way from home. And he said, we’ve got a vision, we want to start a church for people who don’t normally go to church. The city’s called the Holy City and there’s lots of great
churches in the city but we want to kind of
really target people who don’t already have a church to go to. And it was this great vision and we didn’t buy into it. It was like no, dad, there are people in Charleston that can do that. Why don’t we start a church for unchurched people in Freeport, Illinois because we live here already. But he was convinced that
God had called him to do it so we moved down here and
some of you heard the story. We got here and before
we launched the church, we embarked on the most obnoxious marketing campaign known to man. We did a telethon. We did a phone deal, 16,000
names were in the phone book in Mount Pleasant, South
Carolina at the time and that’s where we knew we
wanted to plant this church. And so we got a group of
people and including us kids, I don’t know how you
feel about child labor but this church was built on child labor. (audience laughs) and so we picked up the phone and we called as many people as we could and we would ask them two questions. The first one was, do you go to church? And if they said yes to that, said man that is, that’s awesome. We hope that you’ll continue to do that. We hope you’ll continue to go to church. God bless you. If they said no, they don’t go to church, we just wanted to find out why. What are the reasons that
you don’t go to church? And interestingly enough, what we found is that the majority of the reasons, probably 99% of the reasons
that people gave us, had nothing to do with Jesus, the Bible. They didn’t have a problem with God, they just for a lot of different reasons didn’t feel like the church was relevant to their life anymore. Or maybe some had been burned by a bad experience with the church and all these different things. There was some bigger picture things going on in the church
landscape at the time. Some controversies and people just had a negative taste in
their mouth about church. And so we thought well,
if we would address some of those things,
would you give it a try? Would you be willing to check it out? And on the first weekend 350 people did and then that number
slowly grew to about a 120 over the next few months and
it didn’t really catch on right away but over time God began to grow and bless this church. And it’s always been our heart that we would be a church that doesn’t ignore the people
who are in the church but that really always
is thinking about people who don’t go to church. And I was doing a funeral,
just about a year or two ago and the funeral home director was a guy by the name of Sandy Stuhr. Stuhr’s Funeral Home
was the one that we were working with for that service
and he pulled me aside, before we were getting ready to go in and he said hey Josh, have I ever told you about how I met your dad? I was like, no, I’ve
never heard that story. He said, well, I was
running the funeral home and about 30 years ago, this guy walks in in a suit and tie and he introduces himself. He’s got a stack of business cards, he says, my name is Greg Surratt and I’m get ready to
plan a church here called Seacoast Church and I
just wanted you to know that we’ve done this phone deal. We know that there are a lot of people in this community who don’t go to church. And if any of those people
ever find themselves in your environment, I want you to know, and they don’t have a pastor, they don’t have a church. Would you please call me because we would love
to serve those families. We’d love to come alongside those families and I was like wow, I had
never heard that story. But that’s kind of the
heartbeat of Seacoast and I hope we never lose that. As we reflect on 30 years
and where do we go from here, you know a lot of churches start that way. In almost every Church at
some point in it’s journey begins to turn inward and
it’s very natural to do it. How many of you know the
more stuff that you have, the more things that you have,
the more you have to lose. So a lot of times churches
will get to a certain place and they’ll go, well man we’ve
got a lot to protect here. Let’s focus on what we have and and make sure we don’t lose that, and usually that’s the point that they begin a slow death. And my prayer for us this weekend as we kind of have this
conversation about Jesus Said. We’re starting a brand new
series called Jesus Said, is that we would even go
further back than 30 years ago and the heart behind what started Seacoast and look at the heart that
started the church in general. Jesus established a church,
Jesus leads the church and so we want to go back and look at what did He say that can continue to shape the way that we live our lives but also the way that we live in community with each other and this
great thing called the church. And so if you have your Bibles today, you can open up to the Gospel of Mark. I love the Gospel of Mark because it’s kind of the cliff notes. You know, it’s not really the cliff notes but they kind of, he cuts to the chase. He was writing to the the Romans and so he kind of went
straight to the action and I love that about the Gospel of Mark. And by the way, you also
got if you came in today, a highlighter and this is
just during the series. We got some highlighters and if you’ve got the analog
version of the Bible here, some of y’all are, what is that thing? It’s a lot like the app
that you have on your phone except it’s actually got
real pages, you can use it. But I encourage you, if
you have your phone app, use that as well, you
know there’s great apps. But we’re gonna be in the Gospel of Mark and the very beginning. In fact, one of the very first things that Jesus said in the Gospel of Mark and what He was doing
is, He was pulling his core team together to
to launch this ministry that we now know of as the church. And as he began to pull a
couple of disciples together, He had this conversation with them. You know what, I think, am I off center of the stage a little bit? Y’all didn’t notice that, did you? I think I am, that’s all
right, we’ll work with it. But here’s what He said. He said to them, who’s them? He’s got a couple of disciples that He’s begun to to form and develop. And He says, “Follow me, and
I will make you become…” and you have the verse, and if
you read ahead you know this. Some of you are familiar with this verse but if you weren’t and Jesus was to say, very first things to come out of His mouth to these disciples: follow me and I’m gonna
turn you into something. What would you assume it might be? I know for me, I would think
I’ll make you become better, a little bit less sinful. I’ll make you become
more spiritually mature. I’ll make you become more
educated about the scriptures. I mean, a lot of things that I would think He might say there. But right off the bat,
first thing He says is, “I will make you become fishers of men.” That if you’ll follow me, over time you’re gonna become a fishermen. Now He was speaking to
a group of fishermen and these were people that had probably built their identity around what they do. I mean, every day they
would pull the boats and put them in the water
and they would find the fish and whether they caught a lot of fish or didn’t catch a lot of fish would determine what kind
of day that they had. What kind of income they were
gonna have for their family. All of their lives were
wrapped up into fisherman and He’s saying hey, life
is about a lot more than what you think it is. And if you’ll follow me, I’m gonna help you find much greater joy in fishing in a little bit different way. And developing a heart for the people that I have a heart for. And I don’t know about you but I’ve never been a much of a fisherman. Some of you probably are but I don’t really love the metaphor when I think about being
on the other end of it. You know, having a hook
stuck in your mouth and being dragged to a
place you don’t want to go. That’s the way we think of as fishing. Back then they used nets and
it was a little bit different. But Jesus says you know what, if you’ll follow me you’re gonna begin to have a heart for the things
that I have a heart for. And you’re gonna learn how
to find your greatest joy in fishing for people and helping people experience the love and
the grace and the mercy that I’ve come to give them. And that was His message. That was His calling on our lives. Now, how many of you are into fishing? Some you guys into fishing? Here’s what I didn’t realize, I became a fisherman
a couple of years ago. In fact, Lisa and I
decided that when the kid’s Christmas, I think was coming, and we all, you know, we’re gonna
become a fishing family and we’re just gonna do it. And so we went over to Haddrell’s which is a fishing place
here and we got the net. The net is good for if the fish
are like right near the dock and you’ve got them on a line already, you can kind of use the net to grab them. We got a bunch of fishing poles and the fishing poles are good for if the fish are further out, right? And maybe they’re at the bottom
and you cast this thing out and you put some bait on it. And we got some bait, I
got this tackle box here. I talked to the guy said, I’m gonna teach my kids to be a fisherman. We got this cast net
which is great to kind of catch your bait fish but he taught me. I said, teach me
everything I need to know, I’m gonna take our kids fishing. We’re gonna go over to
the Mount Pleasant Pier and we’re gonna catch some fish and so he loaded us up with
some live minnows for bait and we went out to the pier. And things were going really well until I finally got it set up and I put the first
little minnow on the hook and my eight-year-old, she’s eight now, she was about six then, starts sobbing. She’s like daddy what are
you doing to that fish? I said, I am helping this fish accomplish its purpose in life which
is to get us a bigger fish. That’s what this fish wants to do. That’s what this fish was born to do and she just cried. I finally had to send
her to the playground so the rest of us could do our thing. And needless to say, after
a couple of days of fishing, not only did we not catch any fish but we ended up putting most
of the stuff in the garage where it has stayed pretty
much every day since then. Because fishing is hard, it’s
a lot harder than it looks. And if you’re gonna become good at it, you need a guide. You need someone to show you
because it requires patience and it requires knowledge about tides and about different types of
fish and how to catch them. And Jesus didn’t just say hey
y’all, go catch some fish. He said, follow me. And if you’ll follow me
I’ll show you how to do it. I’ll show you how to capture my heart. Wasn’t just the first thing that He said, it was also one of the very last things that He said when he left. If you flip all the way
to the end of this gospel, the Gospel of Mark 16:15. Jesus said to His followers, “Go everywhere in the world, “and tell the Good News to everyone.” So the first thing He said
and the last thing He said is that if you’re gonna follow me, one of the indicators
that you are following me is you’re gonna have a heart for the people who aren’t already in. You’re gonna have a heart for
the people who are hurting and who are broken and who
are drowning in their sin. You know, about two weeks ago I got home from work
on a Thursday afternoon and my wife Lisa and
my sister-in-law Jenna were on a bike ride
with the four year olds. We have a four year old girl, Ellie, and they’ve got a little four
year old boy named Kingston. And so I parked the car
and I jumped on the bike and I rode around the
neighborhood and I found him and we ended up riding up
to the neighborhood dock that we have in our neighborhood. And we walked out to the end of the dock and you know, in Charleston
if you have low tide, the dock has a really steep ramp, right. And if you have high tide
it’s a little bit more level. Well it was low tide and
so there was a steep ramp and the four year olds started
running up and down the ramp. And Lisa, as a mama, is
like hey y’all be careful. And I’m like will you
just leave them alone, we’re out here, just let
him have fun, they’re kids. And so about two minutes later, Ellie was running up the ramp, Kingston was running down the ramp, and they smack into each other. And Ellie falls onto the ramp and Kingston falls and rolls off of
the ramp into the water. Well y’all remember it
snowed, not long ago? The water is cold and
so we run down the ramp and Jenna gets there first and
get to the edge of the dock and Kingston’s little face is
right at the top of the water, he’s in shock. He’s not swimming and he’s kind of just at the top of the water and Jenna gets to the edge of the dock and does anybody have any
guesses about what Jenna did? She jumped in, right? I mean that’s what a mom does, she didn’t give any consideration to what was in her pocket. She didn’t give any consideration
what she was wearing. She jumped in the water and she went after that four year old child. Now, what if I had told her, Jenna you have four kids. You know, three of them are fine. (audience laughs) Seriously, like I mean. They’re at my house jumping
on the trampoline right now, why are you so stressed out about the one? It’s ridiculous, right? Of course she loves the three kids but man when when a parent gets involved, their heart is gonna be focused
on the one that’s hurting, on the one that’s in danger. And I can’t help but wonder if when God looks out over
the city of Charleston. City of Greenville, Asheville, Columbia, Summerville, Manning. I hope that, I hope he would
be proud of some of the things that have happened at Seacoast and at the other churches in our
communities, I really do. I think there’s a lot of
great things that are going on but I can’t help but
wonder, if His heart is not focused on the kids
of His that are hurting. That have not yet found
a community of people to to value them and to
show them the love of God. You know, His plan all along was that it would not be Him
that jumps off the dock, He already did the work, He
already went to the cross. But He asked us as His
kids, as His followers, if we would be a part of His rescue team, that we would jump in the water and that we would go after
the people who are hurting. And my prayer is that by the
end of our time together, that all of us would capture
that heart for those people. That we would resist the
temptation to focus inward on our problems and our challenges which are important and
man this church has all kinds of opportunities for all of us to continue to grow. How many of you know we’re
messy when God found us but we tend to kind of stay
messy throughout the process and that’s okay. But that all of us would, as we follow Him and as we grow up in
our maturity in Christ, we would continue to cultivate a heart for those people who are hurting. And so if you’re on board with that, the real question is how? How do we do that? How do we care for those people? How do we become, how
do we learn how to fish? If literally that’s what we
want to go on this journey and I think as we follow Jesus, we’re gonna see some real
practical things that we can do as His followers that will
help us to learn how to cultivate a heart for those
who haven’t yet got there. The first thing that we
can do is become aware. Become aware. Two areas of awareness, one
is what we just talked about. I think we’re all there,
like that we would become aware that this is part of
God’s plan for our lives and if you weren’t aware
before you came in, now we’re all on the same page. We’re all aware that this
is part of God’s plan for us but if I’m aware of my
calling then that means I’m gonna need to
cultivate an awareness of the people that God has put in my life. The Bible says in Acts
that he has appointed the times and the seasons and the places in which all of us would live. And that we would live with a
sense of awareness about God. Who are you at work on, right now? Where are you working
and how can I increase and live with a level of awareness about the people that are in my life? Who are you hanging out with, right now, building relationships
with, living life with, that doesn’t yet know Jesus. Or maybe that is in a season where they’re drowning in maybe a marriage issue or maybe a financial crisis or drowning in a sense
of maybe even isolation or loneliness, have
you thought about that? Who are those people? You know, as we’re kind of tracking along and we’re gonna do
something with this later, you guys have a worship guide and maybe somewhere on that worship guide, it could be in the
comments area, on the back. Maybe you just want to write
down some of those names. Who are those people? You know, for me they’re in a lot of different environments that I’m in. I work out at a gym every week and I’m really building a relationship and connecting with some
people who are great people, many of whom don’t have
any background in church. And I’m just kind of going okay God, I want to be aware of these people. I want to be thinking about them. Don’t let me sleep walk through this calling that you have in my life. Don’t let me be so distracted
with the technology and all that, that I’m not
paying attention to the people. Miles plays soccer, I’ve
talked to you about that. There’s some great families that we’re kind of getting to know as each of these seasons passes by and many of them don’t go to church and I don’t know where they are but I’m praying that God would give me a sense of an awareness. Just that I would be
able to just be aware, to know what’s going on in their life. And here’s the key question for us, if we’re gonna go ahead and assume that God’s already at work in their life. We know his heart is
already focused on them then the question for me is, okay God, what’s my part in this
person’s journey to Christ? What is my part in this
person’s journey to Christ? You know, I was on an
airplane the other day and we were in the boarding process and I overheard a conversation. A young couple was in front of me and they were talking to somebody else and they were telling
this other person that they’re gonna move to Charleston in about three or four months. And they’re gonna be living
off of Clements Ferry Road. Well, I live off of Clements Ferry Road and so I just kind of jumped in. It was like oh that’s cool,
I live over there too. What part are you gonna live on and so just kind of got
to know ’em, small talk. He was wearing an Eagles hat, it was I think a week or
so before the Superbowl and so talked about football a little bit and it was cool, didn’t
think anything about it. Then we got onto the plane and we were getting into our seats and he stopped in row 19 and he said, hey, my name’s so-and-so
and it’s good to meet you. And I introduced myself and so that’s cool and it just so happened that my seat was right next to theirs. I was like ah, looks like I’m sitting right next to you guys
and it was like oh, cool. And that’s when sort of
I started to think okay, God are you doing something here? I don’t know but I want to be aware, I want to be paying
attention to what’s going on. And so I began to ask this question. I’ve made it a habit to ask this question. What’s my role in this process? Why am I here, what’s this all about? And if I were a good preacher,
I would tell you that I led them to Jesus right
there on that airplane and you wouldn’t even know the difference if I did or not, but I didn’t. Had a great conversation, talked about my favorite restaurants, talked about all this stuff,
and eventually I found out that they were already
working for a company remotely but they’re coming to move
here to work for this company. And then they asked me the question that I dread anytime I’m on a airplane, it’s what do you do for a living? And just so you know that can kind of shut down a conversation quickly and so I’ve got lots of
creative ways to not lie and answer that question. You know, well I work for a non-profit and we just all around the world, do medical missions and clothe the naked and feed the hungry and
you know heal the sick, it’s just so cool. And they’re like oh that is awesome, how can I get involved? Well it’s actually the local church. Oh okay, I’ve never
thought of it that way. It’s true but it’s not all the way true so this time I thought I’m
just gonna tell the truth because they’re moving here. Yeah, I serve at a church
called Seacoast in Charleston and it was fine, they were cool, they didn’t shut down,
and I gave him my card and who knows what God might do. I felt like my role in their
journey wherever that was, was to give them a pleasant interaction with a Christ follower, that was it. It was like just, they’re
gonna know where I stand and they’re gonna not
think that I’m crazy. Becoming aware doesn’t
mean becoming a weirdo. You know sometimes that
happens where we’re like living with this hyper sense of awareness, like don’t be weird you
know, in the wrong ways, but just become aware. What’s my role in their journey? I love how Paul said this in Corinthians. He’s talking to these people and he says, My work with you was to
plant a seed in your hearts, Apollos’ work was to water it, but it was God, not we, who made the garden grow in your hearts. And he just recognized
that he had a part to play in their lives but there
were other people that would come along and play a part as well. And ultimately it is God who would cause any fruit to grow in our lives. Only God can change
somebody’s heart, right? A lot of us have stories about when that happened in our own lives and so we just recognize, become aware. Once we become aware, second thought for us is to be in prayer. Be in prayer. That’s when we remind ourselves of what we just saw in that scripture. That whatever our part is in the process, God’s part is a whole lot bigger. That it is God who will
draw people to Himself. It is God who will take a dead heart and breathe life back into it. It’s God who can restore
a broken marriage. That’s the work of God. We have a part to play in it
but man we got to be in prayer and if you’re like me,
sometimes you’re like I don’t know how to pray or what to do. And so I just want to
give you five quick, easy, kind of thoughts as you’re
thinking about the people that are in your life,
the people that maybe you’ve written down on
your your worship guide, how do you pray for them? Couple of things. Pray that the father
would draw them to Jesus. Just pray you know, John 6:44. That something would start to happen, that there would become
a spiritual openness in their life and that the father would begin to draw them to himself. You can pray against the
spirit that blinds their minds. I don’t know if you believe this or not but not only is there a
good force in this world that began it called God and His Son Jesus who died for our sin. There’s also an enemy that is at work in all of our lives that
would love to distract. The Bible says he came to
steal, kill, and destroy. And so whether that’s your
child that you’re praying for, whether that’s a loved
one that you work with, or whatever it is, just be praying against whatever spirit is at work. Spirit of anxiety, spirit of
fear, spirit of isolation, just begin to pray against
the work of the enemy. I love Old Testament prayers
when it comes to that. It’s like man, I’m praying that, well I won’t get into all of them. But just that the enemy’s
plans would be disrupted and that he wouldn’t have
any power over their lives. You can also pray that they
come to know God relationally. That it wouldn’t be that they
would be sucked into religion which is all about us getting it together and then finding approval because of that. That doesn’t work, that’s not the gospel but they would be drawn to
a father who loves them. Relationally but they
would begin to understand this relationship with a father. Pray that believers, I would
say like cool believers, will cross their paths and enter into positive relationships with them. You know, like pray
that life-giving people would come around them and that they would begin to have these
experiences of believers who show love for them
and compassion for them and take an interest in their life. Begin to pray that God
would just supernaturally put some people into their lives that would affect them in a great way. Pray for a revelation of who Jesus is and what He’s done for them. What is that? That’s that a-ha moment that you had. That moment where the gospel
just becomes very clear and there’s a revelation of
what Jesus did in their life. Begin to pray that these
things will happen. So I’m gonna become aware,
I’m gonna be in prayer. A third thought for us is
show them that you care. Yes, they are all gonna rhyme and I may even wrap it at some point. I’m just I’m feeling the spirit here, show them that you care. Show them that you care. You know when we think
about this whole idea of becoming fishers, learning to fish, that the Bible word and kind of the churchy word is evangelism, right? And some of you have heard that term and I think this is where it gets challenging for us in our culture. Because that word has taken on a lot of different meanings for a lot
of different people, right? I mean, what comes to your mind when you think of the word evangelist? What comes to your mind? Some of you might go like
the Billy Graham route which obviously an incredible
evangelist in our lives but honestly for me, just
in the way that I grew up, when I think about the word evangelist, what comes to mind for me is the guy with a bullhorn downtown. You know, he’s loud, he’s angry, something’s happened in his life and he seems to be mad at everybody else. I don’t know if you’ve seen this person and I’m not talking about a specific one but but I’ve seen them in
a lot of different cities. Sometimes I’ll see them
in downtown Charleston and when I see this guy and
I’m walking towards him, what I do is I go across the street and go the other direction
unless I want to fight, and then I might kind
of go argue with him. But usually I just want
to cross the street because it’s just not a real
positive interaction for me. So it can be hard when we talk about becoming fishers of men. To kind of almost, we throw
the baby out with the bathwater because we see where maybe it’s been done in some ways that the
our culture has rejected. Culture has also rejected
a lot of stuff Jesus said by the way, that’s why
we’re doing this series. Some of the things he said
aren’t real easy to to hear. There are some things
that our culture says that Jesus said that
he actually never said. So that’s I’m hoping during
the series, we’ll get to it. But in a different sort of a way, we can go well man some approaches to this have really maybe done even more damage than they have good. And so, let me ask you
a different question. A key question when you think about this. What comes to mind when you think about the person who is most responsible for you coming to know Christ? Forget about what comes to mind when you think of an evangelist. What comes to mind when you think about the person who is most responsible for you coming to know Christ? Does anybody come to mind? You know for me there was a guy named Hal and Hal came into my life
when I was about 17 years old and I was building a
pretty strong testimony during that season of my life. I mean, I was running hard after anything that God would have for me. I’d moved out of my house
and Hal came into my life and you know what Hal never did actually? He never really approached me about all the things I was doing wrong. Least not early on. Hal just began to take
interest in my life. He would show up to the things
that I was interested in. He would be patient with me, he would have these long
conversations with me, and eventually I was like, why is this guy like
showing interest in my life? Why is this guy always encouraging me? Why is this guy always
speaking to my potential, into my future, and over time it just became a really trusted
adviser, mentor guy. And eventually Hal had an awareness of what God was doing in my life and eventually in a small group, I’ve told the story before. Hal leaned into that and he said, I wonder if there’s something that God’s trying to say to you right now and would you be open to receiving Jesus? And that was when I
committed my life to Christ. Everything changed but
it was a guy named Hal and several others by the way, who just showed love for me. They showed that they cared and what if it was really that simple? You become aware, you be in prayer, and then you just show them that you care. Show them that you care. That’s the picture of the Evangelist that I want you to have. This next verse is the the verse that if you got a worship guide, all of us got it in our worship guide. And I love this passage. In fact why don’t you pull that out, if you if you have it. And this would be a great one to memorize. This would be a great one to remind you of what God did for you. And I’ve got it on the
screen here, in fact, why don’t we read this one out loud. Why don’t we read it out loud. Says, but God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us, once we got it all together, oh I’m sorry. (audience laughs) I messed that up, let’s try that again. He sent Christ to die for us
while we were still sinners. Romans 2 said, it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. It was while we were still sinners, it was before we figured it out, it was before we understood all that there was to understand. And it was then that God demonstrated, it wasn’t just words,
it was a demonstration of His love for us. I believe as we follow Him he wants us to demonstrate that love to the
people in our lives as well. I believe He wants us to take
interest in people’s lives. When I was eight or 10 years old, fishing was fun and I
wasn’t all that concerned about getting my hands dirty and the scales and the
clothes and all that stuff. But you know the older we get, the less tolerant we are for messiness. I think that’s true in our lives as well. The longer we get in, kind
of insulated in the walls of the church, the less tolerant we are of kind of the messiness that is this world. Would you agree there’s a lot of messiness out there right now? I think Jesus wants us to lean into that, not to be afraid to
demonstrate that we care, to demonstrate that we love. In fact, that’s what Jesus did. I mean, if you follow
Him through the gospels, what you’ll see is time
after time after time demonstrations of His love for people. You remember when He was going to heal a very important man’s daughter. A lot of people around Him and this woman who had felt
ostracized by the church, this woman who didn’t really have a place in the faith community
because of the condition that she had, she touches His robe and Jesus feels power go out from Him. In other words, a miracle happened when she touched His robe. He could have just kept right on going but he stopped everything. He said hang on a second,
something happened. And He looks at this woman
and assigns a value to her. He says daughter. Remember we talked about relationally? He says daughter, your
faith has made you well. I want to encourage you,
I want to validate you. And He assigns a value,
he shows that he cares. You remember when another woman, I think it’s in John 8 when this woman who had been caught in adultery. Caught in some major messiness and the very community
that you would think might restore somebody and
demonstrate that they care was dragging her to Jesus. And their primary concern wasn’t what was going on in this woman’s heart, it was what kind of punishment does she need for what she’s done? And they bring her to Jesus and they say, the scriptures say we should
stone her what do you say? It’s just amazing to me
how easy it is for us to just get it wrong, to miss it, and our posture in people’s lives. And what does Jesus do? He says to this woman after he kind of got rid of the crowd. He says you know what,
they’re not condemning you and I’m not either,
now go and sin no more. It’s not that Jesus didn’t
think that sin was a big deal. He thought that sin was a
huge deal, He died for it. You know that’s not what this is about, don’t miss hear me but Jesus knew that His love was greater than any sin. That His love could
cover a multitude of sins and that’s what His posture was. So what could you do
to show that you care? You’re thinking about
these people in your life, what would be some practical expressions that you could take to show them that you care about them? It’s really pretty simple these days, we got social media, right? You already know what they’re doing, almost all the time. You know what they’re interested in. What would that look like for you? When they’re going through a hard time, I’m so proud of the people in this church. You throw out a take them a meal deal and it’s like full, like yeah I mean, but you feed people. You can just send them a text. Tell them, speak a word of
encouragement over them. What would it look like for you? Think about that, to
show them that you care. So I’m gonna become aware,
I’m gonna be in prayer, I’m gonna show ’em that I care. And here’s the deal, if
you do those three things, I guarantee you you’ll have an
opportunity to do the fourth which is be willing to share. If you do those three things, there will come a moment
where a door is opened to you. Where people go, what’s going on? What is it that’s important? I want to know what makes you tick because there’s something about the way you’re treating me that’s attractive, that’s drawing me in. I love this passage on your outline sheet. It says, “Always be
prepared to give an answer “to everyone who asks
you to give the reason “for the hope that you have but do this “with gentleness and respect.” I love that because it doesn’t say, always be prepared to
give a perfect explanation of the four spiritual laws so that you may lead them to Christ. You know, that’s great. No problem with the four spiritual laws but the reality is most of us, if we’re just being honest, we feel unqualified to share our faith. It feels like a difficult thing but that’s why this says, “be prepared to give an answer to everyone “who asks you for the reason
for the hope that you have.” It’s a personal thing. God has done some really
cool things in your life and what the scripture’s saying is, be ready to share your story. We all have a story, be
ready to share your story when the opportunity comes to give a reason for
the hope that you have. And not everybody’s gonna feel comfortable having a conversation
leading people to Christ but you can lead them to your church. You can lead them to the place where, maybe you’ve discovered this and together we can kind of be on this journey of sharing the gospel, the good news. And there are people out there that are hurting, that are drowning. It’s our job, it’s our place to be a voice of hope to those people. Did you know there’s a lot of research that’s done on this kind of thing and most of the stats would say that about 85% of people who have a relationship with Christ would say that the reason they have a
relationship with Christ is because somebody in their
life helped them get there. Someone in their life reached out, invited them to church, had a conversation with them, showed them that they care. Another stat is that about
three in 10 Christians will ever invite another Christian or another person within the church. Let’s not be that church. Let’s go back to our roots. Let’s not forget what
this journey is all about. Be willing to share your faith, be willing to share your story. I don’t know a lot about fishing. I’ve picked it back up some. I’ve always done better with a guide. But here’s what I know this
right here is a cast net and it may not look like your cast nets because it’s kind of
a beginner’s cast net. But here’s what I can tell you about this is that right now there is no possible way that this nets gonna catch any fish because it’s dry. The only way that this
net is gonna be productive for what it was made to do is when it goes out of the boat or off of the dock and into the water. And here’s what I’m asking
you as group of people, many of you whom call yourself Seacoasters or some of you may even be
here for the first time. Let’s be the kind of people that get our nets wet, that
put them in the water. That pay attention. That become aware of the people around us. That are in prayer for
the people around us. That will demonstrate that we care and that we’ll be willing to get out there and get our nets, well you know Easter is coming soon. Got about a month before we celebrate the greatest news, the greatest story that’s ever been told. Still feels too good to be true, that while we were
sinners Jesus died for us. That in Christ, God doesn’t think about or had much concern for
the things that bring you guilt or shame or condemnation. That He says, I don’t condemn you either. Look at you through the lens of Jesus. Will you guys bow with
me, as we close in prayer? And you know, as we kind of move into this time of Prayer here
and at our campuses, I can’t help but wonder if there might be a few of us in the room who would say I kind of feel like I’m in that place where I’m drowning. Going through a hard season and I’m kind of wondering
if anybody even notices it. I just want to give you an opportunity, if that’s you today to
just say yes to Jesus. He’s already offered you an escape plan, he’s offered you a rescue plan, he has gone to great lengths. We’ve sung about it,
we’ve talked about it, and maybe He’s kind of
stirring you right now. That you’re at a place where you can make a decision to lean into that. And as we bow our heads
and close our eyes, I’m going to just say a prayer over you. Say a prayer of just asking
Jesus to come into our lives, to receive the salvation that He offers, and to set us on a track to follow Him into an amazing adventure. And if you’re here today and you want me to include you in that prayer, I just want to ask you to raise your hand. Just raise your hand. I’ll count to three
and you raise your hand and I’m just gonna say a prayer for you. One, two, three. If that’s you just raise
your hand, okay awesome. At the campuses just raise
your hand, fantastic. Fantastic. God we pray right now and
we thank you right now from the very beginning of
your ministry here on earth, you had us in mind. You had the broken and the hurting and the disconnected and so
God as we come to you today many of us feeling that way, wanting to come into
relationship with you, we just come to you and
we say yes to you Jesus. Lord, we recognize we
don’t understand it all. We don’t know all there is to know but we know that we have sin that has separated us from you. And we know that you Jesus have come to die on a
cross and overcame that sin so that we could have life. And we want to receive that in the best way that we know how, we say yes to you today. We thank you for your forgiveness, we thank you for your salvation, and we thank you Lord
that from this day forward we can be confident in the
hope that we have in you. And God, may we as a church
never lose our sense of urgency, never lose our boldness,
never lose our passion, for the people that
you’re passionate about. Let our hearts break for the people that your hearts are broken for. Don’t let us walk around
insulated and sleep walking through this incredible
calling that you have for us. And may we continue to have a heart for the hurting and the broken. In Jesus name, amen, amen

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