SOAP Devotional 2014-10-24
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. (Matthew 4:18-22 NLT)
For His first disciples, Jesus chose men who had a demonstrated hard work ethic rather than those in the religious world who spent their time debating and manipulating theology to fit their own purposes. The were basically successful businessmen who left everything to become his disciples. “Following” a person, in a Jewish phrase, would denote becoming the disciple or student of the one you followed. From other scriptures we know that these men already knew who Jesus was at least by reputation. They did not hesitate to leave their own positions in the community to abandon all and become his disciples. They left the things that brought them security, their nets, their boats, and their family to become his disciples with little more than a vague promise of “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”.
Proper theology is absolutely essential, but we need to make sure that our theology lines up with His teaching and are not some self serving theology as was that of the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’s time or of some of the big name preachers of today. We follow His teaching. But right up there with proper biblical instruction, a good work ethic is an important aspect of serving Christ. Salvation is free, but it is followed with a full devotion to our master. Becoming a Christian will result in the believer becoming a “follower” of Christ, a student of His ways, a disciple. We place our trust in Him and His ways above our own means of providing for ourselves. Those who are called out to lead others must be willing to walk away from everything to learn from Him and to do His bidding where He sends them, but even the everyday Christian must also place their trust in Him for direction even if they are allowed to continue in their current vocation. We are all, clergy and laymen alike, are called out to follow Him and let Him show each of us how to be fishermen of men.
Father, let me be your follower in all things. Let me understand your teaching and to know who you have sent that can teach your doctrines to me. Although I was raised with a hard working ethic, do not let me stray from that work ethic, but rather let me excel in working hard for you. I have forsaken all to follow you and I am totally dependent on you for provision and guidance. I trust you alone. Make me a productive fisher of men.