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Fresh Start To Thrive (Mark 1:16-20)

Sermon on Sunday 8 March 2020 by Pastor Justin

We are not talking about mere survival. God wants us to thrive. We want to be seeds in the good soil and bear fruit hundredfold.

After Jesus' baptism by his cousin John the Baptist, he was in the wilderness for 40 days and went through temptation. When Jesus went through this, the angels were with Him. It is the same for us. When we go through suffering, the angels are with us. After that Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the kingdom of God - "the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!"

Mark 1:16 - And as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

Of all the numerous fishermen, Jesus saw Simon and Andrew. Jesus did not go to a synagogue to pick out the best scholars. He looked for lowly people. The bible tells us Jesus uses the weak to shame the mighty.

Mark 1:17 - Then Jesus said to them, "follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men."

When you follow Jesus, your life will never be the same again. When you obey, understanding of the word will be given to you. God gives understanding to the humble.

Mark 1:18 - They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

When God calls you, you need to respond immediately with obedience. He will move you. Do not worry about the season you are in right now. You just need to obey. Your life will move according to what God has planned for you. Do not worry. Fear and worry will bring you into darkness. The moment you follow Jesus, you will cripple the devil.

Mark 1:19-20 - When He had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and went after Him.

Jesus does not call upon lazy people. He calls those who are successful in the secular world. When God calls us, many things may hold us back. But when we obey, God will move in such a way that things become possible. He took care of James' and John's business. God gives us a fresh new day to live every single day. Psalm 118:24 - This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Live one day at a time. Start each day right. Pray. When you give time to God, you get more time. Give thanks to God every morning.

1. God gives everyone a brand new start each day

Matthew 6:34 - Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Lamentations 3:22-23 - The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

Psalm 5:3 - Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning i bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

Psalm 143:8 - Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.

When we follow Jesus, He will make us able. You do not need to worry about your abilities. You will have peace. You will be a blessing to others. You will have energy and you will be strengthened. When Peter and John were arrested (Acts chapter 4), they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke boldly.

Acts 4:13 - Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realised that they had been with Jesus.

What is the one thing we have to do to have a fresh start in life? Follow Jesus!

2. Get a fresh start to thrive by learning and following

Matthew 11:29 - Learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Mark 1:17 - Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.

You don't need to understand the bible fully in order to learn. If you are gentle and lowly in heart, you will learn. You have to do both - learn and follow.

In whatever situation you are in, have faith and continue to learn and follow Him. Misery is an option - it is a choice. You can always turn your pain into praise. When you worry, it will expand, and the devil pulls you away from Jesus. When we are in the house of the God, He protects us.

Psalm 92:12-14 - The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.

3. Get a fresh start to thrive by being a witness of Christ

Everything you do, you represent Christ. You are the salt and light. The light is supposed to shine, not hidden under a basket.

Follow the authority - follow Jesus Christ. We have to do all that Jesus Christ taught us. Teach others.

2 Timothy 4:5 - But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don't be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the good news, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

Colossians 4:17 - And say to Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it."

You want a fresh start to thrive in your life?

Learn from and follow Jesus.

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