An Invitation To Dine With King Jesus - Part 2
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scriptures: John 21:1-14
Sunday 13th December 2015
As we continue studying the on-going series, ‘The Defining Moment’, let’s have a brief review of the first part of this message ‘An Invitation to Dine with King Jesus’. The disciples of Jesus experienced a turning point in their lives when Christ invited them to breakfast. It was simply an unmerited favour by Christ towards them, having toiled all night catching nothing. All their needs were met in the presence of Jesus painlessly, putting into perspective the futility of their natural efforts and experience without Christ’s involvement.
Without needing to point it out blatantly to them, Christ was making it clear that He is all that they need. This invitation is extended to us, believers as well. We cannot live our God-designed, superabundant life without involving Christ.
Today, let’s focus on another aspect of this message, as we look beyond the physical and psychological needs provided for by Christ (as we’ve discussed in the message last week), and zoom in on the disciples' and by inference our spiritual needs.
Here is our foundation scripture once again, John 21:1-14: ‘Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples. Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish.This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead'.
Christ is inviting each of us to dine with him, and take our spiritual experience with him to an upward level. There is always a better place to aspire to in God, regardless of how resoundingly strong our relationship with Christ may be. It’s an invitation to develop a closer intimacy, fellowship and unity with him. In His presence is a wellspring of refreshing for us all. Our continual closeness with Him affords us the opportunity to touch lives at a higher level, as He takes us further in life. Besides, real and true fulfilment occurs through our union with Christ, as He is our habitat. Nothing else can complete us in Christ. Here is Colossians 2:10 explaining this further: ‘And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]’ (Amplified).
Fulfilment can never be attained from material things, wealth or the friendship of a person apart from the love of Christ. Various things have contributed to a state of mind of being drawn away from Christ like the seven disciples in John 21, including the cares of life, discouragement and disappointment, and lukewarmness to spiritual things. Things that were once considered wrong can now easily be excused as acceptable. Things that were never entertained as a way of life have now been accepted, as a way of compromise.
Christians are now increasingly need driven instead of being Christ driven. We have become experts in gathering material things at the expense of living for Christ. By way of digression, material things are not wrong provided they do not detract from our walk with Christ. Here is Luke 12:27-31, which reads; “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well”. We’ve been called by God to seek His kingdom, and not material things. In seeking Christ’s kingdom, God has promised to add all other things including our daily provision to our lives. Our primary purpose as God’s children is to do His business. Jesus reiterated this truth by providing bread and fish for the disciples on the shore of Galilee. Their provision though was only obtainable as they drew closer to Christ. Let’s learn from this, and make a decision to live by this principle.
Here is Zacharias story as recorded in Luke 1:5-17: ‘There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” As Christians, we should emulate this quality that Zacharias exhibited, ultimately attracting the favour and the intervention of God into his situation.
Sadly, the state of the 21st century Church is similar to the parable related by Jesus in Luke 12:16-21: ‘And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God” (NIV). This parable highlights the state of a man who focused only on himself, with no consideration for God’s purposes and plan. His primary and dominant priority to satisfy himself eventually resulted in loss.
As we approach another new year, can I encourage you to rediscover your love for God? Everything hinges on your relationship with Christ. Without Him, we can do nothing! As you yield to the voice of the Master, as you give your attention to Him, you will experience significant breakthrough in Jesus name (Amen).
The words ‘come unto me’ paraphrased from our foundation scripture is a Greek word, ‘Deute’, otherwise known as ‘to come after’. In Luke 9:23-26, Jesus uses these same words: ‘Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.’
Here are three things that must be in place in order to come after Christ, namely: (a) Deny yourself (b) take up your cross daily and (c) follow Him.
And lastly here are the benefits of coming to dine with Christ:
(a) It is the key to bearing much fruit: John 15:5 reads: "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing".
(b) It is the key to answered prayer: John 15:7 reads: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you”.
(c) It is the key to living a life that glorifies God: John 15:8 reads: “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples”.
So here is Christ’s invitation to dine with Him today, will you answer His call?
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