A Captivating Call: Sermon By Deacon Rob Omol
Our first impressions of each other tend to be wrong. What would make a first impression last for a lifetime or cause us to make the right judgement of someone?
What was your first impression of Jesus? Was it negative or positive? Was there any impact at all?
What makes it difficult for you to follow Jesus?
A Compelling Call
And after this, Jesus went out and looked [attentively] at a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office; and He said to him, Join Me as a disciple and side with My party and accompany Me.Luke 5:27 (AMP)
Tax collectors were some of the most hated people in Jewish culture.
The people always judged Jesus for keeping company with them.
Would you have followed Jesus like Levi? Did Levi know what life he was being asked to enter? Was Levi miserable in his life to take any option that would come by? Had he heard or seen Jesus preach?
The voice of God comes with authority and sovereignty. He speaks to your heart and mind. You did not see Jesus but when you heard His call, you said yes to following Him.
Jesus never spoke or speaks words ineffectively. When He speaks, things happen.
A Consequent Response
Levi responded immediately and left everything. (Reference: Luke 5:27)
The people who sat (dwelt enveloped) in darkness have seen a great Light, and for those who sat in the land and shadow of death Light has dawned.Matthew 4:16 (AMP)
This prophecy came to light for Levi. He saw a great light in Jesus and recognized his own darkness and need for Jesus.
John 1 speaks of Jesus as the light.
And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon (Peter). And Jesus said to Simon, Have no fear; from now on you will be catching men! And after they had run their boats on shore, they left everything and joined Him as His disciples and sided with His party and accompanied Him.Luke 5:10-11 (AMP)
Now huge crowds were going along with [Jesus], and He turned and said to them, If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters-[yes] and even his own life also-he cannot be My disciple.
Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him, Saying, This man began to build and was not able (worth enough) to finish.
Or what king, going out to engage in conflict with another king, will not first sit down and consider and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand [men] to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if he cannot [do so], when the other king is still a great way off, he sends an envoy and asks the terms of peace. So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.”Luke 14:25-33 (AMP)
The consequence of hearing the call of Christ and seeing the light is leaving everything to follow Him. You must count the cost.
Conversion only happens when your sin is made bare leaving you desperate for God’s mercy.
The call of Jesus is sure and certain. It is not a potential call. God is able to keep us from stumbling to present us to Himself as blameless if we rely fully on Him.
When God speaks to you, how do you weigh it? When God speaks, there is transformation. There needs to be fruit and effectiveness in your walk.
Your response to His call confirms your election or lack of it.
Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.2 Peter 1:10 (AMP)
The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.John 10:27 (AMP)
God’s words are certain.
A Confounding Mission
What was Jesus calling Levi to?
Levi saw the deliverance from his sin and had to share it with everyone.
And Levi (Matthew) made a great banquet for Him in his own house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others who were reclining [at the table] with them. Now the Pharisees and their scribes were grumbling against Jesus’ disciples, saying, Why are you eating and drinking with tax collectors and [preeminently] sinful people?
And Jesus replied to them, It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to arouse and invite and call the righteous, but the erring ones (those not free from sin) to repentance [to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins].”Luke 5:29-32 (AMP)
The mission of Jesus was being accomplished. Because of calling one sinner, Levi called many others to meet Christ and enter the Kingdom of God. Levi’s joy in his salvation propelled his evangelistic grace to bring others to Jesus.
Do you have the joy of the Lord or are you bored? Where is your satisfaction?
If God were to never give you the things that you desire, would you still be joyful? Levi was.
We have a nature that we cannot get rid of on our own.
The call was for believers not for pastors. If you do not speak, you are ineffective and unfruitful.
Jesus was perfect in all His ways.
All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].
There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came to witness, that he might testify of the Light, that all men might believe in it [adhere to it, trust it, and rely upon it] through him. He was not the Light himself, but came that he might bear witness regarding the Light. There it was–the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person. He came into the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him [did not know Him].
He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own–His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him. But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name– Who owe their birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!]John 1:3-13 (AMP)
We can have the best messages but without the Spirit of God there can never be transformation.
The light you have received is dwelling within you and is meant to impact those around you.
We need to endure till the very end of our walk in Christ.