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Follow Me

From the series The Four Great Invitations

What does it mean to be a follower? You know, on social media, we follow famous people or inspiring causes, but why? In this message, Chip explores the psychology behind that answer as he continues his series, The Four Great Invitations. Join Chip in the Gospel of Luke as he highlights a key practice essential for any believer’s walk with God.

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Message Transcript

What you find in Scripture is that Jesus calls the disciples and He calls us to follow. And the call to follow is a – you’ll notice in your notes I jotted this – it’s an intentional apprenticeship. Sometimes we think following Jesus is sort of like maybe coming to a weekend meeting, trying to be a nice person, reading the Bible a little bit, and telling someone maybe something that happened to you.

But to follow when Jesus said to the disciples or specifically to Peter, “Follow Me,” from a Jewish mindset and what this means is, “I’m going to become an apprentice of this rabbi or teacher,” and it meant three things. Whatever he teaches, I want to master what he is saying, but second, I want to emulate his life. So, when Jesus said to them, “Follow Me,” He wasn’t just saying, “Physically follow Me,” or He wasn’t just saying, “Embrace My teaching,” it was a, “I want you to learn to think the way I think, to speak the way I speak, to act the way I act.” So, if you were following a rabbi, you wanted to become like him. And Luke 6:40 says, “When a disciple or a learner or a student is fully trained, he will be just like his teacher.” So, the goal isn’t simply that you get direction, you follow a path and you follow teaching, it’s actually that you become more and more like Jesus Himself.

And so, with that, we pick up the formal story in Luke chapter 5, I put it in your notes if you don’t have your Bible with you. It begins there at verse 1 and goes through verse 11. From the context we know that the early disciples, first, they just started hanging out with Jesus. So, in John chapter 1, Jesus walks by and John the Baptist says, “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.”

And Peter, being a good follower of John the Baptist says, “Hey, where are you staying?” And Jesus says, “Come see.” And so, they explored. And then we learn from the early chapters of John that this followership was kind of part-time and they started to hang out with Jesus and they became friends. They went to a wedding.

He was going to take a little trip so he took a little time off from work and went on a little part-time trip and they went through Samaria and he got to see a revival there. And so, what you’re going to read is someone who has been exploring, who actually believes Jesus is the Messiah, he is spending time with Him, he’s drawn to Him. And now we are going to find this sort of official moment where he is called by Jesus to be a full-time follower, to join a band of brothers who would embrace a message, align with a cause, and desire to become like Jesus and fulfill His mission.

“Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the Word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying on the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and He asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began to teach the people from the boat.”

“When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered and said, “Master, we have worked all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.’”

I mean, I think Peter is thinking, Rabbi, You’re a really great teacher and You really know God’s Word and I – You don’t know much about fishing. The reason we get up, you know, before dark and come out is the fish are very down deep. When the light comes up, they come up to feed. We have been here; we have gotten nothing. This is – you don’t catch fish right now. So, there’s a very important moment of this is logically impossible what is about to happen.

And I was thinking about following and I’ll share some of the lessons as I have learned, but I thought, What exactly…? I mean, if you could read through all the gospels and sort of have it all in front of you, Jesus wants him to follow. What does He want him to learn? What does He want him to follow? And so, if you’ll look on your notes, what I did is I gave you a quick, little Bible study. I’m just going to sort of give you a highlight.

Jesus came, by the way, not as God like with a superman suit underneath and human flesh and acting like He was human, but whenever things got hard, He’s really God!

No, no, no. He was fully man who lived in complete dependency on the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit. And every miracle He did, every act of righteousness He did, He did as a fully human person without sin, dependent on the Father. So, He’s going to say, “How I lived and how I walked and what I did is exactly how I want to model it for you.” That’s what rabbis do.

And so, the first lesson He wanted Peter and us to learn is dependency. In John 5:30, he says, “By Myself,” these are the words of Jesus, “I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear and My judgment is just, for I seek not to please Myself, but Him who sent me.” As Peter followed Him and as we follow Him, there would be a big crowd and all of a sudden, He disappears. In Mark chapter 1, it’s like hours and hours of teaching and healing and people crowding on a great while before dawn, where is Jesus? And they go find Him and He’s out by this lonely place. He can’t do this on His own. He’s talking to the Father. Jesus modeled a fully dependent, “I can’t do this without You, Father. I need Your power, Holy Spirit.” And He wanted the disciples to understand that.

Second, He wanted them to get in on His mission. Jesus made His mission very clear. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which is lost.” He wanted Peter to know, “That’s why I came and I want to help you be an instrument of Mine to seek and save people that are lost, they are hurting, they are struggling.”

The next thing He wanted him to learn was to catch His heart. Matthew 25, He said, “When you see the marginalized, when you see someone in prison, when you see someone who is poor, when you see someone whose life is a trainwreck, I want you to feel about them the way I feel about them.” And what Jesus did, He had compassion on them. He said, “When you do it to the least of these, you are actually doing it unto Me.” He wanted Peter, this hardcore, blue-collar fisherman, macho guy to understand, “You need to be tender, you need to care about people.” “God doesn’t see as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, God weighs the heart.” “Peter, I want you to see that.”

The next thing He wanted him to learn was His motives. In John 4:34, Jesus said, “My food,” My motivation, what drives Me, “is to do the will of God, and to accomplish His work.”

Not what people think, not what the culture says. “Peter, I want you to know that, you know, if getting a lot of fish or being famous or being rich, I gave you that if that’s what you wanted. This is even better, this is bigger, this is more important. My food, the motivation isn’t that you use Me to get your world figured out. The motivation is that You understand that God’s got a purpose and a plan and that’s your drive, that’s your motivation.”

And then it’s very interesting. Jesus wanted Peter to learn to die well. I think I shared earlier, we do a lot of ministry in the Middle East and we did some training for a group that we partner with, a couple hundred of their leaders from throughout the Middle East and a number of the people that had come were from Iran and Iraq and some of the countries with it’s illegal to be a follower of Jesus.

And as they were going back, the report we got from this group was, the last thing they asked us, “Will you teach us to die well?” They understood that there’s more to life than now. They probably won’t live very long by being a follower of Christ in Iran. And it’s just, and Jesus taught the disciples, “Unless a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears forth much fruit.”

And so, part of His journey as He trained them and He taught and then He modeled and then about the last eighteen months, the goal was put them into training so they would learn to die.

Now, He died physically and then three days later rose from the dead. But they had to die to themselves. They were going to have to learn to take up their cross and their agenda and follow Him and it would be very unpopular. And so, that’s part of what He’s teaching them. And are you ready for this? He actually expected them to both think and believe that they should follow Him in resurrection.

Luke 22, I put it in your notes here, this is like the very last night. And they are ready to go into the last Passover and Jesus is going to wash their feet and we are going to have all that exciting stuff that happens. But as they are going in, they have a disagreement. And they are arguing about who is the greatest. I mean, after three years of Jesus, they are still arguing about who is number one.

And Jesus gets them together and He doesn’t, He doesn’t reprove them and say, “You shouldn’t be so ambitious and why do you want to make such a big impact? And why do you want…?” God made us to be that way. But He says, “Let me tell you, there’s a different way to get there.” He says to them, “If you want to be great, be a servant. If you want to be number one, actually be a slave and serve other people.”

And then He says this crazy, crazy thing. You kind of miss it. He says, “My Father has conferred a kingdom on Me and I now confer a kingdom on you.” And these men have gone through it. He knows He is going to die, He knows He is going to rise from the dead, He knows what they are going to go through in the future. He says, “I confer a kingdom on you,” to these eleven, and He says, “and you will rule with Me in the resurrection. And you will be on thrones and help judge the twelve tribes.”

He actually had a mindset that following Him wasn’t just temporal and wasn’t just now, but a mindset of a future and a resurrection and what the Bible would teach about a new heaven and a new earth and that you were a follower for eternity.

It's like I was joking last week when my wife was giving me a hard time, like, she says, “Lessons from the first fifty years? Do you think you’re going to live another fifty?” I said, “No, but I think I’m going to be following Jesus for another five hundred million or zillion, because after this body dies, I’ll be resurrected, and I will still be following. I’ll still be learning.”

So, what I want you to see now is Peter’s experience, and then I’ll maybe share some things that you can identify with.

I think sometimes we think, at least the way I grew up, these apostles and “people that were holy,” they were all in stained glass. I remember going to church, we had this huge A-frame and it was all stained glass and you kind of have some pictures. And I just thought that Peter and Paul and they just lived on another planet and they just had it all together. Of course, I had never read the New Testament but…

And I just want to show you, Peter, did you notice? His first steps, he just crawled like a baby. He’s small in faith. It was a crawl. He just explored. Then he explored some more. And then he listened. And then he followed Him around. And then he hung out with Him. Then he went to a wedding. And then he heard Him teach and then he realized, “You are the Messiah,” and he came to personal faith.

And then it was part-time trying to take time off from work to be more and more around Jesus and then now? His crawl becomes a bit of a walk. Okay, I am going to leave my business, I am going to leave my family for a season and I’m going to join this band of brothers to go into training to fulfill this mission and become just like this rabbi.

And so, he leaves his boats. And he’s making really good progress. And then, Jesus says to His disciples, “Okay, I’m doing all these miracles, all this teaching; who do people say that I am?” Remember this? And they say, “Oh, some think John the Baptist raised from the dead. Others, an Old Testament prophet.”

And Jesus says, “No, no, no, no. Who do you say that I am?” And Peter says, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And He goes, “Peter, that’s not from you. The Father revealed that to you.”

So, I mean, he is declaring. He is getting it. And what’s interesting is right after some of our biggest sort of great moments are often some of our lowest moments. Maybe some of you understand. Remember what happened next? Shortly after Jesus talked about, “Now I am going to go.” It’s getting near the end of the ministry. “I’m going to die,” and three days later…

And Peter takes Him aside, “May it never be.” You know, You can’t die! See, Peter has got this picture of: You’re going to take down Rome, You’re going to clean up the Jewish system, there’s going to be twelve thrones, I’m going to be one of Your right-hand guys. I mean, You’re the Messiah! You’re the King! You’re going to make everything right and You’re going to do it right now!

And Jesus, remember His words? “Get behind Me, Satan!” And do you remember His explanation? “Because you have the things of man on your mind instead of the things of God.”

In other words, here’s what Peter had in mind. And it’s so subtle and, boy, I have been so guilty of it personally. What Peter, I mean, he’s sincere, right? He’s got the right doctrine, he believes. He’s already made a huge sacrifice. I mean, he left family, left his business, how much more committed?

And, yet, what he wanted was the crown without the cross. What he wanted was: I want Jesus and I want to be a part of His team, but I want Him to make my world work out the way I want it, but this crazy talk about You dying and all that, that’s…

And I don’t know about you, but I get that way. In fact, I think it has happened much in this country and some places around the world where we actually think that Jesus came and died, paid the price for our sin, rose from the dead, and we believe and trust in Him and if we will kind of do what is right, His whole goal is to make us happy and work things out for us. So, we will follow Him, and if we follow Him, then we won’t get sick and He’ll give us money and our marriages will be great and our kids will all turn out right.

And He never said, He said, “No, no, no, no. I want you to follow Me and I want you to fulfill My agenda.” And Peter blew it on this one.

And then he went from stumbling where he fell. He betrayed Him, right? “Everyone else will. I will never! I’ll never!” I mean, flat on his face. And then he crawls again. It’s interesting that the Scripture is really clear that after the resurrection, remember? He appears to Mary and then the text says in 1 Corinthians 15 that He appeared to the twelve, but He appeared to Peter privately. I think He basically just said, “Peter, I forgive you.”

And I don’t know about you, but I’ve done some things that I know were so wrong, so bad. The opposite of what I knew God wanted me to do, and I have prayed and asked for forgiveness and I have known I have been forgiven, but I don’t feel very much like I am worth anything or God could ever do much with my life.

And so, after he crawls back in forgiveness, he begins to walk where Jesus restores him – John chapter 21. Peter goes back to fishing, he comes in and He asked those three questions, “Peter, do you love Me? Peter, do you love Me? Peter, do you love Me?” And He reinstates him, “Feed My lambs, feed My lambs, feed My sheep.”

And He did it in such a way where He wanted Peter to own, “Yes, you blew it. You were confident in yourself, and you messed up. But it doesn’t mean I have given up on you.”
Shortly after Jesus talked about, “Now I am going to go.” It’s getting near the end of the ministry. “I’m going to die,” and three days later…

And Peter takes Him aside, “May it never be.” You know, You can’t die! See, Peter has got this picture of: You’re going to take down Rome, You’re going to clean up the Jewish system, there’s going to be twelve thrones, I’m going to be one of Your right-hand guys. I mean, You’re the Messiah! You’re the King! You’re going to make everything right and You’re going to do it right now!

And Jesus, remember His words? “Get behind Me, Satan!” And do you remember His explanation? “Because you have the things of man on your mind instead of the things of God.”

What he wanted was the crown without the cross. And I don’t know about you, but I get that way. And Peter blew it on this one.

And so, after he crawls back in forgiveness, he begins to walk where Jesus restores him. And He did it in such a way where He wanted Peter to own, “Yes, you blew it. You were confident in yourself, and you messed up. But it doesn’t mean I have given up on you.”

And then you find where Peter starts to run. He preaches the first message, he becomes one of the great leaders of the Church, and that’s the pattern. And so, I would just encourage you, if you – look up these verses maybe this week. Do a little study. And then I encourage you to think about your own life. When did I start crawling? And when have I walked? And when I have stumbled?

And so, I told you last time that I came to Jesus at that Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp. I didn’t really know much, but he said He’s standing at the door of my heart. If I would open the door, put my faith in Him, He would come into my life, forgive my sin, take up residence. He did. And my desires started to change and I had a joy that I never, never experienced. I could not put the Bible down. I hid it under my pillow.

And then within a couple months, I went away to college. And I went away to college mostly to play basketball and maybe get an education on the side. And I thought, you know, I didn’t have, I didn’t really know what a Christian was, because I had rejected religion and my church experience.

And so, I had one small little poster that I can’t remember the picture, but it said, “To the glory of God.” I thought, I didn’t know what that meant exactly, but I put that one poster up and I put my Bible, I put it on my dresser. And it’s those old school rooms where two people roomed. I thought, I don’t know what my roommate is, where he’s coming from, but, you know, this is who I am and I’m not ashamed of being a Christian.

And so, as a guy walked by and it was an athletic dorm and he kind of knocked on the door and said, “Hey, what’s up?” And he was the fullback on the football team. And he saw my little poster, he said, “You a Christian?” And it was, like, my first time. I said, “Well, yeah!” I didn’t know what one was. But yeah! You know? And he goes, “Well, hey, you’re coming with me tonight. We’re going to go to a Bible study.”

So we, it was a tiny, tiny little town where you could walk, and it had just one bar and a little red church and a little white church. I mean, tiny area in West Virginia, but a beautiful, kind of beautiful campus up on this big hill.

And three or four five thousand students. Something like that. But a lot of commuters. And so, we walk uptown, and we meet Dave the bricklayer. And I had never been to a Bible study before, and it was me and the fullback and two other guys. And I didn’t know what to expect. All I can tell you was it was pretty boring. The guy, the bricklayer was, like, you know some people are really charismatic? He was very non-charismatic.

He had a high school education. Down-to-earth would be an understatement. And I thought, Well, you know, this is interesting. And so, I went back, because the fullback said I should and he was really big, so I obeyed him.

And then I remember Dave said, “Hey, would you like to learn to study the Bible?” And I didn’t, wasn’t really attracted to the guy, but it’s kind of like, it was like saying I’m a swimmer and someone says, “Would you like to learn to swim?” You sort of feel obligated. And so I said, “Oh, sure.”

So he, on Tuesday mornings would come at seven o’clock and he would come and teach me how to study the Bible. There was a little kitchenette on the floor and we’d go there and he would open the Bible. And, again, it was not dynamic. It was not exciting. He would just open it, we would read a little bit, he’d ask me a few questions, and I had never prayed out loud before. And so, he would pray, and I would sort of mumble a couple things.

And so, I was starting sort of to crawl, to walk, pretty soon they have, they called it a rally. And there were maybe twenty, thirty kids and sitting on the floor and playing guitar and singing and saying “Jesus” out loud and it’s just like, “Where am I?” This is like the Outer Limits. But something, there’s the real sense of God’s presence and that bricklayer would get up and kind of read a little bit from the Bible and I heard these different people and their lives and how they would come to Jesus and they cared, they loved. And something just drew me to it.

And then basketball season started and I have these new basketball friends and, you know, you want to kind of make the traveling team as a freshman and you want them to like you. And so, you know, I’m playing a lot of basketball and working out really hard and there’s a little thing like going to class. And then Friday, the guys on the team said, “Hey, we are going down to Wheeling, going to hit a few bars, and you coming?” “Well, yeah!” So, you know, I’m in the car with the guys and because my father was an alcoholic, at least I didn’t drink just because I saw what that did.

But I had the people skills, so I would be the guy that would introduce us to all the cute girls in all the bars and we would bar hop and, you know, I’d get home at two or three in the morning and Friday and Saturday night and sometimes – I made it to church maybe once a month.

And then I’d go to Bible study and get all fired up and then I’d go hit the bars on Friday and Saturday. And then I – you know, all I can tell you was my life was like I was schizophrenic. And I couldn’t have been more sincere, and Dave would come and knock on my door and it would be like, I would pretend I was asleep. Like, I do not want to meet with that bricklayer.

And then I’d go on Thursday night and God would speak to me. And I would remember where I was and what a phony I used to be and now I’d see me start to play some of those games again. And then with Christian friends I put on this face and then with the basketball guys, I put on this face, and with girls I would put on this face.

And I found myself reverting back to a lot of the old. And it was stumble, stumble, stumble. And I was miserable. And I just had one foot honestly with the Lord and one foot in the world. And I felt like there was a horse pulling me in both directions. And I just felt guilty a great majority of the time.

And then internally, when I wasn’t doing things that I knew were wrong, I was just – we all have our issues. I just felt like lust was something I just couldn’t overcome. I mean, I know I was supposed to have pure thoughts and we would sit as a basketball team. There was a cafeteria on the bottom floor of the freshmen girl’s dorm, and it had, like, six levels. And so, they would come in to get their food and we were just crass. You know, “3.2, 8.9,” rate every girl very specifically. And it was just ugly and crude and I would feel guilty and then I would pray and then I would as God to forgive me. And I just remember getting on my knees, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’ll never do that again, I’ll never do that again, I’ll never do that again.” Until the next day when I did it again.

And finally, I went from stumble to fall. And I just decided, “I guess I can’t live this life.”

And so, I took my Bible and I opened a drawer and I put it in the drawer and I took down my little poster. And literally it was almost this formal, “Dear God, it’s Chip again. Thanks for everything You did, I really do believe in You, but I can’t hack it. I’m done. I quit. I’m not a Christian anymore. I’m not going to read the Bible, I’m not going to try and be good, I’m not going to go to Bible study. I just want to officially resign.” I didn’t know, I didn’t know if you could do that or not, but I did it.

And so, I went about my day and got up the next day and I lusted like normal and I did the same thing, with the same… And then I still felt, I felt guilty and I felt this conviction. And it was like, “Whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.” I just, “Michael, Gabriel, can you get the message? I’m done! I’m out! I don’t…”

And I remember talking to an older guy and he goes, “So, you quit, huh?” I said, “Yeah. But how come God keeps messing with me?” I mean, I’m done. I can’t live this life. I’m a failure.” And he said, “Well, can I ask you something?” I said, “Sure.” He said, “Before you were a Christian, you sinned, obviously, like we all do.” “Yes.” And he named a few very specific sins we were both familiar with. He said, “Did you enjoy that?” I said, “Absolutely.” He said, “Did you feel guilty afterwards?” I said, “Eh, a little. Not much.” I thought, actually, I was a pretty good guy. I always compare myself to other people who are, like, axe murders and stuff. And I thought, You know, I’m no Billy Graham, but I’m not an axe murderer so, you know…

And he said, “Well, when you sin now,” and we were pretty specific, he said, “how do you feel?” I said, “Well, while I’m sinning, I feel pretty good. But afterwards it’s terrible. It’s just weight of guilt and…” And he says, “Well, that’s really good news.” I said, “Why is that?” He says, “Because when the Spirit of God comes into your life and seals you, He’s a jealous God. You are His son.”

And then he took me to this passage in 2 Timothy. It says, “This is a trustworthy statement: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him. If we endure with Him, we’ll also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will disown us.” In other words, if I say, you know, “God, I forget it,” then He, okay, no blessing. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, because He cannot deny Himself.”

He said, “Chip, do you remember when you prayed and He’s standing at the door and He died for your sins and said if you would open the door, He would come into your life? And you said yes?” “Yeah.” “Who else said yes?” I said, “Jesus.” He said, “He keeps His commitments.” He said, “Chip, that’s why there’s a lot of verses about God’s discipline. He doesn’t throw people out of the family. He brings the velvet vise of discipline. You’re going to be miserable. And if your misery doesn’t get you to turn around and get on the right path, then He’ll allow you to be more miserable.”

And I thought, Oh, come on. And my god was basketball. I didn’t realize it was really me, basketball was just the cover. But I had this, “Oh, I’m going to be this great player and it would be twenty-five points a game and afterwards, I thought, It’s all Jesus. It’s all Jesus. You know? I wanted Jesus to make my life work out so I could be a great someone. Basketball was just my idol.

And so, freshman year, gosh, made the traveling team, started to get into the rotation as a freshman, and stress fracture in my foot, there goes that year. Next year, it’s my year, I’m going to be a sophomore, I’m really going to do it. And I played baseball as well, I came out of the batter’s box in fall baseball, getting ready, and pulled my quad from the top all the way out. There goes year number two.

Year number three, it was literally, it was literally like the vise of, okay, as long as you’re going to think that basketball is your god, with this girlfriend or so on the side, in His kindness, He just kept…

And I remember my great lordship moment, I would love to say was this deep, I really want to respond in ways…

And I remember coming to the point where I realized, God loves me so much that He will not let me have my own way. And I can keep going the way I am, and I suppose I can harden my heart. The Bible talks about getting to where you can actually sear your conscience.

In my strength, in my power, with my willpower, with my best efforts, I can’t live this Christian life. I can’t have pure thoughts.

And what I found out was little by little I actually found out that bricklayer wasn’t so uncool.

I share how uncool and how undynamic because I think we are living in a world that is so about flash and not substance. So much about façade and fame and… And you know what he did? He wouldn’t give up on me. An older guy told him, you know, “Ingram is a loser, he’s a flake. Dave, you’re wasting your time.” But Dave wouldn’t quit. He just kept coming on Tuesday morning. And it wasn’t like He wanted me in a Bible study or wanted to be some Christian goody two-shoes.

And he invited me up and I found myself a couple times a week, at times, eating around His table. And I came from a dysfunctional family. From about thirteen to seventeen, my dad was gone. Thank God for coaches. He was just gone. I didn’t know what a man was.

And I sat around Dave’s table and I watched: What do families do? They eat meals together like this. And I watched him come down smelling with all this cologne and with a tie on. I mean, this is a blue-collar, hardcore guy. His hands were so rough it was like shaking hands with a lobster from laying those brick.

And he was this manly man and he had a tie on, the coat. “What are you doing?” He goes, “I’m going on a date.” I said, “With who?” He said, “Who do you think? Polly, my wife.” “What?” A man goes on a date with his wife? I watched my parents for twenty years. I didn’t see them ever go on a date. I rarely saw them hug. I rarely saw, I mean, what is this?

And then I watched him with his kids, and I watched him with me. And then I worked part time with him and I saw how he treated people. Then I remember being in the truck with him and someone was broken down and it’s pouring rain and he pulls over and he gets
underneath this thing and fix[es] this guy’s car.

When I got done with my three or four years around Dave, this uncool guy had this impact on me. I wanted to be a man like Dave someday. I wanted to be a Christian like Dave. Instead of my life and how I was living it, with, “Oh, how many people could you date?” I wanted someday, some way to have a Polly. And God gave me it when I said no to the junk and yes to that.

And then I wanted to have the kind of marriage that He had. I wanted to be the kind of dad that he was. I wanted to be the kind of person that cared the way he cared. It was just so attractive. And he wasn’t cool and it wasn’t external. It was the beauty coming out from inside of him. And he was this just down-to-earth guy that read his Bible and loved people and cared about me.

And from that little group of three or four, we grew to about two hundred and fifty in Bible study in the next two or three years. And I could tell you, if people, like myself and others, and every continent around the world that we take our spiritual lineage back to a bricklayer with a high school education, who just followed Jesus and basically never said it out loud, but just, “Follow Jesus the way I do.”

And I will tell you, there’s not enough money, there’s not enough fame, there’s not enough likes, there’s not enough esteem, there’s not enough success in all the world that will ever deliver the invitation that Jesus delivers: Follow Me. I will make you a fisher of men.” Purpose: to discover why you’re on this earth, to crawl and walk and stumble and fall and mess up and get back up and allow God to even take the worst things you have done and reorient them around His grace to love people and see Him work through you the way Dave did in me, I will tell you, there’s nothing better. Nothing more glorious.