Friday, August 19, 2016

Fame, Fortune or Favor

“Honey I’m home.”  Simon announced as he tossed his hat on the chair making his entrance into the house.  

“The guys are here too, and I’ve got big news.  Guess what?”  With a dish towel in her hands Sarah heads to the living room to see what the fuss is all about and welcomes the boys into her home.   

“What is it Simon?  What’s the big news you’re so fired up about anyway? 

“I quit my job!  Finally me and the guys are gonna travel around the world just like we’ve always wanted.” 

“You quit your job?”  Wagging her finger in the air with a bit of attitude she let Simon know exactly how she felt. 

“Oh no you aren’t … I don’t think so!” 

Or as my husband would say in a Jewish accent, “Simon, calm down … have some Sanka and boiled chicken soup.  You’re not going anywhere.” 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFB – Botswana; Ecuador; Rome, Lazio, Italy; Jamaica; Lithuania; Calasiao, Ilocos Region, Philippines; Poland; Tunisia; Andover, England, United Kingdom; Kingaroy, QLD, Australia; South Korea; Azerbaijan; Denmark; Madulkele, Central Province, Sri Lanka; Comayagua, Comayagua Department, Honduras; Cranbrook & Vernon, BC, Canada; Calasiao, Ilocos Region, Philippines. 

USA Hackett, AR; Lake Havasu City, AZ; Oceanside & Redding, CA; Middletown, DE; Danielsville, Murrayville & Oakwood, GA; LaPorte, South Bend, Mill Creek, Wanatah & Union Mills, IN; Murray, KY; Edwardsburg, MI; Mounds View, MN; Elkin & Richlands, NC; Bismarck, Buxton & Grand Forks, ND; Littleton, NH; Harrisonville & Verona, NJ; Blossvale, Camden, North Pharsalia, & Pitcher, NY; Gibsonburg, OH; Wynnewood, OK; Beaverton & Corvallis, OR; Blount Beach & Lewisburg, TN; Wells Branch, TX. 

I am so happy for your visit and hope that you come back each week to participate in the weekly challenges.  God has been faithful and we expect His favor to abound in the lives of those who chose to be Discipled by Jesus on Daily Favor Blog.
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Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Be sure to visit Tell Me, Q & A or other sections.
 
Security! 

I can tell you now, no wife in her right mind would want to hear that declaration from her husband, especially if the couple had any children. 
 
Stability and financial security weighs heavy on a woman’s heart in being able to care for her family properly.   However, there was a time though when I was a kid, that I remember it leading up to when my Dad would leave his regular day job(s) to begin a new career. 

It had been several years since my parents bought land. At first it was mostly woods; and little by little my father would clear a patch at a time.  His dream was to develop a residential place where there was a steady income enough for him to make a good living, provide for his family yet have some left over to dabble in new projects. 

For the next ten years my Dad worked his day job, took on part time work and chopped away at carving out what would be his vision.  At the age of forty my father made the decision to leave his secure, blue collar career behind and follow after what was in his heart.   

With kids in tow, Mom and Dad finally moved into their new home where the vision was manifested.  God had made a way for my father to provide for his family and allowed him to live that reality for another forty-six years until he left for his Heavenly home in June of 2016. 

Think Like A Man 

In preparing for this week I keep thinking about what happened that day on the boat with the four disciples.  Actually, the in-between part is where I spent most of my “think” time (well that and constantly pestering my husband to tell me how to think like a man).   

For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”  So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.” (Luke 5:1-11 NKJV) 

We’ve learned how the first chosen men for “followship” stepped into their new career after their massive fishing experience with Jesus, but there had to be time between when they were called and when they really left home.  The opening paragraph is how I pictured Peter’s wife reacting to the “big news” of chucking it all in to follow a man they barely knew. (The name Sarah seemed fitting to use so I did, not knowing her real name.)  

Knowing the Jewish culture, quitting your job and leaving your family behind would make you an outcast of society.  Jesus would certainly know this right?  Well, it’s the same in any nationality, and most men fret when they can’t take care of their family the way they feel they should. 

Men think differently than women when it comes to security and leaving their job to search out a dream or pursue something in their heart.  They don't jump into it at the drop of a hat, or at the beckoning of practically a stranger. 

A woman on the other hand, wants to feel that her man will always take care of her.  Feeling security lies in his protecting and sheltering her from the “bad things” in the world.  Leaving a sure thing wouldn’t be on her list of qualities that make a good soul mate. 

When I asked my husband to describe what he would feel like if confronted with this situation, he said the word fret wasn’t strong enough.  It’s rather an anxiety, a frustrating concern that runs so deep into the marrow of a man that he would do practically anything to see that his loved ones are cared for and safe.

Any man that loves his family isn’t going to run off on a whim and leave them in a lurch.  We have to stop thinking of these men as Bible characters and focus on the fact that they were actual people, with real families, jobs and concerns. 

Simon Peter took over the family business and was also supporting his mother-in-law who lived with him.  Who knows where Andrew lived, but he may have been an extra mouth to feed as well. 

James and John still worked in the family business alongside their father with some hired hands.  Who would replace them once they went galavanting off to see whether or not this really was the Christ? 

What about Jesus Himself?  His father Joseph had passed on leaving Him with the business and in charge of the family.  Did He ditch them or was everything in order at home making it possible for Him to walk out His calling at that time? 

Cha-ching 

When the disciples caught the boatload of fish, Jesus didn’t ask them to share their catch, go feed the thousands or give Him ten percent of the “netting” (but we aren’t told if they did any of those things).  The oversized catch that day would give added security for their own finances to provide for their families.  Having that kind of financial cushion made it easier to follow Jesus, especially when they wanted to obey but still weren’t absolutely sure of who He was.   

The Lord already knew that they would have reservations about leaving their families or shirking their responsibilities.  If He didn’t consider those things Jesus would be going against His own mission to build the Kingdom of His Father.  God is about connecting the family, not destroying it. 

No, this time the message to “Follow Me” was about believing and trust.   It wouldn’t be until after they had experienced the favor of God and witnessed the work of the Lord first hand that He would give instructions for the disciples not to take money, extra clothes, shoes or food on their voyages.   

“He sent them out to proclaim God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. He told them, “Take nothing for the journey — no walking stick, no bag, no bread, no money, not even an extra shirt.” (Luke 9:2-3 CEB) 

The deep fishing day when Jesus gave the choice to follow Him, the disciples had to make a decision that not only affected their families, but their friendships and livelihood.  Basically Jesus was saying, “In all your ways acknowledge Me and I will direct your path.” … but could they? (Proverbs 3:6) 

“Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you
 fishers  of men.” (Matthew 4:19 NKJV) 

They knew how to fish for food, but understanding the phrase “fish for men” was foreign.  What if they did follow Jesus from town to town and things didn’t work out for them?  Perhaps they were being misled?  

Having all those doubts Peter still said, “None the less, I will follow, even if it sounds strange or is the opposite of what I’m used to in my line of work."  What sounds foolish to man is wise to God. (1 Corinthians 2:14) 

Because I Said So 

The order to “do it because I said so” didn’t fly with me as a child and for the most part still doesn’t.  I want to know the why’s and how’s before I do anything.  “Just because I said so” isn’t a good enough reason in my book, but if it’s Jesus … well that’s a different story.   

Peter must have caught on fast, because he obeyed Jesus despite his unbelief as he watched the nets being flung off the boat a second time.  I suppose my mom would have appreciated a few more of those quick to act responses from me back in the day. 

There is an old story that’s been going around for years about a family that went to church, but I’ll shorten it.  The mother had asked her young son to sit still during the service several times, but he disregarded her correction. Finally she gave a stern warning of what would happen if he didn’t sit in his seat quietly.  Heeding to her signal with obstinacy he said, “I may be sitting down on the outside, but inside I’m standing!” 

It’s true that God wants us to follow Jesus and live our lives pleasing unto Him, but He doesn’t want us to do so because we have to do it. Following Christ is a choice. Jesus desires that we seek and follow because our love for Him is greater than the rewards we receive for obeying. 

Fame, Fortune or Favor 

Why did the four disciples (Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John) decide to follow Jesus at that moment?  (Here’s where thinking like a man could help girls.)  Was it because they believed Jesus was the Messiah or that they had a little extra money in their pockets from the huge fish catch? 

Trekking out for a short time when you know the bills are paid isn’t such a faith stretch is it?  Or is it?  Is it?  How would they convince their families to get on board believing that it’s an opportunity of a lifetime to follow Jesus?  Try to think like the disciples in this conversation that could have taken place between the four men.  

The Messiah has come out in the open and we are the first ones He’s called.  Why us?  
 
If we don’t go with Him He’s bound to ask some more men. 
 
What about our businesses and bills?  
 
Yeah, and how are our families supposed to cope without us bringing home the Gefilte? 

None the less, God knows how men think, especially when it comes to the welfare of their families.  If Andrew wasn’t married and lived with Peter, perhaps it would be his great adventure not having the responsibilities of his brother.  Did they really trust God for their finances or would that come later? 

It’s easy to say yes to follow God when things are going well, but would they have said yes if the great catch never happened?  These four kept their jobs even though they were already following Jesus to some degree.  Where was their faith?  Was it in the prospect of selling fish or had it truly turned to following Jesus. 

This Week’s Challenge:
Favorable Career Changes
Why Follow Anyway?  

We all have to ask ourselves, “Why we do what we do anyway?”  Inspired by the 2012 Olympic athletes, a Christian friend of mine wrote a short book of poetry entitled, Hopes, Dreams & Medals”.   

In 2013 Loretta was approached with an opportunity of a lifetime to write a mini epic poem for a film track about why athletes do what they do.  The film is based on Duncan Slater, who became the first double leg amputee to ski to the South Pole as part of the Walking with the Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge.  

Prayerfully she accepted the challenge, and I am pleased to report that God showed her favor for seeking His guidance.  On August 22, 2016 that “career choice” will become a reality in the UK.  

See it here.
Loretta’s understanding of the concept “Why Do We Do It,” was that people do things for many reasons.  Some for the hidden dream, while others for the wonder of living out what is in our heart.  Is being a disciple for Jesus something that is in your heart? 

Last week we learned that listening to the Word of the Lord will take us into deeper fellowship with Christ, leading us to the place of favor.  I asked if you had faith to trust God without borders or limitations.  Now Jesus is asking us if we will let Him train us to be able to do something we couldn’t do on our own.  

For our challenge this week let me ask these four questions about why you honestly want to follow Jesus as His disciple:  

1 - Are you expecting to gain fame, fortune or favor from God and mankind for stepping out by faith? 

2 - Is your curiosity getting the best of you mainly due to the fact that you’ve tried every other religion and nothing else has worked? 

3 - Or is it the depth of your love that causes you to want to be all God wants you to be for and through Him? 

4 – Do you think it’s time? 

God calls all His children to follow Jesus in different ways.  It’s not about gaining fame, fortune or favor, but sometimes it does happen because God is a rewarder of those who seek and follow Him. (see Hebrews 11:6) 

My Dad’s career change served God mainly through his family and music, because my Mother said yes to the Lord.  
 
Today Loretta’s servanthood is transpiring through her writing after a career change was made due to a health issue, which led her to bringing awareness to wounded veterans such as Duncan.   

Finally, we remember the “favorable” career changes of the first four disciples after Jesus asked them to follow Him.   They would come to understand and figured out the “why follow” question for themselves.  

So what about you?  Do you aspire to do something bigger and better like my parents, Loretta, Duncan and the disciples? 

Jesus is still asking …    

“He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  
(Matthew 4: 19 NKJV) 

What will you say? 

“Wherever You go, I will go … I will follow You.” (from Ruth 1:16) 

 

I Will Follow by Chris Tomlin  

What following today looks like.

 
 

If this article has encouraged or helped you, please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 
 

Until next time, favor the decision to follow Christ! 

Check out my new book progress this week.
 

“My favor falls on My followers.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

... and yes the word "discipled" isn't a word used by the world, but that of believers. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

What’s New This Week: Click on photo the or link.
 
90 Inspirational Readings for Women
By Jessie Fioitto
 


Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. 
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible.
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Gertrude Berg  No You Didn't  What Happened  Cha Ching  I Said So  Disciples at Table  Duncan Slater
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.
For more information on the Duncan Slater story visit these websites: 
Duncan Slater: http://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/marathon-des-sables-2016-2/duncan-slater/
Walking with the Wounded: South Pole Allied Challenge: http://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/southpole2013/
Walking With The Wounded - Watch my story: Duncan Slater https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqjYjFjxaQc
My Story: Duncan Slater https://vimeo.com/176733995
Fame, Fortune, Favor, Gertrude Berg, Daily Favor Blog, Favored1, Duncan Slater, Loretta Livingstone, Olympics, Jessie Fioitto, Discipled by Jesus, Discipleship, The Cost of Discipleship, Christian Living, Inspiration, Career Change, Disciples of Jesus