Follow Me, And I Will Make You
Matthew, Chapter 4:17-20
17From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
18And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
20And they straightway left their nets and followed him.
I want to use that phrase of Jesus as the subject today:
Follow Me, and I will make you.
I’m aware every time I preach anywhere in the world that I face people who are hurting and suffering, people who need answers in their life, people who have had heartbreak and tragedy, and today is no different.
You never know what is going on inside the person that is setting behind you or in front of you.
Sometimes it may be that a person is in that very service as a last resort.
Some of them ready to commit suicide.
Some of them ready to throw the towel in and quit on every area of life.
My business today is to be an encourager, to turn your eyes away from your troubles and get your eyes on Jesus because Jesus is the answer.
He is the answer to all of our problems.
This life is preparation for eternity.
We’re only here for a short time.
We’re here to prepare for that great, grand time that we’re going to have throughout all eternity with everlasting life.
But, you know, while we spend time here, we don’t want to waste it.
We do not want our lives to be a failure.
We want to do something in life that matters.
But, the reality is that sometimes it feels like we just can’t catch traction.
Sometimes it feels like we flop at everything we try.
Sometimes it seems like we get knocked down every time we try to get up.
But, Jesus says to all the hurting, suffering, confused people in life, Follow Me, and I will make you. I will make you.
He has the power to make you what you ought to be.
One man came to Jesus and said, “I’ll follow you, but let me go home and bury my father.”
What he was saying is… “Let me stay until he dies. He’s getting older, and it won’t be long before he dies. Let me stay here until he dies, and later on, I’ll follow You.”
Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead, but you follow Me.”
Another man run up to Him and said, “I’ll follow you, Lord, wherever you go only let me go home and say goodbye to my family.”
Jesus said, “He that puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God. Follow me.”
In other words, Jesus is saying to people: “Don’t play games with Me.
If you’re going to follow Me…
… if you’re going to let Me be the Lord of your life…
… if you’re going to surrender your life to Me,
…Make it a one hundred percent commitment.
If you are going to follow me, then follow me and me alone.
Follow Me, and I will make you.”
You say, “Brother Davis, you don’t know what Jesus has got to work with me.”
“Oh, my, if you knew, I don’t even believe Jesus could do much with me.”
Well, I know it’s easy to begin to feel like that when you look around and you can see a lot of problems, and not many ways out…It’s easy to begin to feel like that…That my friends can’t help me, and my family can’t help me, and with the mess that I am in the middle of, I’m not even sure Jesus can help me.
But, I want you to know that Jesus never gives up.
I said You may think it’s too much, but Jesus never gives up.
Jesus didn’t say, “Follow me and I will see what I can do”…
He said, “Follow me, and I WILL MAKE YOU!”
Oh, I came to speak some Purpose into your life today…
You may already know that there is no way you can work it all out…
You may already know there’s no way that any other man can work it all out…
But, I want you to know with assurance today that God can work it all out.
There is a Purpose for your life, and it’s not to live in a prison of “can-not’s”, and Impossibilities…but, the Purpose for your life is for you to turn it all over to God, and let Him make you something greater than you’ve ever been before!
I think about Michelangelo.
Michelangelo was standing before a great, big rock and some kind of granite or something like that, you know, and he had this chisel, and he had this hammer, and he was hammering away and chiseling away at that unsightly piece of rock.
And somebody said unto him — said, “What are you doing? What are you doing?” He said, “I — when I look at this rock, I see an angel. I see an angel trapped in that rock; and you ask me what I’m doing. I’m letting him out.”
And, you know, your life may be like that.
It may be all messed up.
You may be up and out, in and out, down and out.
You may have made a thousand mistakes.
You may have scrambled eggs that can never be straightened out.
But, listen, God looks at you… … …
…Oh, when God looks at you… … …
You may say, I’m just that old, rough rock; but Jesus said, “I see a different person.”
“I see an angel.”
“I see a son and daughter of God.”
“I see a successful person.”
“I see somebody I can use”…
…and He’s chipping away at your life.
Oh, you say, “It hurts.”
But you got to get the person out that’s inside that rock.
Chip away. Chip away. Chip away.
That’s what Jesus wants to do.
It looks like a mess on the surface, but God sees something that is deeper than the surface.
When the world saw David, they saw a little, insignificant shepherd boy; but when God saw David, he saw a giant killer.
I wish some of us could get the attitude that David had that day, because when the Israelites said, “He’s too big to fight”, David said, “No, He’s too big to miss.”
When the world saw David, they saw a little lad there that seemed like he would never amount to anything.
But when God saw him, he saw a king.
The world looks at you and they may not see much; but, when Jesus looks at you, He sees great possibilities.
He sees something deeper!
He sees something Greater!
And He says, Follow Me, and I’ll make you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When the world saw the disciples, they saw dirty, smelly, rough fishermen.
They saw despised tax collectors.
They saw fanatical politicians.
But when Jesus saw them, he saw men who could turn the world upside down with the gospel.
Listen, the message that God has sent to this church today is…
“Don’t worry about what you are, Just Follow Me.”
“Put your life in My hands.”
“I have the power to make you!”
I think about that demoniac over there in Mark, Chapter 5.
He had to be chained.
He broke the chains.
He tore his clothes off.
He ran naked down through the town.
He howled and screamed, filled with at least 2,000 demons.
I think about that man; and when the world looked at him, they say, “No hope. No hope. Write him off: No hope for this man…
He’s a crazy, insane man filled with demons.”
But when Jesus saw him, he saw a preacher.
Jesus crossed over that water, and met that man, and cast the demons out of him, and before they knew what was going on, he was clothed sitting in his right mind at the feet of Jesus.
Let me tell you church, I’m glad to know that God can take something that looks hopeless to the world, and He can shine a new light of Hope into it!
–He can take something that has been infected with the filth of the world, and clean it, and make it look Holy again!
–He can take something that looks dead to the world, and breath New Life into it!
Hey, church…I don’t want us to ever get so saved that we forget that God is still saving folks and fixing situations.
I don’t want us to ever get so holy that we forget that God is still taking worldly sinners, and cleaning them up, and fixing their lives.
Let’s get real here…
You take me back several years, and I didn’t look like much!
You take Bro Larry back a few years, and you might doubt that he
would ever be in the church.
You take Bro Brad back a few years, and he didn’t seem like much!
Because we were all caught up in the garbage that the world offers.
We were all stuck in the traps of worldliness.
Oh, But let me tell you, church, something happened, and God stepped in and started cleaning us up, and working with us, and I’m so glad that Jesus Lifted Me.
He picked me up, and washed me up!
He changed the direction of my life!
And as I follow Him, He’s still helping me, and guiding me!
And, if you’ll follow Him, He’ll do the same for you!
And, that man that had just been delivered from over 2,000 demons was setting there…
And he said, “Jesus, let me go back with you.”
He said, “No, you go to the ten towns around here and tell them what great things God has done for you.”
And, you know, as I look around, there may be people on drugs and alcohol.
You may be trapped by illicit desires and abnormal, sexual, deviate things.
I want you to know, you may look at yourselves one way and the world may put a label on you that says Hopeless and helpless; but, Jesus says, “Follow Me, and I will make you. I will make you what you ought to be.”
Oh, church…I get happy & excited when I think about Jesus.
Jesus, the name that charms our fears…
…the name that can remove our sorrows.
That Name is music to the sinner’s ear.
It’s Life… It’s Power… It’s Peace.
Hallelujah. Glory be to God.
Jesus said, “If you’ll just give me your life. Don’t play games with Me. Surrender everything to Me. Follow Me, and I will make you!”
The world looks at us one way, and we look at ourselves one way and we get discouraged.
You know, Simon came to Jesus, and Jesus looked at him and said something very significant.
He said, “You are Simon, but you shall be Peter.”
“You are Simon, but you shall be Peter.”
You ain’t hearing me…
He said, You are, but you shall be.
You are, but you shall be.
See, don’t worry about what you are, just think about what you shall be.
I call that the “Possible you.”
Oh, I wish I could get somebody to quit thinking about the “Failing You”, and start thinking about the “Possible You”.
You know, so many people get beaten down by life, abused wives, abused children, incest in the home, alcohol and drugs and rebellion in the lives of people, you know.
We get down to where we think we are just absolutely — well, we’re just nothing.
And, you know, “God can never do anything with me.”
“The church is for good people who do all the right things.”
No…The church is not a place for good people who do all the right things; The church is a place where people who have given up can find hope.
I think about people like that; and I know across this sanctuary, and many of you listening to the tape, I know many of you feel the hurts and the heartache, and the brokenness of life, and the emptiness of life.
You know, you may have it all. You may have your money. You may have your big mansion. You may have your boat. You may have your cars. You may have all of that.
But, I’ll tell you…you can have all of that and still have an empty heart.
You know, Jesus, when he fed the 5,000, they didn’t have any food so He took the little loaves and fishes, just a few of them, and broke them and gave to the disciples and He said, Give them out to the crowd.
5,000 men besides women and children.
Probably 20-30 thousand people there, He fed.
And then, you know, when it was all over, He said something very significant.
He said, “Pick up the fragments that nothing be lost.”
“Jesus, we’re tired. We’ve been feeding these people all day long. We want to sit down. Rest. Go swimming. Sit in a rocking chair.”
He said, “Pick up the fragments.”
“Jesus, you made this bread. You made this fish. Why should you worry about a few little fragments on the ground? We’re tired.”
Jesus said, “Pick up the fragments that nothing be lost.”
I want somebody to hear this today…
The God that we serve is “The God who wastes nothing”.
You may today be bewildered and brokenhearted and you may have a fragmented life. Everything’s come to pieces in your life and is fragmented and you don’t know what to do.
I want you to know Jesus said, Pick them up. Pick them up. Pick them up.
Hey, I didn’t come up here today to beat you up, I just came to bring you a message from the Lord.
He didn’t say kick you down. He said to pick you up.
Pick them up. Pick them up. Show them how to get ahold of me.
Let them follow Me, and I’ll make them.
–He’s great at taking broken, and shattered hopes and ambitions, and gluing it all back together again.
–He’s great at taking fragmented lives, broken in morals, broken financially, broken in every area of life, and putting the pieces of that fragmented life back together again.
I know many of you feel like you’re fragmented today.
Many of you come with a smile on your face, but a frown in your heart.
Many of you come with a victory on your face but defeat in your heart.
Many of you come with some joy in your face, but a tear in your heart.
If people around you knew what battles you were fighting, the broken heart, the broken dreams, the shattered dreams that you have but, oh, I’m here to tell you, there is One named Jesus who is the miracle worker.
He mends broken people and He says, Follow Me, and I will make you.
I think of that scripture about Jesus.
It’s the most beautiful thing that you could ever read in the Bible.
It says concerning Him out of Isaiah and quoted in the gospels: “A bruised reed He will not break; a smoking flax He will not quench.”
A bruised reed…Think of the bruised people in life…
…bruised because of the ups & downs in life…
…bruised because of the storms of life…
…bruised and hurt.
But the Bible says: Jesus will not take you and break you.
No! Jesus will not break a bruised reed.
He’ll say, Follow Me, and I will make you.
I’ll make you to stand tall again.
I’ll make you to stand up strong again.
Yes…You’re bruised and broken over there, but I can make you stand one more time!
And then says A smoking flax.
Oh, it used to burn bright.
It used to have such a flame on it, but now the dampening rains of the affairs of life have come down and the flame is almost gone.
It’s just a little smoke left.
A little fire and a little smoke.
Jesus didn’t say stamp it out.
No! …a smoking flax, He’ll not quench.
What will He do?
He’ll breathe upon you.
He’ll blow upon you.
He’ll walk beside you.
He’ll lift you.
He’ll strengthen you.
I’ll tell you, He won’t put your light out.
He’ll turn up the flame.
Follow Me — follow Me — follow Me, and I will make you.
Oh church, He has all power.
He is the living God.
He is the great I Am.
He has all power in heaven and in the earth.
And if you’re in trouble out there, just surrender to Him.
It’s not any big deal. Just give up and make Him the Lord of your life.
And He said, If you’ll follow Me, I’ll make you.
I’ve got the power to make you.
I’ve got the power to mend your broken heart.
I’ve got the power to give you a new life.
You know, I think about the potter in Jeremiah.
It says — God said to Jeremiah, Go down to the potter’s house and I will speak to you there. And he went down to the potter’s house; and the potter was making a vessel, some kind of a vase or something, you know. And he was working on it and it was beautiful and everything was going real good and as Jeremiah watched, the Bible says, “the vessel was marred in his hand.”
And that’s the way life is.
There are times when we feel so marred that we think we never will amount to anything.
People are marred.
Some of you are marred… … …marred by life.
The vessel was marred and broken, but I’m so glad for what it says.
But the potter made it again another vessel.
Let me tell somebody right now…All hope is not gone.
Somebody needs to hear me and hear me well…
I said, All Hope is NOT Gone!
All hope is not gone because you’re marred by some failure or by some beating or by some brokenness in your life.
He makes it again another vessel.
God said to Jeremiah, “As the clay is in the hands of the potter, so Israel is in My hands.”
Oh, thank God as the clay is in the hands of the potter, so are we in the hands of Jesus.
And we may have our days of marring.
We may have our disappointments and our storms, but He will make you again another vessel!!
You know,. I remember the call to preach coming to me again and again, and I ignored it. But, as time marched on, the call became stronger and stronger and stronger, and clearer every day that this wasn’t just another thought that popped into my head, but God was making it very clear that He wasn’t taking “No” for an answer.
I heard Him say, “Follow Me, and I will make you.”
I said, “Jesus, You don’t know who I am.”
“You don’t know who You’re talking to.”
He said, “Follow Me. I’ll make you”.
I said, “Jesus, You don’t know who I am.”
“I’m a trouble-maker,
drifting on the sea of life.”
He said, “Follow Me. I will make you.”
I said, Jesus, “I’m not a great person.”
“I’m just a contractor trying to make a living for my family.”
He said, “Follow Me. I will make you.”
And that night, that week I made a quality decision, and I want all the world to know I made my decision to follow Him.
And I take the witness stand today to tell you that He’s never failed me once.
Oh, I’d been marred in His hand, but He made me again another vessel and He gave me a greater hope.
When I was down, He lifted me.
When I sinned, He forgave me.
When I failed Him, He lifted me up.
When I did wrong, He gave me mercy.
Oh, what a God we serve.
Oh, I’m not perfect…
I don’t want you to get that idea at all.
But, this is my status in life today…
I’m not all that I ought to be.
I’m not all that I want to be.
But thank God I’m not what I used to be.
It was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while, to auction off the old violin, but he held it up with a smile. What can I get for the old violin? Who will start the bidding for me? One dollar, one. Who will make it two? Two dollars. Who will make it three? But no one answered..
Then, From the back of the room, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow, and wiping the dust from the old violin and tightening up the strings, he played a melody pure and sweet, as sweet as an angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer with a voice that was quiet and low said, What can I get for the old violin? And he held it up with the bow. One thousand, one. Who will make it two? Two thousand. Who will make it three? Three thousand once, three thousand twice, going and gone,
The people cheered, but some of them cried, We don’t quite understand. What changed its worth? The reply came quickly…The touch of the master’s hand.
And lots of people with life out of tune and battered and torn by sin, and by the circumstances of life are auctioned off to that thoughtless crowd much like that old violin.
He’s going once. He’s going twice. He’s going, and he’s almost gone.
But, Then the master comes. Then the master comes.
Then Jesus arrives. Then Jesus comes on the scene.
Then the master comes, and the thoughtless crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the master’s hand.
I want to talk to you out of my heart right now.
I want to encourage you that God is your ally.
Jesus is your friend.
He wants to save you.
He wants to deliver you.
He wants to turn those troubled steps into victorious ones.
He’ll never give up on you. He’ll never give up on you.
You may be fragmented.
You may be a bruised reed.
You may be smoking flax.
You may feel so unworthy or so defeated in so many storms you think you could never get out, but the things that are impossible with man are possible with God.
And I want to encourage you today, just give to the Lord.
Surrender your life & your situation to Jesus, and He’ll make a difference!
Follow Me, and I will — I will — I will make you.