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Once a while, Facebook has a way of reminding us of a past post we shared. On New Year’s Eve, I was reminded of a post I shared on 31st December 2014. I believe that this message still has relevance to our lives as we start 2018.    

“Luke 5:4-11 “And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, THEY LEFT EVERYTHING AND FOLLOWED HIM”.

Some may read this passage and note the amazing miracle performed by Jesus. Others may read it and relate the passage to the great provision of God that overwhelms and overflows our cup; in this case overwhelms the fishing net and even the boat. But not many will notice that Simon, Andrew, James and John, left everything and followed Jesus. To clearly understand their actions, one will have to perceive the opportunity they had. The passage details that they had made the catch of their lives, where their nets were breaking and their boats almost sinking. This is a great opportunity to make a lot of money, a life changing opportunity for fishermen, but they left it all to gain Christ. They did not say to the Lord, “let me sell this fish first and then follow you or let me not waste this once in a lifetime opportunity”. They rather desired the giver of the blessing more than the blessing itself. They left it all to follow Christ”.

As we start 2018, may we reflect on the things in our lives that the Lord will have us leave behind to follow Him. This may even be good things or pleasurable things, but it could burden us and affect our relationship with the Lord and our full commitment to His ways. For the disciples, it was a great opportunity to make a lot of money; and while this is not a sin in itself, they still desired the Lord more. What is the Lord calling you to leave behind? Reflect on it, turn from it and walk with the Lord.

May 2018 be a year of full commitment to the Lordship of Christ. May it be a year of commitment to prayer; a year to serve Him through His church; a year of walking daily with Him through all the joys and challenges the year brings.

As a church, may 2018 be a year of further commitment to building together and advancing the work of the Kingdom. God has started a great thing among us at Ridgeway Didcot, so let nothing deter us from the mission.   

I love you all church. Happy New Year to you.


Chris Eke