- The Washington Times - Monday, February 7, 2000

Our awesome God has a simple message for us. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Have you really tried to figure out how awesome God really is? In our text [Matthew 4:18] it says, "Jesus was walking by." He didn't fly over, but walked there from His own town where He had been rejected. Most of the time you have to visit a doctor, but Dr. Jesus makes house calls. He made his way up to the Sea of Galilee.

That sea could represent all of us people. He looked out on the sea, and can you imagine what he saw? Can you imagine Him looking out on all the liars, thieves, murderers, the abused wife, the obnoxious husband? Can you see Him looking out on diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure? Our God is an awesome God. We want to look through Jesus' eyes today… .

Jesus had a home. He had a position of peace and glory up there, but He came down to find out what this was all about. And our God will not just look on your circumstance, but he will do something about it… . He saw the two fisherman. He looked down on all the millions of people, and he saw these two brothers. God is an awesome God, but He is also a personal God. You may think you are not significant to Him, but you are… .

When you are out on your ship, facing the storms of tribulation, I want you to know that God has His eyes on you, looking to see what He can do. He is that precise. When Jesus walked through a crowd, He even knew that someone touched His garment. If you call on the awesome God, He will stop and have compassion on you.

I want you to understand that He is also going to expect an answer. He called two fisherman, one of whose name became Simon Peter. Some folks change their names, either because they get a new position or religion. Some change it when they are married. Did you know that someday God is going to give you a new name?

But the question is not about changing a name, but changing your mind… . God knows your name and where you live. He knows what kind of car you drive and where you go to work. I just wanted you to know that. He doesn't have to look you up on the Internet white pages. And He knows what you do. How many of you, when the lights are out or covers pulled up, the door locked, know that God still knows where you live?

I'm glad He knows where I live. That means He can give me a blessing, and when I'm wrong, He can correct me. If God is a doctor, we have to let Him in, invite Him into our lives. When Jesus met the two brothers, they were fishermen who had not caught any fish. There's nothing worse than that… . A lot of us are like that. We call ourselves Christians, but we never have any joy. We call ourselves Americans, but we never vote. We say we are concerned about our children, but we never go to a PTA meeting… .

Jesus looked at this and thought, "How pitiful they are." Spending a whole life throwing in that net. They've not caught anything yet. We all tell the story, "The big one got away," But what have we really caught? I'm going down this path because I want you to know that God wants you to start looking through His eyes. After you learn to walk and talk like Him, he wants you to start seeing like Him, too… .

When we see problems, He sees opportunities. Every time you run into a problem, young man and young woman, it is nothing but an opportunity for you to excel in what God has already given you. They say, "Try, try again." And I'll add to that: "Try, try again, and then try with Jesus." You'll be able to pass any test that comes your way… . What did Jesus say to the fishermen? He said, "Follow me." If you look through Christ's eyes, we see the priority of this life. To do God's will and not our will.

Next week: a sermon by the Rev. Dorothea Belt-Stroman at Albright Memorial United Methodist Church in the District of Columbia.

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