Read: Mark 1:14-20
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
What is your dream for the future? What would you like to do some day? Would you like to be a famous YouTuber? What about a movie star or popular singer? Do you have dreams of something extraordinary? Maybe you would like to be a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld or an astronaut that walks on the moon. Maybe you have big dreams of being a doctor, lawyer, or even the president someday. What fun to think and dream about what you want to do in the future!
I have one more suggestion for you: What if someday you could be someone that lots of people don’t like, that few people listen to—someone that most people want to go away and never come back. Sound like fun? Probably not.
When Jesus called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and then James and his brother John to be his disciples, they dropped everything to follow him. They left behind their jobs as fishermen. They left their families and their friends. That’s tough enough. But do you think they would have done this if they had known how difficult it would be? If they knew how many people wouldn’t like them, wouldn’t listen to them, and would want them to go away and never come back, do you think they still would have followed Jesus that day? Would you have followed Jesus that day?
It can be a fun thing for us to dream about our future, but sometimes we focus too much on worldly things—being famous, being rich, being able to do whatever we think is fun. Those things might be blessings God gives us, but they are definitely not the most important things in life. What is most important is to know Jesus as our Savior, to trust in him, and to follow him. When we do that, Jesus is eager to give us eternal riches in heaven that are better than anything this world has to offer.
Jesus probably won’t appear to you like he did Peter, Andrew, James, and John and tell you to drop your math homework or your house chores to follow him (though that might be nice!). But Jesus does ask you to follow him by putting him first in your heart. Definitely follow your good and God-pleasing dreams for the future. But as you do, think of ways that you can use your gifts to serve Jesus and to share Jesus, just like those first disciples.
Dear Jesus, by grace you have called us to be your disciples and to follow you. Help us to put you first in all we think, say, and do as we serve you in our lives. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What were the jobs of Peter, Andrew, James, and John before Jesus told them to follow him?
- What is the most important thing in the world that God wants us to tell other people?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- What did Jesus mean when he told the disciples they would now be fishing for people?
- If you were one of those first four disciples, how do you think you would feel to leave everything to follow Jesus?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- What is something difficult about being a follower of Jesus today?
- Explain why problems and troubles can be blessings for us as disciples of Jesus.
Hymn: CW 453:1,2 – Come, Follow Me, the Savior Spoke
“Come, follow me,” the Savior spoke, “All in my way abiding.
Deny yourselves; the world forsake; Obey my call and guiding.
Oh, bear the cross, whate’er betide; Take my example for your guide.
“I am the light; I light the way, A godly life displaying.
I bid you walk as in the day; I keep your feet from straying.
I am the way, and well I show How you should journey here below.