Matter of Faith: A Call to Duty

By Reverend J. Loren Russell

Mark 1:16-20
“And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.”

A call to duty is a call to preparation. When Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew, His first two disciples, they were fishing by the seashore. When He told them to follow Him, He said that He would “make them become fishers of men.” They knew how to catch large quantities of fish as evidenced by their casting a net into the sea, not fishing with a pole. Then He saw James and John, two other brothers who were mending their nets in preparation for another day of fishing. When He called them, they abandoned their nets and followed Him. Jesus’ intent was to take their skill as fishermen and teach them how to cast a “net” that would attract men, women, boys, and girls to the gospel message of repentance. All of them willingly gave up their livelihood and their lifestyles to follow Jesus.

For the duration of the chapter, these men followed and watched as Jesus lived out the message He came to Galilee preaching, “…,“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (v.15). They watched as He performed miracle after miracle and do wonders that seemed to never stop. This was the beginning of their training period, their indoctrination, their initiation into the gospel ministry, their boot camp. Those who are called into ministry today are also called to prepare, which often results in them attending seminary or completing other formal education courses.

Memorial Day reminds us of the call to duty many people have and had to serve in the US armed forces. People were once drafted into service, but today, people enlist and serve because they feel a compulsion, an urge, or a desire to be of service. Whether drafted or enlisted, the call to duty is a call to preparation. Every soldier must successfully complete boot camp before they are confirmed as soldiers. Those who are summoned into military duty must be willing to give up their livelihood and their lifestyle for the benefit of the nation.

We salute those who have been called to duty in the armed forces, and current-day proclaimers of the gospel. One has been called to keep our nation free, the other to make men/women holy. Both have a call to duty.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at Smashwords)

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