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When God’s Plans Aren’t Our Plans

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert
Sun 25 th Jan 2015 7.30am, 9.30am St Andrew’s, 6.30pm St Peter’s


When God’s Plans Aren’t Our Plans Mark 1: 14-20
It comes as a shock when we realise that
Jesus pays no attention to our likes or
When he calls us into discipleship – to
follow him into his service – Jesus
demands that we set aside any notion of
what is convenient or preferable or
within our ability.
Our readings this week from Jonah and
Mark are examples of that call to service
and the rewards that await those who
faithfully obey.
Jonah’s initial reluctance to take God’s message of repentance to the evil
people of Ninevah eventually gave way to obedience, and the results of
his efforts were astounding.
Mark gives us his account of Jesus calling the first disciples from their
boats and nets into the work of kingdom-building, marking the beginning
of an unforgettable and life-changing adventure with the Son of God.
When Jesus calls us from our comfortable lives into his service, it’s usually
unexpected and often inconvenient. We must realise we have no right to
decline him whether for personal preference or lack of confidence.
The mark of a saint is confidence in God’s ways – faith in an omnipotent
power who engineers circumstances according to a divine plan beyond
our understanding.
When we abandon ourselves to Jesus and obey his invitation to ‘Come’,
we can be certain he will continue to use us as his agents, and to say
‘Come’ through us as we likewise invite others to ‘come and see’.
Have I come to Jesus? Will I come now?
17And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ 18And
immediately they left their nets and followed him. [Mark 1: 17-18]
Mark 1:14-20 The Beginning of Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee
14 Now after John was arrested and imprisoned, Jesus went to Galilee, and
preached the good news of God, 15saying, ‘The time has come, and the
kingdom of God is near; repent, and believe in the good news.’
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother
Andrew casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus
said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ 18And
immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little
farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in
their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left
their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
Jonah 3:1-10 Conversion of Nineveh
The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2
‘Get up, go to
Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.’ 3
Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now
Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4
began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, ‘Forty days
more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ 5
And the people of Nineveh
believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on
6When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne,
removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7
Then he
had a proclamation made in Nineveh: ‘By the decree of the king and his
nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything.
They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. 8Human beings and animals
shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall
turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. 9Who
knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce
anger, so that we do not perish.’
10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God
changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon
them; and he did not do it.