YOU ASK ME HOW I KNOW HE LIVES
Intro: Ill. The crucifixion and the resurrection. Jesus died for
the sins of men then He arose victorious over death, Hell and
the grave. His resurrection is the reason we are even meeting
here today. Today we celebrate the day that the Son of God
won the victory for every man!
After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared many times
to many people. He appeared to women at the tomb, Matt.
27; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20. He appeared to His
disciples, John 20. He made a special appearance to the
disciples when Thomas was present, John 20. He also
appeared to over 500 of the brethren at one time, 1 Cor. 15:6.
He also appeared to His disciples in the passage we have read
together this morning.
As I read this account of Christ meeting with His men, I
became aware of the fact that He did some things for them that
only a risen Savior could do. I want to share those special
actions that only Jesus can do in the lives of His people. Now,
lest you think I am making these things up, just ask any true
believer and they will back my story up this morning! Why?
Because only a risen Savior can do what Christ can do in the
lives of His people.
There is a song that we sing around this time of year. A
song that we really should sing all year long! One verse of that
song goes something like this:
I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today.
I know that He is living, Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He's always near.
He Lives! He Lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He Walks with me, And talks with me,
Along life's narrow way.
He Lives! He Lives! Salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know He lives,
He lives within my heart!
My goal today is to show why I know He lives. You ask me
how I know He lives? I know because He can do for His Own
what no one else can do. Let me share those actions that He
performs on behalf of His people.
I. V. 1-4 FIND HIS SHEEP
A. Ill. The Context. These men were off doing that which
they had forsaken years earlier, Mark 1:16-18. Now,
they have attempted a return to the old way of life.
However, things aren't going like they thought they
would. In fact, these professional fishermen have
fished all night and have taken nothing. When daylight
comes they see a man on the sea shore. Although they
didn't know it, He is Jesus and He is looking for them.
I suspect that He is the One Who caused the fish not to
bite that night as well! He has come for them because
He did not save them and call them so that they could
be fishermen. He has a better plan for their lives!
B. The same is true in your life and mine! When we really
belong to the Lord and wander off the path He has
assigned us, we will not go away from Him forever! He
has a vested interest in us and He will hound us until
we deal with our backslidden condition, 2 Tim. 2:13.
C. I know He lives because He knows just where to find
His sheep when they stray! Nothing we do is hidden
from Him and His view, Pro. 15:3; Heb. 4:13. He
knows how to find us and He knows how to get our
attention! He will not let us go astray forever. If you are
His, He will cal you home, Heb. 12:6-11; Rev. 3:19.
D. By the way, this is not a bad thing at all! I am glad that
He knows where to find us and how to bring us home!
E. By the way, He is still looking for some of you to make
you His sheep. He wants to save your soul. He has
been dealing with your heart and He has been calling
you to come to Him. Why not make this morning your
resurrection day? Why not come to Jesus while He is
dealing with your heart and receive Him as your savior?
The door is open and He is calling you, so come and be
saved! (Ill. The simplicity of salvation! Acts 16:31;
John 3:16; Isa. 45:22)
II. V. 5-11 FEED HIS SERVANTS
A. Ill. The Context. Jesus allowed them to catch an
abundance of fish. When this happened, they
remember who He was. They remembered another
time when they had fished all night and caught nothing,
but at the word of Jesus they had let down their nets
and had taken an abundance of fish, Luke 5:3-7. On
this morning, Jesus gave them a great catch and even
prepared their meal and sat down and ate with them.
He was able to provide all they lacked that morning!
B. I just want to remind you this morning that we serve a
Savior Who is able to feed His servants! Whatever we
lack, He is able to supply! May we never forget that He
is in absolute control of our lives and that He knows
about everything that is about to happen. When needs
arise, He has the provisions we need, Phil. 4:19; Matt.
6:25-33. (Ill. If He is really alive, if He is really God, if
He is really sovereign, then He can be trusted! If those
things about Him are true, then worry is foolish, want
doesn't exist and His servants have nothing at all to
fear! If it comes into your life, God sent it, and if He
sent it it cannot be bad, Rom. 8:28.)
C. Note the number of the fish, v. 11. He gave them an
over abundance. There will be times when God will
overload your wagon! He will bless you in abundance,
Luke 6:38; Mal. 3:10. However, there are times when
He will send you to the poor house! When that
happens, it doesn't mean that you aren't saved. It does
mean that God has His reasons for what He does and
that He has some lessons for you to learn. Like the
disciples. They had fished all night with nothing to
show for it. Jesus shows up and they have plenty. The
lesson is clear! Without Him, we can do nothing, John
15:5. But in His power, we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, Rom. 8:17.
III. V. 12-14 FELLOWSHIP WITH HIS SAINTS
A. Ill. The Context. When the meal was ready, Jesus
invited these weary men to join Him at the meal that He
had prepared for them. No one had to tell them Who
they were fellowshipping with, they knew it was Jesus.
B. I just want to remind you that we serve a living Savior,
and only a living Savior can fellowship with His saints!
As we pass through life, there will be those times when
He just shows up, and when He does, my how things
change! It's hard to explain, I know that He is always
there, Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5, and I know that He has
promised to meet with His church, Matt. 18:20. But
there is something special about those times when
Jesus chooses to meet with His people. I can't explain
the joy of those moments of sweet fellowship. They are
better "telt" than "felt". But I love them just the same.
C. What is so precious is that He will show up many times
in our lives, v. 14. He will come by again and again as
we pass along this pilgrim way. Thank God, He just
reminds us that He is with us as we journey.
(Ill. There were times in the Bible when He "just
showed up"; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego;
Daniel and the Lion's Den; The Captain Of The Lord's
Host outside Jericho; Walking on the storm to come to
the disciples; At the tomb of Lazarus; in Nain; at Jairus'
house; at the Red Sea, there are many more, but when
He shows up, everything changes!)
IV. V. 15-17 FORGIVE YOUR SINS
A. Ill. The Context. Jesus confronts Peter three times
about his love for the Savior. These three questions
correspond to the three denials Peter made the night
Jesus was arrested, Matt. 26:69-75. I think Jesus is
giving Peter a chance to deal with his failures. He had
denied the Lord and had attempted to return to the old
life he had lived before he met Jesus. Christ's question,
"Lovest thou me more than these?" was a reference
to the great haul of fish they had just taken. Jesus
wants to know if Peter loves Him more than those fish.
Peter's response is "Yes!"
B. There isn't a single believer in this room who hasn't
failed Jesus at some time in your life. I just want you to
know this morning that we serve a risen Savior and He
lives today in Heaven at the Father's right hand. One
of His activities there is to intercede for you, Heb. 7:35;
Rom. 8:34. He serves in Heaven as our "Advocate",
1 John 2:1. He takes our part and pleads our case in
Heaven when we fail. What I am trying to tell you is
that you have not been so bad that God will turn His
back on you. He will forgive you of your sins and only
a risen Lord could do that!
C. God has laid out a crystal clear plan for His children to
follow when they fall away from Him. It is a simple plan,
but it is absolutely necessary for things to be made right
with God. His plan is this, "If we confess our sins, He
is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.", 1 John 1:9.
If you do that my friend, regardless of how far you have
fallen, He will cleanse your heart, clear the air and
confirm your home!
D. By the way, if you are here and you are lost this
morning, I want to remind you that Jesus lives for your
too! His promise to you is that if you will look to Him by
faith, and call on Him for salvation, He will save you
soul. That is His promise, Rom. 10:13. He will not turn
you away, John 6:37. Hebrews 7:25 says it really well!
Won't you come to Him while He calls you?
V. V. 15-22 FOCUS YOUR SERVICE
A. In these verses, Peter got new direction for his life. He
is commanded to feed the Lord's people. He is given
the ministry of leadership in the early church. He is
restored to the place of service and is told that he will
serve the Lord for many years, and that even in His
death, he will glorify God. Jesus leaves no doubt in
Peter's mind as to what he is to be doing for the rest of
his life. In fact, Peter's call and commission can be
summed in two words found in verse 19, "Follow me".
Only a living Lord can direct a person's path in a
manner like that!
(Ill. Peter probably thought his service was over. He
probably thought that the Lord was finished with him
forever. My friends, as long as there is life there is
hope! If you have failed the Lord in some way and feel
that your days of serving Him are over forever,
remember, He is the great Restorer! He took a
murderer like Moses and used him. He took an
adulterer like David and used him. He took an angry,
Christ-hating Jew named Paul and He used him. He
took a loud-mouthed, cursing, Christ-denier like Peter
and He used him. Friend, I think He can use you too!)
B. His saints have His promise that they, too, have that
kind of ministry from the Lord. He directs the steps of
all of His children, Psa. 37:23. He will show you the
way to go in life and He will fill you for that service, 1
Cor. 12:4-31. He will show you what He wants you to
dom how you should do it and where it should be done.
He will focus your life for the glory of God.
C. A risen Christ makes all the difference between a life
that is wasted and a life that reaps eternal blessings for
the glory of God! Can you honestly say this morning
that you are living your life under the direction of the
risen Christ? Can you honestly say that Jesus is
directing your paths and that at this moment, you are
exactly where God wants you to be? Is your heart
where it needs to be? Is your level of dedication to the
things of God where it needs to be?
Conc: Friends, there is no doubt in my mind this morning that
Jesus is alive and well! How do I know He lives? I met Him in
salvation 19 years ago and He changed my life. Since then,
I have experienced His life in every way I have mentioned this
morning and in other ways as well. He is alive today? Now,
here is the question you must answer: Is He alive in you?
Have you ever been saved? If not, Jesus died on the cross
and rose again the third day to be your Savior. If you will
receive Him, He will save your soul today and you will know
that He lives. If you are saved and things have come between
you and the Lord, you know He lives, but you can't experience
Him and His presence this morning. My friend, you need to
make a trip to this altar. You need to bow on your knees and
renew your commitment to the Lord today. He is in the
Whatever you need from God, you will find in the hands of
the risen Lord Jesus. Come before Him and let Him change
you today. Then you too will know that He lives!