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Rev. Carl H. Kemp, Pastor

Seven Secrets to Spiritual Success

September 2, 2007

Luke 5:1-11

Of all people in the world, Christians should want to succeed. What makes us different are our definition of success and our strategies to get there.

Let’s take a lesson from a tired and weary group of fishermen who felt like failures until Jesus taught them a lesson. It was a lesson that sustained them the rest of their lives.

1.    Accept the limitations of human efforts and plans.

Peter, Andrew, James and John did all they knew to do and still had come up empty.

While God gave us brains to think with, sometimes we don’t have enough cleverness on our own to do the job.

2.    Trust the word of Jesus even if it doesn’t make sense.

How do you think these fisherman felt, taking advice from a carpenter turned preacher? Didn’t they know fishing? It was their business.

Still, there was something in Jesus that caused them to trust him. He did not, of course, ask them to do something immoral, just something that did not seem to make sense.

3.    Be willing to take risks.

When Jesus asked them to go out, it was into the deep water.

Every great enterprise takes some risk.

4.    Persevere even through disappointment and fatigue.

The fishermen were tired, but willing to do their part.

They were discouraged, but willing to try again.

5.    Remember the importance of teamwork.

As success came, they had to share the burden.

         Since Jesus was the ultimate focus, it didn’t matter who got the credit.

6.    Remember, God can give us more than we ask or imagine.

The catch of fish was even greater than they would have expected.

Our God delights in surprising us.

7.    Be humble in your success.    

Peter did not take credit for the success.

In fact, he humbled himself before God and came face to face with His own unworthiness.


Remember after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter, in his regret, decided to go back to fishing. Peter no doubt felt he had failed. Jesus came to him again and did a similar miracle. He evidently never forgot the lesson. He went from that place to become a great fisher of men. He became a spiritual success, and so can you.


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