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  • Writer's pictureShannon Bryant

A Closer Walk

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting nets 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. {Mark 1:16-20}

As we have entered a new year and many are making resolutions and setting goals I started to think of the redundancy of it all. Every year goals are set, some new and some reoccurring but I contemplated, “Why wait for a new year to discipline ourselves and set marks to reach?” This fresh start is new every morning.

Progressive and immediate obedience to God catapults us into a more intimate relationship with Jesus as well as our God-given purpose. Personally, it is my desire to give God a greater “yes” as I go into this year. A ‘yes’ without question, doubt, excuses, and fear. An awesome example of this immediate obedience and abandon is found in Mark 1:16-20. Jesus walked by the sea on a mission. His walk was purposeful. Go with me as I study the beginning of Jesus’ Galilean ministry. There are some urgent calls in this season and some I believe is reflected in Jesus’ approach in Galilee.

Preaching the gospel

To set the stage John the Baptist had just been put in prison and Jesus came to Galilee to preach the kingdom of God. Although He taught, healed the sick, and cast out demons, His main mission was to spread the good news of the kingdom. Like Jesus, our mission must be to spread the gospel message. It is a fundamental truth but we may need to take a good look at our lives and examine ourselves. Approach this in prayer and ask God to show you in ways that you can expand in this area. We have so many opportunities to reach people daily on our job, in the grocery store, our neighbors, family gatherings, social media, etc. to encourage, exhort, do a kind deed, pray with someone and reflect God’s glory as He leads. I encourage you as I am at this moment to be bold and ask God with a sincere heart to give you more opportunities to share His love and message with others. To share what He has done for you. He is faithful to do it.

God revives the repentant heart.


Jesus exhorted to the Galileans that the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:14) Just as it was then, there is an urgent call for repentance now. Without repentance there is no salvation. Without repentance there is no strength. Without repentance there is no rest. “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. (Isaiah 30:15) No repentance, no forgiveness of sin. God is saying in this hour, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from Him. (Acts 3:19) There is a refreshing, rest and peace in living a life that pleases God. God revives the repentant heart.

Follow Jesus

“Then Jesus said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” My primary goal of not just a new year but my life goal is ‘just a closer walk with Thee’. Striving to be more Christ-like, to be a good and faithful follower and servant and all that it entails.

The heart of Jesus is discipleship.

Jesus says, “I will MAKE YOU BECOME fishers of men. Jesus shows us the way as we follow His example, and we become more like Him. The goal is to be fishers of men by telling of the gospel message of Jesus. God draws but what happens after the catch is imperative. Discipleship. We can’t leave people's orphans”. We must be available as the Spirit leads to help, aide, pray, teach, encourage others in their Christian walk so that they can, in turn, to do the same for others. We need each other on this journey. Being the “lone ranger” does not work in the kingdom of God. We are part of the Body of Christ. He paid the cost to be the Boss and we must in all things submit to His will, His leading, and follow His example to His glory and to the good of others.


When Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee and told Simon and Andrew to follow Him they were busy fishing. Although they were busy making a living the word tells us that when Jesus entreated them to follow Him they immediately left their nets and followed Him. They didn’t ask any questions, take time out to think about it, or talk to a friend. Immediate obedience. We can’t be so busy, distracted, complacent or attached to the things of this world to not walk in obedience to the call of Christ on our lives.

Let Go

As we go into the new year it is common for us to want to leave some things in the former year. Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets to follow Jesus. Soon after Jesus approached James and John. He immediately called them and they left their father in the boat and went after Jesus. Similarly, there may be some relationships, people, and/or things/habits/attitudes we may need to ‘leave in the boat’. Again, seek God in prayer or you may already know what needs to be let go of. In this case, ask God for His grace and strength to let it go.

Go after God

In the final verse of this passage, we see that James and John went after Jesus. I encourage you to go after Jesus like never before. Follow after Him, chase Him, pursue Him with desperation. Our pursuit of Him must supersede any of our goals and aspirations. God promises that if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness all other things will fall in place. (Matthew 6:33) Be bold in prayer and wait in expectancy. I pray that God will give us all a new fervency, enthusiasm, and passion for Him and the things He wants to do through us. That we will seek His will above all else and obey without delay. May we go into deeper depths of prayer, praise, worship, and His Word! May God’s blessings overtake you and all you hold dear as you follow Him in desperate pursuit. Decide with me today to follow Jesus more closely, no turning back, no turning back. The world behind me Jesus before me, no turning back, no turning back. Happy New Year!

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