Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Words of Encouragement: How are You at Catching Fish?

Matthew 4:18-20 ~

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him.

Dan & I went for a walk the other day to explore our new area.  It was a chilly day and the wind was whipping.  As we walked, we saw this man in his boat in the middle of the river.  I was amazed that anyone would want to be out there in the cold.

Yet, fishermen who make their living this way, are out in all kinds of weather.  Sunshine, rainstorms, cold, heat.  It doesn't matter what the weather is, they have to make a living.  Peter & Andrew were two such men.  Day in and day out they were out on the water, fishing.  It was a dirty, smelly job.  It was hard work.  More often than not, they came home empty-handed.  No matter how great your intentions, if a fish doesn't want to get caught, it won't!

And Jesus came along and told them to give it up to catch a different kind of fish.  He wanted them to change their focus and leave their smelly nets behind and work towards a different catch.  He wanted them to work towards something that had an eternal purpose.

As believers of Jesus Christ, we too are to be fishers of men.  We are to catch them with the good news of Jesus Christ.  We are here for a purpose and that purpose is to lead people to the Lord.  We are to point them to the One who will make their lives better.  

How are you at catching fish?  Do you wake up each day, knowing that your purpose is to be fishers of men, no matter what the weather?  Do you get up day after day and live your life for Christ?  Do you throw up your hands in despair when you don't see results or do you just keep fishing?

Can you imagine a fisherman giving up after a day or two with no fish?  He wouldn't be much of a fisherman, would he?   He most certainly wouldn't be able to support his family if he just gave up.

And yet, so many times we do just that.  We give up.  We pray for people to come to know him.  We share the good news with them.  And when they don't bite, we stop praying and we stop sharing.  We say, "What's the use?"  But there are eternal ramifications when we give up.  There are people who will die and go into eternity without ever knowing the saving love of Jesus Christ.

So keep casting those nets.  Get up and go to work each day, even if your net comes up empty that day.   Keep on casting even if the fish make fun and swim away.  Keep fishing even if there are no bites.

You are responsible for the fishing.  The Lord is responsible for the fish!