Posted by: pastortomvabeach | April 10, 2018

Thought for the Week April 15, 2018

On Sunday we read about the fishing trip Peter and six other disciples took on the Sea of Galilee in John 21. It was very much like the fish story in Luke 5. In both instances they fished for all they were worth and couldn’t catch a single fish. Then Jesus tells them to follow His instructions: Put out into deep and let down nets (Luke 5) and Cast the net on the right side of the boat (John 21). When they did what Jesus said they caught more fish than they could handle.

Now Jesus wasn’t introducing any new fishing techniques so they could be better at fishing. He was making a comparison to show them the new calling He gave them. Right after the account in Luke 5, He said, Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men. (Luke 5:10). Matthew says it like this: Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19).

I hope every Christian knows that this is the main, number one, most important calling and mission of every Christian. Jesus has commissioned all of us to be fishers of men. In every gospel and the book of Acts, there is some rendition of the Great Commission: (see Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-49; John 20:21-22). Jesus called us and empowered us with the Holy Spirit to take the message of His death and resurrection to every corner of the world and to everyone we know.

In Acts 1, Jesus told His followers that trying to figure out the day and time of His return was not their job. He said that instead they should be constantly about telling their story of how Jesus impacted their lives. When they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8). The most important thing followers of Christ can be about doing is Making Jesus Known.

Do you know that there are enough people within a 2 mile radius of Christian Chapel to fill our worship center? Even if it was ten times as large, we still would not have room for all of those who need Jesus within just that short distance. Jesus said, Lift up eyes and see the fields are white for harvest. (John 4:35). The people around us are of every age group; every race or ethnic group, every socio-economic group, and multitudes of national origins. Most of them rarely or ever connect to any church. There are single parents, addicts, domestic violence victims, abused children, college students, military families, aging baby boomers, confused teens, and every other category you can name. All of them need to be here or in another church where they can meet and get to know Jesus.

Part or your role as fishers of men is to welcome whoever comes; to love everyone despite their age, life situation, brokenness, or difference from us so that they feel like they belong and know that they can fit into God’s family. You can help them fit with and find a place in the body of Christ and provide them with nourishment so that they grow spiritually.

The harvest is too ripe and the consequences of inactivity are too important for any of us to sit around and do nothing. We must get involved, we must go fishing! I know we’re all busy. We have families and jobs and lots of responsibilities but we must understand that none of those is our our mission! Yes, we need a livelihood and, yes, we must care for our families and all of our responsibilities but, in the midst of all that we must remember our number mission in life.

When Jesus said, Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19), the tense of the word “go” in Greek would be better rendered in English as “As you are going”. If you think about it this makes perfect sense. As you go about your job, as you care for your family, as you look out for all of the other responsibilities in life, keep your lines in the water. The fish are all around you; at your job, in the park, at the store, in your cul de sac, at the ball game, etc. If we take our mission to Make Jesus Known seriously, shouldn’t we ask the Lord to keep us aware all the time of every opportunity to Make Jesus Known? My guess is that if we ask Him to do that, the opportunities are going to pop up everywhere, “as we are going.”

So let me urge you, it’s time to fish or cut bait. If you’ve been mending the nets, oiling the fishing reels, or cleaning out the tackle box, it’s time to get the lines in the water. Thousands and thousands right around us live far from God and have no clue how get near Him. But you do! So what are we waiting for? Let’s go fishing! Chew on that for a while!


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