Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.Matthew 4:19
Have you ever gone fishing? If so, do you recall the first time you caught a fish? Can you still feel the excitement in your body, and hear the excitement in your voice? Perhaps you were so excited, you told the BIG fish story.
Yesterday, I sat along the pond at a nearby park. A young boy, likely around four, was fishing. I was reading and suddenly heard a lot of excitement. When I looked over at the little boy, I could see the glee that filled him as he hopped around. He was so overjoyed as he held his tiny little fish on his fishing pole in the air. Within a short minute, his mother ran over with her phone to take a picture of his gigantic smile holding his tiny little fish.
This young boy’s joy painted a vivid image of Jesus for me when we put into action what He is asking His potential recruits in Matthew 4:19. Imagine Jesus’ excitement when your BIG fish story is catching the heart of one of God’s children and reeling them into a faith journey and into the church. I can only imagine the happy dance He does when we share His love and the Word of God with another drawing them into His kingdom.
As children of God, He calls us each day to dip our line into the water with a bite of His word and hook one of the lost fish into an everlasting love where they never go hungry, nor thirsty.
I wear a fisherman’s bracelet as a symbol of my role in God’s plan to love Him, embrace my community, serve others and to proclaim Jesus’ salvation. About a year ago, my youngest daughter was looking at my fishermen’s bracelet as she noticed other people in the church wearing one. She asked what it was. I told her it was a fishermen’s bracelet to represent Jesus asking the disciples to be fishers of men. With the innocence of a child, she asked me “Why is it all about men? Why can’t it be fishers of women? And why is it called ‘mankind’?” I’m not quite sure how to properly answer that or question Jesus’ choice of words, especially during the time period he walked the earth. But I get her drift. We don’t want to leave the women out. We want to feed them too and draw them closer to God.
Many days, I feel I personally fall short of this call to obedience. I’m not quite comfortable approaching people or sometimes sharing my faith. Mostly because I’m afraid I may have to answer a question I don’t know the answer too and it may create an insecurity in how strong my own faith is. Pretty much a cop out as I know that if it’s God’s plan for me He will walk through that conversation with me.
Several months ago, I attended a talk by Jeff Cavins on a simple way to do just this. His simple approach was to start by telling someone that God loves them and has a plan for their life. From their tell them how sin separates us from God and that Jesus died to save us. The next few steps involve sharing the act of repentance, baptism, living a life of faith and to paying it forward through discipleship of others.
These simple steps, identifies who God is, proclaims the salvation of our Lord, and how to act to move forward in faith, building the kingdom. Imagine if each of us did this daily. How many nets would we fill? Jesus would need to send the Hulk to help pull in the net. In other words, all of our churches would be busting at the seems and the graces of love and kindness would be overflowing.
During this time period of isolation, lack of hope, people need to hear they have a Heavenly Father that loves them so much and has redeemed them through His son.
I invite you and myself to be excited about sharing the Gospel with others that don’t know Christ. Reveal love and hope that is the foundation of our faith.
Let’s go fishing and share our BIG fish stories.