Summary: This sermon speaks to God’s desire to see His Church be a welcoming Church. A church where people who visit say, "I want to come back"
Date: August 14th, 2005
Bible Text: various
Subject: are we available and willing to allow God to use us?
Intro: Now I want you to know up front that while I have fished several times in my life, I am not a fisherman, to me, it is messy, scales and worms on hooks, taking the fish off the hook, spinny, pointy fins that flap around and want to stick you. Ripping out hooks that are deep down in the throat of the fish…. It just doesn’t seem worth all the effort.
Fishing can be messy and even dangerous, but God has, in His Word, the Bible, called us to be fisherman. Not necessarily catching fish that have scales etc… but people. In Matthew 4:19 Jesus tells us that we are to be fishers of humankind! The truth is that being fishers of men can sometimes be messy too, but that is what we are to be and so we need to learn how to be the very best at it that we can possibly be.
Several weeks ago my family and I were down on the outer Banks of North Carolina. While we were there we had the opportunity to go with some friends who live there out in their boat to do some fishing. We were trolling along with two poles manned by my two daughters. Suddenly the fish started biting and we were catching fish as fast as we could get them off the hook and throw them into the bottom of the boat. They were practically jumping in the boat. It was an amazing and exciting time.
I believe God does those same kind of amazing and extraordinary things for us in our spiritual lives as well. He does things that surprise us, catch us off guard if you will. The question is, “are we available and willing to allow God to use us? Are we willing to be a fisher of men for God? Well, today we will see here in God’s Word, some key pointers in how we can be used of God to be the very best fishermen and women around.
I. All Eternal Efforts Begin With Finding Out What The God Of Eternity Is Doing In Our Midst. (John 5:19ff)
A. We can only accomplish eternal tasks by joining our Heavenly Father in His Work. (John 5:19ff)
1. We are told here in this passage that Jesus, God’s own Son, could do nothing that the Father wasn’t already working on.
a) This is an amazing statement.
b) In other words, Jesus the Son and His heavenly Father are so intricately tied together in purpose that they always, always, always are on the same page.
c) If anything of significance is going to happen, the Father is involved.
2. The same that is true for Jesus is also true for you and me.
a) We can do nothing of any real eternal significance, that is stuff that lasts forever, apart from what God is already in the process of doing.
b) Do you know the one thing that will go on to eternity? One thing that will go from this world to the next and eternity?
c) The souls of humankind!
3. Like Jesus we need to look and see what God is already doing and then join Him in that endeavor.
B. Every church needs to ask, “what is God doing in our midst?” (Matt. 4:19 & Luke 5:6)
1. We need to stop and look around and see what God is doing.
a) This requires us to note the things that have eternal significance.
b) Things that only God can do, like draw people to Himself.
c) In Matthew 4:19 Jesus tells His early followers that He will make them, no longer just fishermen, but fishers of men!
d) That is a God thing. Only God can draw people to Himself.
e) No program, no amazing preacher, nor awesome music, nothing, by itself, can draw a human soul to the cross of Jesus Christ.
f) So we need to look and see where God is working here at C&T.
2. One of the amazing things we see if we look is that God is drawing people to us.
a) In Luke 5:6 we find a somewhat skeptical man by the name of Simon Peter finding himself in the uncomfortable place of the presence of a religious man named Jesus.
b) This Jesus tells them to put out into deeper water with their boats and let down their nets.
c) Peter, an experienced fisherman tells Jesus, “Uh, Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything… then you can almost imagine this silent pause as they exchanged a look, and then Peter continued and said, but because you have requested this we will do so.”