Summary: How to catch men for the kingdom of God.
BECOMING FISHERS OF MEN
INTRODUCTION: I love to fish. Every summer when the weather changes I get “fishing fever.” There is nothing quite as wonderful as a warm spring day and the smell of night crawler and chicken livers on your fingertips. I love to hear fishing stories also, especially the ones where the big one got away. Example: “forget it he rolled the window up on you.” Example: “ I caught one so big that his shadow weighed ten pounds.”
But I have to admit that my favorite fishing stories are found in the pages of the bible not only are they the best stories, but they are also true. The best way to catch fish is to do it like the professionals do it. Jesus was and always will be the best fisherman the world has ever known. Jesus would always bring home a boat load or else he would just bring home two small fish and multiply them to what ever number was needed or else he would just bring one home with money in his mouth and take everyone out to “Captain D’s.” In Luke chapter five Jesus caught two boats full of fish, but more important than that fact was the fact that he caught some disciples, Peter, James and John. In reality Jesus was not using these men to catch fish but rather using the fish as a means to catch men, and the truth is they were hooked for life.
Message thought: I want to show you how to catch men for the kingdom of God, not clean them but catch them. Here is four good fishing tips found from the fishing manual the bible.
A. LISTENING TO THE LORDS COMMANDS. (Verse 4)
“ Now when he hade left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”
The best fisherman in the world can’t catch a fish in the desert; you have to go where the fish are (into the deep). Sometimes you don’t catch the big ones at first, you may catch some children fish, but that’s ok, because if you catch enough of the babies you’ll catch some papa and momma fish sooner or latter and all are keepers.
Two things we learn from verse four:
1. Launch out into the deep. (That’s the act of obligation).
2. Let down your nets. (That’s the act of expectation).
This request made by Jesus was a hard one for these men to obey.
1. It was an inconvenient request. (Verse 2)
“ …were washing their nets.”
2. It was an irrational request. (Verse 5)
“…They had toiled all night…” People don’t fish in that part of the world in the daylight hours. However the Lord does not to explain himself to anyone, we as believers are to obey at his command.
B. LABORING IN COOPERATION. (Verse 7)
It’s true, God can do anything, but remember this; God chooses to do most things through people, his partners, and the church. When the church comes together in cooperation with the same mind, same goals, same spirit, in one accord, a blessing will be poured out so great that you can’t even contain it: (the ships begin to sink).
The greatest soul winning too ever inspired by God is the (cooperative program).
C. LOVING THROUGH CONTRITION. (Verse 8)
In all my years in the church, I have never met a proud nor arrogant soul winner, only men and women with a broken and contrite heart. This is not the first time that Peter had saw Jesus, but it was the first time that Peter had seen himself through the eyes of a holy God. Peter now was ready to become a fisher of men. His eyes were opened, his heart was broken, his knees were bowed, his mind was filled with wonder, and his mouth was confessing: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man”.
Ø(James 4: 6) “God resist the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Ø(James 4:10) “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up.”
D. LIVING IN TOTAL COMMITMENT (Verse 11)
“…Forsook all, and followed him.”
The question is this: what is keeping you from total commitment?
Have you heard the command? “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always even until the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Do you labor in cooperation with others? “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” “For the body is not one member, but many.”(1Cor. 12:12,14)