Summary: Shut up and Fish!!!
You can’t catch fish if you don’t have any bait on your hook!!! Mat 4:18-20 18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20At once they left their nets and followed him.
ILL: There was a game warden in civilian clothes one day at the docks. Boats were coming in all day without any of them having caught any fish......except one old man who came in with a LOT of fish. The warden thought "this guy MUST be doing something illegal" so he went up to him as he was docking his boat and commented on what a great fisherman he must be. He asked the old man what his secret was.....where did he fish, how did he fish, what kind of bait was he using. He also noticed a canvas covering up some boxes in the front of the boat...that’s the BOW for you land-lubbers.....Finally the old man just relented and told him that if he would show up at the dock early the next morning, he would take him fishing and he could see for himself. The next morning the warden again was wearing civilian clothes when he showed up bright and early at the dock. He and the old man were soon headed out into the water. Finally, after quite a while, in a much secluded area, the old man stopped the boat. He pulled back the canvas cover only to reveal some boxes of dynamite! The warden was flabberghasted! He reached down and picked up a stick of dynamite and said "so this is your secret! I’ll have you to know that I am the game warden and the fine for fishing with dynamite is VERY steep!" The old man calmly struck a match, lit the fuse of the dynamite the warden was holding and said "are you gonna talk or fish?"
You guys know how Nanci and I love to fish. Sometimes Nanci will reel in her line and her bait will be gone so I, being the smart-alec that I am will tell her "you can’t catch fish without any bait on your hook!" She gets tired of me saying that to her, so I always try to make it a point to mention it whenever I see her pull up an empty hook! (Sorry, honey!)
Jesus said He would make us "fishers of men." I like that saying that if you’ll catch ’em, He’ll clean ’em! But what does it mean to be a "fisher of men?" You can be a Pastor, evangelist, teacher, deacon, or even a layperson in the church, but if you are not actually striving to bring people to Christ, you aren’t fulfilling your work for Him.....and we are ALL called for His service!
Look at MAT 5:13-16 13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Not having bait on your hook is the same as salt losing it’s flavor, or a lamp that is hidden under a bowl. All of them serve no purpose! Today, I want to ask you to examine yourself....to make sure you’re fishing with bait on your hook....or if you’ve even got your line in the water!
We were in San Antonio at the Riverwalk while we were on our anniversary trip (thank you for letting us get away, it was VERY enjoyable). It was our first night out and we had walked and talked and just tried to enjoy each others company uninterrupted. By the way, all you married couples need to do that! Sometimes you can get too busy doing the everyday stuff and you neglect to nurture your relationship......and God wants you to have a well nurtured marriage!
We had stopped to eat at a restuarant there by the Riverwalk (it’s beautiful, by the way....romantic, too!) and we were just enjoying the time together. I don’t even know how it started, but the waiter was talking to us a little and we eventually found out a lot about him. Somehow it came up (usually does) that we were pastors on vacation. He told us that he was raised in a Catholic church, but had later became a christian when he went to live with his cousin. His was a sad story, really.....his mother had died when he was 5 or 6, Dad wasn’t involved.....and now here he was living with his girl-friend and their new-born son. He was very proud of the fact that he had been on his own since he was 15 yrs old.