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Summary: call to discipleship

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FISHING TECHNIQUES FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN

My Brothers and Sisters,

Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus, the great Fisherman. AMEN

The sun had just risen when the Scouts began their trek up Baldy Mountain. At 12,441 feet Baldy is the highest peak in the Philmont Scout Ranch, a high-adventure backpacking camp run by the Boy Scouts of America. From the summit, hikers can enjoy spectacular views of the mountains, forests, and lakes of Northern New Mexico.

But the summit was still a dream when the crew of eight scouts and two adults started out, hiking through a dense pine forest in the early morning light. Reaching a gorgeous, gurgling mountain stream, they took a turn and headed down a wide and comfortable trail for about a mile.

Turned out to be the wrong trail. Realizing their mistake, they turned around and hiked back. This detour added an extra two miles to their trip, and you might think they would be discouraged by it.

But the extra distance had a surprising benefit. On scout who had been struggling at the start of the hike gained confidence throughout the detour, and when the group got back on track, he felt strong enough to hike to the summit.

His success required venturing out beyond his comfort zone. And so does ours.

The Boys Scouts of America have been challenging boys to push their limits for a century now. In fact, tommorow (February 8) is the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of this organization. Today, let us say “Happy Birthday” to the Boy Scouts. And let us recognize that like to Boy Scouts we too are being challenged by our readings...In fact God is calling us today to go beyond our comfort zones for him.

Before we go on with today’s word, please join me as we come to Jesus in prayer:

Dear Jesus, Like Isaiah, Paul and Peter; we come before you feeling unworthy to be called by you. We continually ask you if you are really sure we are the ones you want. As you called the fishermen to leave their nets and follow you, help us to leave our “nets” to answer your call. Teach us how to fish for people by sharing your Good News with all the people you enable us to meet. And prepare us for a miraculous catch!

Now, fill your humble servant with your Spirit that her words spoken may be Your WORD recieved.

It is with fear and awe that we ask this. AMEN

If we are going to learn today to be good “Fishers of people” we must learn or better yet, “recognize” some fishing techniques. Like the Boy Scouts we must understand that success requires action, adventure and a willingness to explore new territory. So, in terms of fishing techniques we will address 3: Faith, Obedience and Availability.

I. The first technique we are going to talk about is FAITH.

In our gospel we hear Jesus say “Put out into the deep water and let your nets down for a catch.” He knew Peter was a fisherman. He also probably knew that he hadn’t caught anything all night. Simon probably wondered to himself why Jesus would make such a request. In fact he says: “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” Here it was the middle of the day, one of the worst times to go fishing. Jesus says ‘Let’s go to the deep part and catch fish.’ Peter was probably also thinking “Are you serious!...the DEEP water, every body knows that fish like the shallows where they eat!!

Like Peter, we tend to give up too soon, Many a miracle does not happen because we give up too soon and do not try one more time.

Jesus said to Peter and he says to us “Have faith in me and don’t be afraid! Be willing to venture into the deep water where life gets risky.” We can with faith leave our comfort zone of the shallows--the things we have always known. He also reminds us to never lose faith and keep trying!

II. But this requires OBEDIENCE...thus the second fishing technique.

As we hear these words of our text, we ask ourselves, when did Simon first listen and obey? We ended up where he listened to Jesus telling him to go out into the deep and catch the fish. But it was before that, wasn’t it? Remember Jesus was standing on the shore with people crowding around Him, almost pushing Him into the Sea of Galilee. He sees the boats there and gets into the one belonging to Simon. He says, ‘Let’s go out onto the lake.’ There already is the

tayed on the shore and washed the nets, getting ready for the next day. Simon could have easily said, ‘I’m going to go home to go to sleep. I’ve been fishing all night.’ But he heard the call of Jesus and he obeyed. When it seemed so unreasonable to fish in the deep, he said to the Lord, ‘But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’ He listened and obeyed. When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. It was a great number of fish—enough to break the nets! So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. We picture two boats, both full of fish, unheard of in the middle of the day and in the deep of the lake. He realized that this was God’s miracle. Then after this He asked Peter to put back in at shore and to leave every thing and follow HIM. Can you imagine...the left the greatest catch they had seen in their lives, a fisherman’s dream. What a great “fish story” it would make! They walked away from it all, all that success. They walked away from everthing else besides. They detached from their old ways and attached to Jesus alone. The awesome power of Jesus overcame their occupational, fishing difficulties as he overcomes our “fishing” difficulties if we are obedient to him.

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