Summary: We must decide to do the job we have been told to do or not, and if we choose not to, we must be aware that we will be held totally accountable for that decision.
Have you ever gone fishing? Even if you don’t plan on catching anything, there is nothing nicer than sitting in the warmth of the summer sun, watching your line float across the water, and noticing how everything is easy, not rushed, and well, very peaceful, just the way God wanted the world to be in the first place.
I remember going fishing with my cousin Larry as we were growing up in Fairborn, Ohio. There was a place called “Mud Run” that we did our best fishing. It was out behind the old drive-in theater, and we loved to sit on the edge of the bridge and throw our lines in the water below. It didn’t matter too much to us then that we never caught anything, as we sure did enjoy sitting there “going through the motions’.
Today, I want to talk to you about becoming a fisherman. And, I am going to talk to you about making some very hard choices in your life. You can choose to fish, or you can choose to just throw your line in the water. One way will catch fish, and the other way you may enjoy yourself, but you will certainly end up with nothing to show for it.
There are some very important points to remember as you start -
1. GOING FISHING
In MATTHEW 4:19, it says that Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee and He saw Simon and Andrew, two fishermen. Jesus said, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Most of us know that Jesus was a fisher of men, don’t we? And we know that He taught His disciples to also be fishers of men. But, what most of us have never thought about is that the devil is a fisherman, too. And He uses some very deceptive lures, just like the fishermen of this world use.
He is constantly throwing his deceptive lures of temptation in front of us, trying to lure us away from God. And, we have to be very careful, as not all of his temptations are bad things. The devil will use anything he can to keep us from focusing on the Lord, including some very good things.
For example, we all know that going to church and being involved in Christ is a very good thing, but we have to understand that the devil will use something as good as this to keep us away from Jesus. How can he use something this good and Godly against Christ? He can make us so busy in church, doing things for other people and for the church that we just don’t have time to study, pay attention or even worship for ourselves.
When we don’t have time to keep our own hearts safeguarded, we start slipping away; inch-by-inch-by-inch. It is very imperceptible at first, and we don’t even realize it is happening, but over a small period of time, we fidn that we have simply left Jesus behind.
We all know that Jesus was a fisher of men, don’t we? Did you know that we are also fishers of men? Your job as a Christian is to go out evangelizing and discipling other people into Christ. In MATTHEW 28:19-20, Jesus gave us our marching orders and He wants us to do what He has already told us to do. We are to go out and make new disciples.
Now, in all truthfulness, most of us go and just sit on the bridge as my cousin and I used to do, going through the motions, but having no desire or intentions of really catching any fish.
I understand that most people have never been taught enough to be able to be effective disciples for other people. Before long, however, I will be offering workshops thatwill help us all develop that ability. And, we will find that it isn’t as difficult and scary as we may have thought it was.
We must also realize that Jesus never said, “Here is what I want you to do, but you go do what is comfortable for you to do.” Jesus never said, “I don’t want you to do anything that you find too difficult.”
This may come as a shocker to some of you, but Jesus meant every single word He ever said. And, Jesus expects you to do His bidding, whether you feel comfortable doing it or not. Now, the first thing you must do is start -
2. MAKING YOUR DECISION
A moment ago I mentioned that I will start having workshops pretty soon that will give us the tools we need to properly witness and disciple others. These workshops are geared to give you knowledge while having fun learning.
When the time comes for you to decide to attend these workshops, I encourage you to ask yourself one question: “Do I intend to do what Jesus told me to do?” If you do, you should be willing to do whatever is necessary to get the proper training to do it.