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Summary: Overcoming the obstacles to share your faith.

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Up the Creek without a Paddle

Matthew 4:19

I ONCE LIVE IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA…THE BREEZE OF THE GULF…THE SOUND OF THE OCEAN COMING TO SHORE…TOPICAL FLOWERS & TREES IT WAS PARADISE! IT WAS THERE I MET A MAN NAME DON JACKSON A PREACHER WHO HAD RETIRED & LOVED TO FISH.

ONE DAY HE INVITED ME TO GO TARPON FISHING OUT IN THE EVERGLADES. NOW I HAD NO DESIRE TO GO OUT INTO THE EVERGLADES CUZ OF SNAKES & GATORS…BUT WHEN HE TOLD ME THERE WHERE FISH OUT THERE I SIGNED UP!

EARLY ONE MORNING WE DROVE DEEP INTO THE EVERGLADES…GOT INTO A 12’ JOHN BOAT W/ A 15 HP OUTBOARD ENGINE & TOOK OFF! WE HAD LAUNCH THE BOAT IN WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A LARGE POND…BUT I DID SAY A WORD…DON FIRED UP THAT ENGINE & OFF WE WENT HE WAS WIDE OPEN & HEADED RIGHT FOR THE MAGROWS…SCARED TO DEATH I LAYED DOWN IN THE FRONT OF THE BOAT & BRACED FOR THE IMPACT BUT THEN I NOTICED A SMALL OPENING IN THE MAGROWS IT WAS A CANNEL ABOUT 5’ WIDE AT BEST!

THESE CHANNELS WOULD LEAD TO YET ANOTHER POND & THEN TO ANOTHER CHANNEL! BUT THEN EVERTHING CHANGED UP AHEAD IN THE CHANNELS I SAW GATORS IN THE TREES HANGING OVER THE CHANNELS WERE HUGE SPIDERS & SNAKES…IF THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH TREES WERE LAYING ACROSS THE CHANNEL & WE LITERALLY HAD TO CLIMB OVER THEM WHILE THE BOAT WENT UNDER THEM. IT WAS THE FISHING TRIP FROM HELL!

I LEARNED A VALUABLE LESSON THAT DAY! IF YOU REALLY WANT TO CATCH FISH…SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO OVERCOME SOME OBSTACLES!

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JESUS UNDERSTOOD THAT PRINCIPAL! IN ORDER TO “FISH FOR MEN” HE HAD TO OVER COME SOME OBSTACLES...

- THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS

- THE CRITICS

- FAMILY & FRIENDS

- TRAIL…CROSS…GRAVE

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EASY EVEN RESONABLE FOR HIM TO SAY “HEY, I’M UP THE CREEK W/O A PADDLE” SO WHY BOTHER? BUT HE DIDN’T…THANK GOD HE DIDN’T!

Luke 19:10 The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

DID YOU CATCH THAT? JESUS SAID HE CAME TO SEEK & SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST!

NOW STAY WITH ME! HE DIDN’T SAY I CAME TO BE…

- COMFORTABLE or HAPPY

- TO SEEK FOR CONTENTMENT…POWER….OR WEALTH

MY PURPOSE JESUS SAID WAS “TO SEEK & SAVE THE LOST”!

THEREFORE, THE WORDS OF PAUL ARE VERY APPROPERIATE WHEN HE WRITES… Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. I Cor 11:1

MY FRIEND THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN YOU FEEL “UP THE CREEK WITHOUT A PADDLE” THAT IS TO SAY…

YOU WILL ENCOUNTER OBSTACLES IN SHARING YOUR FAITH…IN FISHING FOR MEN BUT YOU HANG IN THERE DON’T GIVE UP & BE ENCOURAGED JESUS ENCOUNTER & OVERCAME OBSTACLES AS WELL & SO SHALL WE!

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

MY REASONING IS THIS “IF JESUS CAME TO FISH FOR MEN THEN SO SHOULD WE”!

OUR PURPOSE ON THIS EARTH IS TO BRING GLORY & HONOR TO OUR LORD & NOTHING DOES THAT MORE THAN WHEN WE OBEDIENTLY WIN SOULS!

MANY THINK THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS CONTENTMENT…HAPPINESS…POWER….WEALTH….NO!

AS CHRISTAINS “CHRIST LIKE” WE TO ARE TO SEEK & SAVE THAT WHICH IS LOST”!


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