Summary: Overcoming the obstacles to share your faith.
Up the Creek without a Paddle
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!
JESUS UNDERSTOOD THAT PRINCIPAL! IN ORDER TO “FISH FOR MEN” HE HAD TO OVER COME SOME OBSTACLES...
- THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS
- THE CRITICS
- FAMILY & FRIENDS
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!
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
"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”!
BUT THERE’S A PROBLEM! MANY CHRISTIANS & CHURCHES ARE “UP THE CREEK WITHOUT A PADDLE”! THERE NOT CONCERNED WITH FISHING!
OH WE READ ABOUT IT…SING ABOUT IT….TALK ABOUT IT…MAKE PLANS TO DO IT BUT THEY NEVER FISH!
IF A FISH HAPPENS TO LEAPS IN THE BOAT THAT’S GREAT! BUT NO ONE SEEMS WILLING TO CAST THEIR NETS & WORK TO PULL THEM IN.
SO THIS MORNING LET’S CONSIDER THIS DILEMMA “WHEN FISHERMEN DON’T FISH”.
When Fishermen Don’t Fish…
I. They Fight! Matthew 20:20-28 The mother of James & John
24When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
WHAT HAPPENED? LAST WEEK WHEN WE LEFT THESE MEN THEY WERE PREACHING…TEACHING…HEALING…SHARING THE GOOD NEWS & CROWDS FOLLOWED THEM!
BUT NOW WE HAVE A POWER STRUGGLE GOING ON! MEN NO LONGER CONCERNED FOR OTHERS BUT JOCKEYING FOR POSITION!
MY FRIEND YOU CAN TAKE THIS TO THE BANK SHOWS ME SELFISHNESS & SELF-CENTEREDNESS & I’LL SHOW YOU A FIGHT! ONE BREWING…ONE IN PROGRESS…OR ONE JUST FINISHED!