Apr 26 8:11 AM
Apr 26 8:11 AM
Apr 26 8:11 AM
Monday, April 26, 2021
Today, I want to talk to you about one of my favorite passages of Scripture. It's Matthew 4:19-20. I want to take you back to 1993. I was much younger then, and at that time I was investigating biblical Christianity. I had been reading the Bible for about a year and was reading through the Gospel of Matthew. And in Matthew 4, I read the story of how Jesus called Peter and Andrew, who were two brothers, two fishermen, how Jesus called them to follow him. They were out fishing, and they were on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. In verse 19, Jesus said something to them that not only changed their lives, but it actually changed my life forever. Jesus said, "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." I was so taken aback by Jesus' words, because first, it was so simple, it was an invitation to come follow him. But at the same time, it was so profound, it was a promise to replace what they had been doing as a livelihood, which was fishing, and replace it with a calling to serve God. It was a call to go out and fish for the souls of men and women.
The response of Peter and Andrew is seen in verse 20. I find this just as intriguing because verse 20 says this, "Immediately they left their nets, and followed him." That's the part that really got a hold of me, because it was that very night after reading that verse, that I immediately got down on my knees, and receive Jesus Christ in my life as my Lord and my Savior for the very first time. But here's the thing. I wasn't a fisherman. Yes, I fished before. I knew what it meant to use a rod and a reel. But I knew nothing about what it meant to fish for the souls of people. And that's when Jesus began to, over time, show me how he wants me to use my gifts and my abilities that he gave me to attract other people to him. Now, Peter and Andrew, they were commercial fishermen. When they went out to fish, they used a net and would drop the net into the water, and they would pull it in, and the net allowed them to catch dozens, or 50, or maybe even 100 fish at a time. But in my experience with Jesus, he often wants us to fish for one person at a time. So instead of using a net, Jesus wants us to use a hook and some bait. You see Jesus is that hook, but we have to provide the bait.
So let me ask you a question. What are you good at? What gifts and abilities has God given you? What hobbies do you have? At work are you on a team, or maybe you're a part of a group? What clubs or organizations do you belong to? These can all be that bait. You see, when you decide to follow Jesus, He will use your gifts and your skills, your activities and your interests, the connections and relationships that you have. He will use those as the bait on the hook. He will use the things that you have in common with people to help you build deeper relationships and friendships so that you can eventually share your faith in him. For me, that bait is often music. God has opened up the door for me to be involved in a few different pit orchestras, playing the guitar for local high school productions. And music is that bait on the hook that has allowed me to meet other musicians who I would not normally get a chance to meet and build friendships with them. And there's always those one or two musicians that God has put me in with, where he's opened the door for me to get to know, share my faith and invite them to come to church. So I want to ask you this. Where can you build relationships? Are there people that you have things in common with, common interests? Begin praying and ask God if he wants you to use this as bait to attract people to him. You may be the one person that God wants to use in someone's life, to share the gospel with them, and to have them come to know Jesus in a personal way. Will you accept Jesus's invitation? You've probably already accepted the invitation to follow him. But will you be a fisher for the souls of men and women? I hope you guys find encouragement in that today. I hope you feel challenged in that today. And I want to encourage you right now, don't just go and have a great day. Go and make a great day.