Week of Feb. 9
Contentment in Fishing
As we learn to overcome our discontentment by remaining in constant fellowship with Christ, we also realize that our joy in Christ is far too exciting to keep to ourselves. In thankfulness and delight, we want to share with others what God has done in our lives.
In the gospel of Matthew, we see Jesus gathering His disciples. "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,' Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him" (Matthew 4:18-22).
The men in this passage were successful fishermen, but Jesus had bigger plans for them. He said, "Come, follow me…and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). Jesus did not expect that they would already know how to be fishers of men. He expected them to follow Him. He was asking them to abandon their mundane lives and work for the glory of God's kingdom. He sought their willingness to drop everything for Him. He asked these successful leaders to become His followers. He called these decision makers to trust His commands completely.
Today Jesus is still asking His followers to let go of whatever may be hindering our work for God's kingdom, whether it is our opinions, our ideas, or our needs. He is seeking our obedience and willingness to serve Him wholeheartedly. When we witness to nonbelievers as we live a life of contentment in Christ, God can use our testimony for His glory.
Christ does not demand a perfect knowledge of witnessing methods, but he does demand our service and obedience. He knows that our lifestyle will speak volumes alongside our words. Paul told the Corinthians, "Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else" (2 Corinthians 9:13).
As fishers of men, we need to remember that the fish around us in the world are constantly watching us. They notice how we act, live and behave. When we do not allow God's transforming power to work in us daily, we have no bait to lure them. Can you imagine what nonbelievers think as they see Christians full of bitterness, anger, jealousy, envy, and gossip? Who wants that kind of life? If they see us as hypocrites full of criticism, the fish will swim the other way. In order to be fishers of men, we need to model ourselves after Jesus. We need to obey Him and listen to Him and follow His directions.
Why did Jesus ask His disciples to become fishers of men? Why not hunters or harvesters? Jesus was addressing them in the context of how they lived—they were fishermen. Jesus was asking them to take the talents and skills of their trade and apply them toward working for God's kingdom. Regardless of whom we are or what we do, God wants us to use our resources for His glory. He wants us to view our neighborhoods and our schools and our workplaces as our fishing ponds.
What is hindering you from becoming a fisher of men? Do you think you need to be perfectly prepared with all the right answers and the latest witnessing techniques? Jesus never said He only calls the experts—He calls every Christian to witness for Him. He just wants our willingness—and the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. Commit to God today to become a willing servant of Christ.
"‘Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'"
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