And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
I used to enjoy going fishing with my husband, before our son came along we would head out bright and early in the boat, fish all day. It was so exhilarating – the tranquility of the lake, the challenge of finding just the right spot, a perfect tasty looking fishing hole, then the sheer thrill and excitement when you feel the bite and sink your hook knowing that your in for a battle of strength to get your catch in the boat. My husband still fishes often but now our son is the other fisher, I sometimes join along for the ride cause it’s still an amazing experience, but I see it differently. Oh sure, I still get excited when one of the lines jerks and the battle is on so to speak, especially when my son catches his first one of the day – that boy’s face lights up like the sun and his excitement is contagious! Most of the trip though I am reflecting on the glory of God’s creation, it’s hard not to gazing upon the autumn patchwork hills aglow with red, orange, gold; seeing the ducks and geese drifting by before taking to their wings in a soaring flight; watching a deer as it serenely gazes back at me with it’s deep gentle eyes like pools of honey. I think that the world must have been absolutely awesomely, breathtakingly beautiful when God first made it before man wrecked it if a little lake in the hills can have that much beauty in this cursed world we live in. Then with that first bite of the day my thoughts turn to the Gospel of Matthew when Jesus went up to Simon Peter and his brother Andrew saying:
“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
Fishers of men – Jesus never fails to nail it, that is what it’s all about. As His disciples we are to spread the good news, share the gospel, speak life, love, Jesus. We are to be fishers of men. Sometimes just like fishing on the perfect day in your favorite spot it’s easy to get a bite and reel it in. But other days, well, it’s too hot, the suns too high, too bright, the fish ain’t biting, your baits all wrong, fishing goes from fun to frustrating real quick. It’s the same when we fish for men. Some days our approach is off, our mood or frame of mind is less than Christ-like or maybe it’s our fishes mood that’s off, maybe they just aren’t hungry for the Word at that moment. Maybe the Son’s too bright, and they get scared off, they think He couldn’t accept them, love them as they are. Maybe their like Ole Walter my dear husband has been trying to catch for years stubborn as mule, set in his ways and thinks he’s seen it all – only way to get that ole boy to bite is patience, determination and a little creativity. Folks are the same, fishing for souls is work sometimes, but it’s the most rewarding work we will ever do. When we get it right, feel the nibble, set the hook just right… And know that we just caught another soul for the kingdom, for Jesus, then man, oh man. The rejoicing in our souls, their soul, and in heaven, there’s nothing like it. I love it and I know that my Lord does too. One day I will stand before Him and give account of my life as His follower, His disciple. My only prayer is that on that day He looks at me and says:
‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (Matthew 25:21)
That’s my work in this life, my purpose, to be a fisher of men. To walk in Jesus’ footsteps, to heed His words:
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
I want to follow Him, I strive to follow Him, every day, every second, with all I am. I do it because I love Him, I want my life to bring honor and glory to His precious name. I do it because he tells me to, and because He did it for me. He loved me so much He saved me, had mercy on me, pulled me from my headlong, breakneck speed rush to the brink of disaster, an eternity in the lake of fire, and eternity without God, devoid of love, hope, light, joy, peace. Hell! He saved me from hell, His grace, His mercy, His love. The least I can do to repay Him is to share my story, cast my line out to other lost souls heading down the road of perdition that can only ever end in death, pain, torment, and destruction – eternally. Souls that will suffer unimaginable suffering for all eternity – that might be saved if they only catch one spark one glimmer of the light of Christ. The hope, peace, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love He is offering them. Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, came to earth, suffered and died on the cross at Calvary in repentance of sin (mine, yours, theirs) then rose form the grave on the third day so that we too might be resurrected one day, and now He sits at the right hand of God his Father until the day God sends Him back to claim His own before judgement is passed on this sin cursed, broken world and those who inhabit it. I know one day I will be able to thank Him face to face for saving me from judgement but right now, here on earth, I can do more, I can FOLLOW HIM! I can FISH FOR MEN! I can:
have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. (Jude 1:22-23)
To know that one more soul has been saved from eternal separation from God in the lake of fire that is the just rewards of our sin, the price we must pay due to our breaking of God’s laws. Unless we can find someone to pay that price for us, to take our sin for us. It would have to be someone who never sinned cause I can’t do it, I got my own sins to deal with. It has to be someone perfect, Jesus. He never sinned, he was perfect, without spot or blemish and thus able to take my place and yours on the cross. To pay the price for our sins so that we never have to, instead we get to live eternally with Him! Our Savior! I am so glad he called me to be a fisher of men, cause I want to see you all in that heavenly home with the Lord one day.
If you have not already made the decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior then I ask that you consider doing so today, right now, don’t wait another second. Repent of your sins, turn from them and step into the love and freedom that can only come from asking Jesus to come into your heart and change you, cleanse you, make you whole, new. Believe in Him and be saved. You will find a simple Sinner’s Prayer below that you can pray if you are ready. If you do accept Jesus and wish to comment below then I will be sure to add you to my prayers each day, as you too start your journey as a fisher of men.