Monday, November 17, 2014

Fishing Is Hard and Discouraging

I fished with my father as a kid. We used a cane pole and fished in the creek. Normally, when I caught one, it was so small that the tug couldn't be felt, and I only realized that I had a fish when in desperation, I pulled the line out of the water. I was never taught to fish in the right spot, using the best tool, and the proper methods. The fish are still laughing because they still won't take my bait!

I find fishing to be nonproductive and boring. Others live to fish. For them the wait is forgotten with the catch of the beauty. My only beauty got away. I remember the exhilaration of the battle, but the devils of the deep won. Big Fish is still alive and taunts me whenever I even think of fishing! I'm no fisherman yet still I fish. If I ever get that feisty fish everyone dreams of getting, I'm sure the world will rejoice with me! However, It isn't going to happen. I don't fish. I'm discouraged. I fought the desire to fish and apathy won!

One day in my youth I was asked to fish. I rationalized that I'm not a fisherman. The fish were plentiful, and even I, should be able to catch fish. A fisherman showed me how to do it. It had little to do with my education, personality, the aura around my pole and line, my profession or my appearance. I didn't even have to wear fisherman's apparel. Catching fish isn't about all those things, it's about confidence. I remembered that Huck Finn caught fish with that old cane pole. Why could I not do the same? Here's the situation.This is when I was asked to fish:
Luke 5:5 "And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men."
Matthew and Mark referred to them as "fishers of men"!  When I was saved, I was asked to fish. It wasn't a voice I heard nor a booming vision from heaven. I read it here in scripture. Jesus used failed fisherman and taught them to fish. It had nothing to do with anything, but trust. Jesus directed them where to fish and all they did was drop the net and fish filled it. Their only struggle was what to do with the fish! Just as God spoke with Moses, telling him how to speak with Pharaoh, it was to be that Jesus would guide the apostles and tell them what to say and do. Jesus inspired them! They were pumped up fisherman, but it was because Jesus was a good teacher, and Peter "was astonished". He knelt in the presence of God. He confessed his unworthiness.

I am now a "fisher of men" too! It's now my job and destiny. If you're a Christian you are to be a fisherman too. Even you children, sissies, women, office workers, used car salesmen and duck hunters are, as we have seen. Fishing isn't only for fisherman, but for all Christians.
Matthew 29:19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
This was said to the eleven apostles, but the best fisherman (besides Jesus) turned out to be Paul and he wasn't even there when this was said. It's because everyone  are to "go ye therefore, and teach all nations", and a person doesn't even have to be a preacher to teach them! "Why?", you say, "That's the preacher's job!". You too are preachers:
 1 Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light..."
Christians are by default priests, and guess what? You are preachers who fish! Not only do Christians fail to be a priest, but they fail to fish too! Christians don't do our work assignments very well at all!

As Moses said that he was the wrong person to speak with Pharaoh, all he needed was confidence. He only needed to trust in God. Aaron was his "security blanket", so to speak. God assured Moses that Aaron would be the spokesman. That created confidence in Moses. He could just stand there and let Aaron do all the talking. That's the way Christians think! They may go to fish, but then stand by and let another do the talking. They lack confidence and trust.

With the security of Aaron there, it's seems that Moses did most of the talking! His job wasn't really to convince Pharaoh, but to convince the Israelites that God is powerful and to have faith in him. Moses fished for God and caught 600,000 fish along with their offspring and mates! Moses taught truth and some fish failed to follow and were thrown back. Fishing, to get the beautiful fish, is done with the bait of truth.

I'm a poor fisherman! I have caught few myself, but the ones I've caught are beauties!
Luke 15:10 "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."
The "one sinner that repenteth" is one caught fish! Look what the angels do. They rejoice! We know that angels sing and that's part of rejoicing. When that beautiful fish is caught their is heavenly music played for God! I've heard it! Have you?

My most beautiful catch were my two granddaughters. They were going to get baptized, but had not been saved. I led them to repentance, and now they are "fishergirls". They have become fishers themselves! The angels sung loudly at my catch that day. Most of the time I go home with my stringer empty, but that day, I had two beautiful fish and I thank God that he provided the catch!

The bait is truth, but the truth is done with a method. There are many methods out there, but one of the most common and truthful is called "The Roman Road to Salvation". It allows the untrained fisherman to bait the hook with truth and put the bait in the face of the fish. The fish can chomp down on the bait, but most will swim on. Some of the fish will take the bait, but save it for later. All we have to do is present the bait and let God attract the fish! Let's look at proven effective bait:

Roman Road to Salvation:
Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..."
Romans 3:10 "as it is written: 'None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not  even one.'
13 'Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.' 'The venom of asps is under their lips.'
14 'Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.'
15 'Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.'
18 'There is no fear of God before their eyes.'"
 Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 5:8 "...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
 Romans 10:9 "...because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
 Romans 10:13 " For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'.”
 Romans 5:1 "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
 Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
 Romans 8:38 "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

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