Fishers of Men

Fish 1

It’s official! Summer has arrived in SoDak!  It’s been one of the coldest and longest winters many of us can remember. Needless to say we are ready for summer. The change in temperature and change in activity is appreciated.

One such activity is fishing. We live at a lake and so the opportunity to fish is abundant. Late last summer I was able to snap a few pics of my nieces fishing. I did so unobserved (always the best way to take a photo!) As I watched them I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’ call for us to fish as well.

Fish 2

I watched the girls and I thought of how perfect Jesus was in his analogy.

Fishing requires bait.

Luring fish and  luring men requires bait. The girls were a little freaked out by their choice of bait. Unfortunately, I’m afraid we sometimes freak others out with our “bait”! I’ve never been attracted to biblical tracts promoted on street corners. The best bait I’ve ever experienced has been watching lives lived well. I’ve been blessed to observe people whose lives were so attractive, so appealing I was literally (and figuratively) hooked.

“Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the life-giving message into the night…” Phil. 2:15 MSG

Fishing requires tools.

Some folks fish with sticks and others use spendy equipment. Whatever the M.O. most folks don’t fish with their hands. They need some type of tool.  We may live our lives in such a way as to attract others to Christ but if we don’t have at least a few basic tools to “bring them in” it is likely we will fail. 1 Peter 3:15 says,

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” NIV

“Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.” MSG

We need to be equipped with answers… we need to know why we believe what we believe. We owe that to others. Heck, we owe it to ourselves. If (like me) you’ve gotten “laid back” in your faith allow me to issue you a challenge. Ask God how He would have you become sharpened so that you will be ready! For me that translates into reading Tim Keller’s book, The Evidence of God.  Tim and I will be spending time together in my screen porch over the next few months. It will probably take me all summer to get through his book. (My brain goes into overload if the material is deep. Sad but true.) I pray this endeavor will sharpen me, as well as put a few tools in my fishing box.

Fishing requires patience.

Half of the fun I had in photographing the girls fish was in watching them watch. They stood so still. After the shrieks, giggles and squeals that accompanied baiting their hooks they cast their line and…waited.

Fish 3

How many times have I ministered to someone and grown impatient with the “lack of results”? I’ve experienced this in ministry in the church, school and community. It doesn’t seem to matter what the venue is, it always takes time!  Unfortunately, the venue I become the most impatient with is the ministry under my own roof. I’ve got bait, I cast  it…for the love of Mike, why can’t I get a nibble?!  Nearly two decades of parenting have taught me that it usually (almost always) doesn’t work like that. I draw strength and hope from verses like this:

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow.”  1 Cor 3:6-7 MSG

Fishing for my children’s hearts crafts patience in my heart and teaches me to trust in the one who loves them more than I can imagine.

As we enjoy the bountiful gift of free time this summer I pray that each of us will pursue:

The Bait, The Tools and and The Patience

needed to bring others to Christ.  May we all become fishers of men——especially the ones under our roof!

Your DoAhead Friend,

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