Today I would like to speak a message about the fishers of men meaning in our day and age. Lets go fishing.
[Mat 4:18-19 NIV]
18 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.
19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
God has called us to be fishers of men.
Illustration of remember to catch fish:
There was a man who had bought a fishing pole from one of the stores. It came in a little box, had some pretty lures, fancy decorations, and all kinds of extra stuff.
He pulled out his pole all excited to fish and before he could throw the pole in the water it was all tangled up and tied up in knots.
Yet meanwhile there was a little ole lady sitting there with a stick and some string, and she was bringing in fish as fast as she can catch them.
The moral of the story is not to get caught up in all the fanciness of trying to catch fish, but just keep it simple and catch fish.
Jesus said follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.
He didn't say follow Me because of what you already are, He didn't say follow Me so you can make yourselves, but He said follow Me so I can make you fishers of men.
When you and I give our lives to Christ it is good to remember how far God has brought us from when we first gave our lives to God, but it is also important to remember of what He wants to make us.
It was said “We should repent of what we have been but rejoice in what we may be.”
Our desire should be to be made into fishers of men.
Let's look at somethings that a fisherman goes through:
1 – Must be equipped with a fisherman’s knife.
A) Knife is used to clean the fish.
B) To cut net when patching holes in tears, tears in net will tear continuously without trim.
C) Knife will save your life to cut you free if you are caught in the net or rope.
2 – Must be mindful of the boom with the mass – It must be always aligned.
A) The boat has a hatch where the men store their catch – this needs to be always even.
B) If not the first swell or wave can come on the boats side and tip the whole boat over.
3 – Must be ready – should be always on standby in the water.
Ready to put your part of work in at the drop of a hat when you are on the water.
The hydraulic is half of the ships power, but the manual power in teamwork is the other.
4 – Must be teachable during struggles in storm.
If the boat hits a storm – the fisherman needs to be teachable to navigate through that storm.
5 – When making a set for a school of fish – the fisherman must be at his post.
A) If not – you can get ensnared in the mechanics that are moving during the set and lose a limb or even your life.
6 – Should not question the captain when they say let go of the net or you will miss the school of fish and may lose your order in the market and get no paycheck.
You and I have been called to be fishers of men. We have been sent out to catch fish:
The world is hungry for an answer and these days are an opportunity for you and I to bring good news to hurting people.
Now there a few ways you can catch fish. Here are two:
1) with a net
2) by appealing to their appetite
Today I would like to talk about 3 different nets we can throw out to be fishers of men.
1. The Net of Time
[Mat 11:19 NIV]
19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”
[Luk 15:2-10 NIV]
2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable:
4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders
6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'
7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
When Jesus was teaching on earth, he spent time with people who did not always do what was right.
The Jews who followed God's law were unhappy that Jesus spent time with sinners. Jesus answered their disapproval with this parable.
The parable describes how much God cares for the sinner, and how much He wants them back.
Just like a person who finds a lost coin, God is happy when a person repents and joins the others who were not lost.
Jesus went after the 1 sheep that was lost – Has anyone here ever lost a coin or some money and found it. Where you happy?
Yes, you were happy with 1000 Rand in your bank account, but you still wanted to find that 100 rand you lost. Come On Somebody!!
Sometimes as the Church we can expect people to come to Church with us and that is good, but sometimes we might need to go out of our way and invite them to something like dinner, a ruby game, or something where we can spend time with them in their world and let our let shine.
Then who knows, the next time you invite them to Church they might come, because we went into their world first.
That's probably why Jesus spent time with sinners and tax collectors because He wanted to see them turn their life around and when they did it brought Him joy.
Even though people talked about Him and said different things, He didn't let that stop Him from being a fisher of men.
[Mat 9:12 NIV] 12
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
Also, I want us to notice something in the parable in verse 5 – Notice it doesn't say that He carries us back complaining, grudgingly, or mad, but I like the part that says – He carried the sheep back rejoicing.
If you find yourself far from God tonight – He wants to bring you back into his fold and He would be happy to do so.
It is amazing that Jesus spent time with sinners and tax collectors.
Sometimes all you and I need to do is spend time with the lost. Let our light shine at that family gathering, job outing, or school field trip.
2. The Net of Talents
Romans 10:14 – How can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard.
God has given each one of us a talent and ability.
Today I would like to encourage us to look at that talent we have as a net to catch fish.
See if we look at it as just a song, or a gift, or a skill, or a talent, then we might not want to use it in time of fishing, but if you look at it as a net then you will be ready to throw it when there is a school of fish.
What ability do we have today that we can use as a net?
God wants us to be fishers of men.
Let me just throw this in there for free.
Even if it’s an old song, you did already bring it out.
Even if you say I shared my testimony already. Share it again.
Even if it is an old dance. Dance it again.
Even if it an old rap. Rap it again.
Because it is not just a rap, but it is a net.
It is not just a song, but it is a net.
It is not just a testimony, but it is a net.
3. The Net of our Testimony
[Jhn 4:39 NIV]
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”
Another thing that you and I can use to bring people into the house of God is our testimony.
Our testimony can be a net that you and I use to catch fish and be a fisher of men.
Sometimes people will not come into the house of God to hear our testimony, so we gotta let our let shine in front of them and they will ask how do I get that peace.
How do I get what you have?
It happened to Paul and Silas.
During trials and persecution, they kept on praising God and the jailer came in and said what must I do to be saved.
How many know in the day and age we live in; it is an opportunity for you and I to be a testimony for God.
It may not be flogging or beatings that you are I go through like Paul and Silas did, but in this economy and the condition the world is in right now you and I can be a light to hurting people.
When they see you and I trusting God and keeping our Joy in midst of it, and they are stressed out wondering how to make ends meet. They ask us what do I need to do to get that peace?
We see in this passage of scripture, when the people heard the woman’s testimony, many believed on Jesus.
Can I encourage someone today? Keep letting your light shine, because there may be people watching you at school, at work or even at home that one day will come to you and ask, “What must I do to be saved?”
There is someone watching you at work or school to see how you are handling that situation and it will not be long before they come and ask you “What must I do to be saved?”
Paul and Silas were able to be used because they kept a good testimony during hard times.
When you and I are a good testimony in these difficult times at our jobs, at our school, at our workplace or even at home that can be a net which will allow us to be fishers of men.
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