Fish, fish and more fish! I’ve seen more fish in the past month than ever before in my life. :-) Couple of weeks ago my family spent a Saturday at the Shedd Aquarium with friends of ours; it was a wonderful day. In addition a month ago we got 3 gold fishes for our daughter to enjoy at home. So I’ve been observing these creators for quite some time. I could not help but notice that they are constantly opening and closing their mouths. I thought to myself, wow these are some hungry creators and aren’t we swimming through life in the same way – hungry. Hungry for peace, approval, acceptance, rest, health, financial freedom, success, care-free life… the list goes on.
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
My late grandpa, God bless his soul, loved fishing. It was his favorite pastime. He was so good at it that the neighbors use to place orders weeks in advance. I’ve gone with him and have seen this quiet man fish. His routine was simple: he used to get up way before the sun was out, go to the same place at the lake, place the fish poles, sit on his folding chair and wait patiently. One thing I noticed - the other fisherman moved numerous times around the lake throughout the day yet went home almost empty handed. Grandpa never moved or lost his patience and always went home with a lot of nice fish. One day I asked him what was his secret. Grandpa explained that he comes early so that no one takes his spot and the location was important because he had “nurtured” the place. The secret was in his so called “manna fish balls”. Grandpa used to make balls of the best fish food which he would throw into a chosen spot at the lake, over time plenty of fish would gather there in anticipation for more food. In return grandpa went home always with buckets full of great fish. What a clever way of catching fish….
There are many fishing techniques, the key is to know the link between the various techniques and the fish. This would include their behavior, bait inclination, habitat and migration. Fishing is not only a form of recreation but also a source of food and work. For some it provides a community and cultural identity. Interestingly many of the stories and miracles reported in the Bible involve fishing. Jesus is known to partake in it and His first disciples were fisherman. With that in mind I reflected on the subject of fish and fishing. Here we are today facing the big ocean of life as fishers of man wanting to reach men and women who swim through the deep waters of time hungry, searching for the manna that satisfies.I believe by following in the footsteps of Christ and His Disciples we can learn about various techniques for catching hungry fish.
Here are some practical ways that can help us become more effective fishers of man:
· Rise early – spending time first in the Word prepares our hearts and ears to hear not only God’s voice but be sensitive to the cry of the hungry fish around us
· “Nurture” the place – Our area/s of influence (such as work and home) should be a place/s where hungry fish can find food for the soul
· Know your fish – Listen, be compassionate, built a trusting relationship, allow time for them to get to know you and feel comfortable sharing the hungers of their souls.
· Give them manna – God’s word. Prayerfully and gently point them to the Source that satisfies.
Maiking it personal:
I encourage you to read Luke 5:1-11 after which prayerfully reflect and respond to the following questions:
After teaching the Word what was Jesus command for Simon Peter?
What was the result of Simon Peter’s obedience?
What should follow our act of repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Savior?
Walk with God and glorify His name.
My prayer is that this will be a place where you find hope and nourishment for your soul.
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