Matthew 4:18-20 — 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. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
In 1998 I was ordained a minister, commissioned as a Lieutenant in the ranks of The Salvation Army. My first appointment was to the Kodiak Corps, here in Kodiak.
Prior to being accepted to the College for Officer’s Training (CFOT) I was convinced I was called to be an evangelist. Not the T.V. type, but a traveling minister to encourage other ministers and congregations, to plant seeds of faith where planting was needed and to help the corps officers and pastors to harvest those souls who were ready to confess Christ as Redeemer.
The idea of being a “Fisher of Men,” being assigned to Kodiak Island was a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts.
Several unique things happened in those days. One I was blessed with my wife and we were able to serve together in Kodiak for nine years. Then blessings of blessings after being gone for nine years we were reappointed back to Kodiak with having nine more years of service left.
What has been on my heart are these Scriptures: Luke 5:1-11; Matthew 4:18-22; John 21:1-19; Matthew 28:18-20.
Fishers of men and making disciples is the theme of that set of Biblical passages.
What has rekindled this idea of evangelism?
I’ve recently reread 2 Corinthians 4, specifically verses 4 through 6: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
For me this is the reason for the season: The very purpose of the Christ Child.
Allow me to share this from a different angle. There are both spiritual and physical principles. For example: Hunting and fishing have basic principles in common that influence success.
Both need or require a level of knowledge and understanding (ok, yes anyone can get lucky)
Basics: Knowledge the habitat, know your equipment and which is best suited for your goal. Which lure or bait meets the feeding preference of animal or fish being sought. Time of year and day best suited for providing the greatest results.
Fishing for souls has the same basic principles: Know your community, the needs, both the circumstances that exist and what brought them about and are there solutions and guidance for betterment in future days?
Are we dealing with an individual’s needs? A neighborhood? Town? City? State? Or national?
1 Peter 3:15 — “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
The effective net for the fishers of men?
In my New Testament Bible; the scripture 1 Corinthians 1:18 — “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Just above that verse is a heading in bold print which says; “Christ, the Wisdom and Power of God.”
We stand between the first coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ.
I close this article with Romans 1:16 – “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes.”
Season’s greetings and Merry Christmas as we journey from 2019 to 2020. May you continue to be blessed.