Tag: fishers of men

Laying hold of purpose!

Scripture reading for January 3rd: Genesis 1-2, Psalm 19, Mark 1

Mark 1:16-20 “Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John His brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed Him.”

A big factor in life-satisfaction is having a clear purpose and pursuing it. God has a plan for each person’s life and a purpose for which He formed them. Before Christ, we may set out on our own to find purpose in many pursuits, some lawful and others dubious, but when we hear from God, that changes everything! These fishermen were going about their business of mending nets and pursuing purpose in an honorable way of life and business. Jesus purposely passed by their place of business. He was walking as the Father God directed Him to choose those who would become His followers and enter into God’s kingdom purposes. He offered an invitation to these ordinary working men to follow Him and to become fishers of men! Their response was “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” Immediate obedience and faith came at the sound of Jesus’ voice to these called by God! Are you listening to Jesus as you read His Word today? Jesus is calling!

Genesis 2:7, 15 “. . . then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” . . .”The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the breath of Life you placed in me through the gift of the Holy Spirit and for the call to follow Jesus and learn and obey His Word. Thank You for the purpose and vision that You give to each person who responds to Your voice. Forgive me for not being ‘immediate’ in my responses. Thank You for Your patience and mercy. Let Your purposes be my purposes and teach me to fish for men as You did with those first followers.

Psalm 19:1-4 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”

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Following Jesus without fear!

Scripture reading for March 17th:  Deuteronomy 1-3, Psalm 36, Luke 5

Key Scriptures: Luke 5:8-11 “But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”  For He and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.  And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.  And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.”  

Simon Peter, James and John were experienced fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.  They had fished all night and caught nothing.  Jesus met them as they were returning and told them to let down the net for a catch.  A great harvest of fish ensued and Peter was brought under conviction and holy fear.  Jesus spoke reassuringly to them and invited them to join Him in fishing for men!

Deuteronomy 1:21 “See, the Lord your God has set the land before you.  Go up and take possession, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has told you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Faith Confession:  At Your Word, Lord, I will follow You and fish for men.  I trust in Your promise to be with me and empower me to walk in faith with no fear of man.

Psalm 36:7-8 “How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!  The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  They feast on the abundance of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your delights.”  

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“Follow Me!”

Scripture reading for January 6th:  Matthew 4

Key Scriptures:  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 make you fishers of men.”  At once they left their nets and followed Him.”

Jesus walked where people were at work!  He, Himself, was a worker!  He was a carpenter who helped His father to shape wood for various purposes.  He was walking here among fishermen who were busy at their trade.  He called out to Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew.   When they heard Him, they immediately left their trade and daily work and followed Jesus.  He called them to a new type of fishing–fishing for men!

When Jesus calls us to come after Him, we often make excuses.  How will we make a living?  Aren’t we supposed to be loyal to our family business?  How will others and our families eat if we don’t have fish to eat and sell?  The word of God is calling us to humbly trust Jesus and obey Him.  The new calling to fish for men requires an apprenticeship with the Master Fisherman!  Why not obey His call and let the great adventure begin?  Trust Him to provide all you need.

Observation for overcomers:  The call of Jesus goes deep into the heart and spirit of each person when they open their hearts to listen.  When we want what He wants, we will joyfully follow Him and overcome all fears and arguments!  “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart!”  (Psalm 37:4)

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Fishing for Men!

Scripture reading for March 21st: Luke 4:31-5:11

I like to fish when the fish are biting!  I hate fishing when all I do is set there and wait with no results!  It seems like a waste of time!  I have gone fishing numbers of times and caught nothing!  I must be God’s gift to fish!  However, there is another kind of fishing that never gets boring!  This kind of fishing involves the biggest catch of all!  Jesus recruited three of His original disciples from the ranks of fishermen to become fishers of men!

In today’s reading, Luke tells the story of Jesus using Simon Peter’s fishing boat as a platform to preach and teach from.  The fishermen had toiled all night and were washing their nets as Jesus asked to use their boat.  When Jesus was finished teaching, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4-9)  These seasoned fishermen did not think that Jesus knew what He was talking about because they had worked all night and caught nothing!  But because He asked them, they obeyed and were overwhelmed with a net-bursting catch!  They filled both boats so full that they began to sink!

When Peter saw the miraculous catch, he fell at Jesus’ feet and was apologetic for his unbelief!  “Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”” (Luke 5:10b-11)  The three fishermen dropped everything and left it all to follow Jesus!

Jesus had a plan to catch men for the kingdom of Heaven.  He would find men and women who would be willing to follow Him by faith and learn of Him.  His ways were different from the world.  He took a simple fishing boat and made it a place to preach from.  He took simple fishermen and taught them to fish for men!  They must be willing to leave their ways and work and follow Him in His way and work!   He calls, and they must decide to follow!

Have you heard the call of the Master Fisher of Men?  Have you given Him your ‘boat’ to use?  Have you come humbly to Him and confessed your sinfulness?   Are you willing to leave all to follow Him and learn how to fish for men?  The path to the biggest catch of your life will be determined by your response!

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The Final Catch!

Scripture reading for January 19th: Matthew 13:44-58, Psalm 14, Proverbs 3:27-28

As we read these parables, it seems that Jesus used different stories but the message that was within them was the same truth.  This is a technique of a good teacher who is trying to impart truth to their students.  These parables contained truth that if grasped and understood would enable a person to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Different stories would help people of different backgrounds and culture to relate to the simple message they contained.  (Matthew 13:10-11)  Let’s look at another parable used by the Master Teacher, Jesus.

“Once again,the Kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.  When it was full,the fishermen pulled it up on the shore.  Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.  This is how it will be at the end of the age.  The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:47-50)

Jesus had several disciples who were fishermen and He taught extensively around the Sea of Galilee where fishing would be easily understood.  Fish was a staple food of that culture.  This simple story about the kingdom being like a net would have resonated with those who caught fish or ate them.  The preaching of the message of repentance and faith in Jesus is like casting a net and bringing in a catch of precious souls.  The visible kingdom will contain those who are “good” fish and others that are “bad”.  The only difference between them is whether they truly have saving faith.

As fishermen would sort out their catch after catching them, Jesus taught that angels would separate the wicked from the righteous.  The wicked would be cast into hell where there would be eternal torment.  This was a simple truth that Jesus as a Master Teacher was trying to impress upon those who would listen.  Disciples are called to be “fishers of men” and cast the “Gospel net”.  Angels will separate the wicked and righteous at the end of the age.  It pays to be in the company of the righteous!  Are you ready for the final catch?  Are you casting the Gospel net?

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