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Gone Fishin'
Photo: Dominic Morel
I’m not much of a fisherperson. While I grew up in the country and loved sitting on the creek bank watching the community of fish going about their daily lives beneath the surface, I never really had any desire to catch any of them. I was content to just watch them.

It’s different, though, with fishing for people. I’m very interested in the daily lives of others, but I’m not content to just watch. I don’t want to just see them swim around in their daily problems with no way to surface. I want to fish them out and help them! And, quite honestly, when I find myself underwater, swimming in circles, I want someone to come along and fish me out as well!

How do we become fishers of people, then? Well, Matthew tells us of a time when Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee and saw Simon and Andrew casting their fishing nets into the water. Knowing that these men were experts in the field of fishing, he said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). On another occasion, Jesus told the struggling fishermen to cast their net back in the water and when they did, they pulled up so many fish, the boat was overloaded.

Jesus in the Boat

It occurs to me that the key ingredient in that successful fishing trip was having Jesus in the boat. If we try to bring people to the surface by our own power, we may end up repeatedly pulling in empty nets. On the other hand, if we have Jesus in the boat with us, our nets will overflow. It makes sense, don’t you think? But how can we be sure Jesus is in the boat with us? Well, our fishing methods might be a good clue. Are we using nets of compassion, godliness, kindness, and prayer? Are we stirring the waters with messages of God’s Word? Are we asking for ripples of the Holy Spirit? Are we ready to take care of the catch, or will we be briefly excited only to throw it back into the water when it starts to dry out a bit?

The world is teeming with people who are longing to be “caught” by the love of Jesus. If we invite Jesus to be in the boat with us, drawing us to himself, we will be on our way to being the fisherpersons that he called Simon and Andrew to be. And, in the process, we will be “caught” too!

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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