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Are You in the Fishing Business?

 

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION

Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Acts 17:1–4

When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

CONSIDER THIS

Have you ever fished with a professional fisherman (or woman)? Some years back my oldest son, David, and I went to Colorado to fish for trout. Two friends (another father and son), who happened to be professional anglers (the professional name for fishermen) guided our trip. It was worth the price of admission just to watch their method and craft. Here’s what I learned.

The pros are meticulously methodical about their game. First off, they usually have a good idea of where the fish are and when. They study the area. They know the underwater landscape, the varying depths of the water, the currents, and the eddies. They also know the variety of fish they might come across and where they will be and even when they are most likely to be there. They know what the fish like to eat and consequently what they won’t bite. They go in with a game plan. They know what areas they will fish first and second. They know which lures they will try and the order. Even their casting has clear craft to it.

As they approached a particular target zone, these guys had a plan on how they would fish it. They had a method of casting to fit any situation, and they could switch out gear at a moment’s notice. They seemingly had a different lure for every possible fish in the river. They knew how long to persist and when to move on. It was something to behold. And we were catching fish!

I think it was the same kind of situation with Paul and his companions. Paul was the master angler—the pro. He knew where the fish would be and when. He always went to the synagogue first. He went on the Sabbath; in this case, three weeks in a row. He knew what they would bite. He reasoned with them from the Scriptures. I have a sense Paul knew just what text to tie on based on who he was talking to. In this case, he was working the suffering and resurrection lures. He was casting Messiah flies.

He was fishing for Jews, Greeks, men and women, God-fearers, and so forth. And he was catching fish! He caught a few Rainbows (Jews), a ton of Brook Trout (God-fearing Greeks), and several CutThroats (I’ll leave that one open). If only he’d caught a Brown, he would have had the Grand Slam!

Remember last week, he went fishing down by the river at the “place of prayer,” and he caught a big one named Lydia!

So how about you? Are you in the fishing business? We must remember Jesus’s primary metaphor for this work was fishing. He said he would make us fishers of people. It’s worth some New Testament study time to simply observe the master angler and his apostles and their protégés as they master this craft. What can we learn? Truth be told, I think Jesus was probably more into net fishing, but I’ll save that discussion for another day. 

Honestly, all of this has me asking myself these questions: What about my town? Do I even know what kinds of fish are in this pond? I’m new to Gillett and still learning. I’ll share more about that in the podcast today. One thing I have realized is I am not yet curious enough. It is so easy to simply stay in my own lane and mind my own business. But wait! This is my business. And it’s your business too. I love how Jesus put it this way: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

This is a fishing business. This is a friends fishing together business. This is our master’s business. He’s willing and ready to take us into a master class on fishing for people. Who’s in? 

THE PRAYER 

Father, I want to be in but if I’m honest I am not. I don’t think too much about fishing for people. I believe in it, I just don’t do it too much. I’m not even sure how many not-yet-Christians I even know. I’m not interested in fishing as evangelism tactics but fishing as life. Awaken me to this life of loving others enough to share Jesus with them. Jesus, you are the master fisherman. Would you rise up in me and lead me from the inside to get beyond myself and to get curious about the lives of people I have yet to meet? Praying in your name, Jesus, amen. 

JOURNAL PROMPTS

How’s the fishing going for you? What about your neighborhood? How many people have you met there? It’s easy to think it’s too late to start; especially if you have lived there awhile and not reached out. It’s not too late. How many not-yet-Christians do you know and interact with on a regular basis? 

THE HYMN

Today we will sing “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations” (hymn 458) from our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. Get your copy here. New Shipments arriving now. 

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

4 Responses

  1. Saul of Tarsus had a life transforming encounter with the living Jesus and began to follow and obey Him daily. He used to tell people: “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah.” (Is, not was.) Jesus is alive and active in this world. Let the risen Jesus continually demonstrate His power and reality in and through your life so that others can see and join in your experience with Christ and be fully persuaded to constantly rely on His presence.

  2. Breaking! Seedbed is being renamed Hookers!

    (In case you’re still asleep, I’m kidding.)

  3. Is there another podcast? If so, where do I find that? I have heard you mention a few times about sharing more in a podcast later today. So I have been wondering.

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