A Devotion By: Pastor Ralph J. Mineo
When Jesus called the first disciples to follow him, he had certain expectations. Among them were: repent of sin, believe the Good News (Jesus is victorious over sin, death, and the devil), and Jesus called his disciples to “fish for people.” In it’s original meaning, this basically means to invite people out of the darkness they find themselves in (i.e. out of the darkness of the sea). But it’s much more than inviting people. To fish for people means to love them and to bring them to Jesus.
In our modern world, Jesus also calls us as disciples. That means we, too, need to repent of sin, believe the Good News, and “fish for people.” These aren’t necessarily easy things to do, but it’s our calling. So we do it! We have a powerful, important message and lifestyle: we live with Christ, we die with Christ, we will be raised to eternal life with Christ!
We certainly don’t have to hammer people over the head with this message, but we can gently show it by the way we live, and we can speak it in simple, inviting, non-threatening words. When’s the last time you told someone “I really believe in God,” or even “I love Jesus” or better yet, “Jesus loves me, this I know!”
My children’s choir has a favorite anthem titled, “We’re Goin’ Fishin’” (by composer Cathy Skogen-Soldner). The refrain is gives the basic message, “We’re goin’ fishin’ today…. fishin’ in a brand new way.” Verse one is about catching people (“they have two feet!”) I really like what the second verse which proclaims, “We share the love of God. It is the perfect bait.” I especially like the ending of verse three, “Even though they’re caught, Jesus sets them free!”
Our basic calling as disciples is to show that we have the love of Jesus in our lives, that we have received God’s grace, peace, and joy! Jesus DOES set us free, and to enjoy freedom in Christ is to live as God intends! It’s possible that someone could see that in you and want it for themselves.
So first, always be open to repent of your sin. Tell others about your faith in Jesus. Invite them into the light, into a life with Jesus! This is, indeed, fishin’ in a brand new way.
Finally, we don’t do this alone. God gives us the ability to “fish for people” by giving us the Holy Spirit. And don’t forget, the real bait is LOVE. God’s love, in Christ, is the only way to truly catch people for Christ. Let’s get out there and go “fishin’ in a brand new way.”