We love to re-purpose things.  Even though our family has had many garage sales, we try and keep stuff on hand because “you never know when you might need it,” or, “if there is a different purpose for that special item then I want to be prepared”.

Such was the case with Jacob David.  He was a tailor and at the height of the California Gold Rush in the 1800’s and had many miners complaining that their work pants kept wearing out.  The miners would often be on their knees from sun-up to sun-down panning the pristine streams and rivers to find those golden nuggets.

Davis went to a local dry goods company owned by Levi Strauss and purchased some tent cloth, and made work pants from the heavy, sturdy material – and blue jeans were born.  Today, denim jeans from a variety of manufactures made in a numerous forms, colors, shapes, and sizes are still among the most popular clothing garments in the world.  If you travel to third-world countries and want to do some bartering, bring along some old denims.

This product came to market because Mr. David could think outside the box and found a new way to use an old product.  He re-purposed something that was initially intended for other uses. When Jesus called his fisherman disciples to “Come, follow me,” he told them that he was going to take their old skills, passions personality, knowledge of His creation, and patient attitudes and use (re-purpose) those traits to fish for people instead of fish.

With a new purpose in their lives these pedestrian fishermen were taught and trained by our Lord so that after His ascension, they could be used by God to capture the hearts of people with the message of the cross and redemption.

You see my friends, the ultimate fishing challenge isn’t found upon the high seas, in a mountain stream, or a famous bass lake.  It is using God’s word and the gifts that He has given each of us to fish for souls. When we come to Him, He re-purposes our lives.

Peter Marshall, the former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, illuminated this idea when speaking at the University of Pittsburgh in 1946.  He said, “Fishing for fish is pulling fish out of life into death.  Fishing for men is pulling them out of death into life.”

That, my friends, is what my life’s work has been about ever since Jesus came into my heart at thirteen years of age.  Let’s commit to bringing more people to the shores of salvation to meet the Master Fisherman – Jesus.

Personal Application:

What do the following passages of Scripture have in common:  John 1:38-39, Matt. 4:18-20, Luke 5:10-11, and John 21:15-17?  Note that discipleship is a process.

In Matthew 14:25-29 Jesus asked Peter to “fix his gaze upon Him.”  Why is that important in our daily walk?

Jim Grassi, D. Min.