Have You Done Much “Fishing” Lately?

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”
Matt. 28:19a

My office looks out over the beautiful Spokane River, where I daily receive inspiration from God’s creation. It is June and the famous Spokane River “caddis hatch” is upon us. I regularly see drift boats and a few bank fishermen whipping the water with their fly rods hoping that their bug imitations will tempt some unsuspecting trout. It has occurred to me that with my busy travel, speaking schedule, and the numerous chores around the yard, I haven’t had much of a chance to participate in this seasonal occurrence. It is hard to call yourself a fisherman if you are not fishing.

In a similar manner, it is hard to call yourself a disciple if you are not fishing for men. As former U.S. Senate Chaplain, Peter Marshall, once said, “Fishing for fish is pulling fish out of life unto death. Fishing for men is pulling men from death into eternal life.” When Jesus said, “Follow me…” to a group of common fisherman, He ignited a passion for evangelism that still burns in the hearts and minds of many today.

We can learn a great deal from one of the very first fisherman/apostles called into service by Jesus. Andrew learned early in his spiritual walk about obedience and evangelism. As a follower of John the Baptist, he brought several of his friends to hear about the coming of the Messiah. When introduced to Christ, he immediately fetched his brother, Simon, (later called Peter) and his other fishing partners, James and John.

It was Andrew who brought a little boy from the crowd to be used by Jesus. “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish…” John 6:9a. Miraculously, Jesus used this introduction, and the boy’s lunch, to feed the entire crowd. In John 12:20-22, scripture records another time when Andrew was used to introduce others to Christ. This time Andrew brought some Greeks to Jesus. The committed disciple wasn’t an eloquent speaker, great worship leader, or church board member. He was simply a man who understood the intent of the “Great Commission” (Matt. 28) even before it was preached.

Andrew was the consummate crusader whose primary concern was for the lost, people without faith in God through Jesus Christ. Andrew used his fishing background and various contacts to meet people and share his faith in the marketplace of life. He understood the limits of his giftedness and his role for Kingdom work. His job was to bring folks to the Master.

As we share our personal spiritual experiences (testimonies) with friends and neighbors, we give them a glimpse of who God is. Encouraging them to participate in a Christian program, to read their Bibles, and to pray can bring them closer to Him. Our hope is that, like Andrew, we can bring people to the teachings of Jesus and that, through His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit their hearts will be captured with eternal truth, leading them to a saving knowledge of our Savior.

Like Andrew let’s be fishers of men. We can all share our stories, invite someone to church, or an outreach function. Even stinky old fisherman need to meet the Master Fisherman—Jesus.

The Power of Truth:

  • “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt. 4:19
  • “And then he told them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.’” Mark 16:15 (NLT)

Suggestion for Prayer:

Ask God for opportunities to “fish” for souls.