Daily Devotional - 31 July 2020
“Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!’” (Matthew 4:19)!
Metaphorically, Jesus calls each person who chooses to throw their lot in with Him to ‘fish for people.’ But too many of us are novices, easily excited by the sight of ‘fish’ swimming around our baited hook, but quickly discouraged when they don’t automatically take the bait. We want to share about Jesus, but another’s willingness to listen often requires relationship. And building trusting relationships that pave the way for us to share our good news about Jesus takes time, energy and authenticity. By nature, humanity really is an impatient lot; there are some exceptions of course, but many of us do not care to spend the time needed to get good at ‘fishing for people.’
We get distracted easily. Our circumstances often pull our attention off of the task of reaching others, by putting our focus on things that are happening around us–circumstances that often threaten to overwhelm us in one way or another. Natural disasters, loss of job and illness all work to put our focus back on ‘me.’ But it isn’t just negative circumstances that have this ability; often as not, success can blind us just as quickly to the task at hand–we become busy making money, pursuing our career, completing our degree, planning for spouse and family...serving God. Yes, even our success in ministry can cause us to become so busy that we can’t remember the last time we took out our fishing pole to talk to someone who didn’t already know Jesus.
Which brings me to another distraction–the others around us who have also been called to fish. We compare gear, compare technique, compare the size of the catch...all the while leaving our own line unattended. In the family of God there exists a great variety of gifts and talents–to one God will give a net in which to haul great numbers of fish out simultaneously; He may place another in a section of the river where only a few fish can be found. Ultimately the size of the catch you reel in is not the thing that matters, but rather that you remain diligent to do the work God has set before you. We are not to be distracted by others and thereby neglect our calling.
Another distraction is found in the water. Among the ‘fish’ swimming about, are other swimming creatures–water snakes, leeches and even, sharks. Our concern for our own personal spiritual and physical safety can leave us wary of the waters in which the fish, too, swim. Which is why ‘fishing’ for people requires more than just hip waders, but a complete set of armour which enables us to take on the dangers found in the fishing grounds (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Jesus has made it clear that if we choose to follow Him, part of our commitment is to see that others are given the same opportunity. There is a very real danger that we will become distracted and neglect the work He has called us to. Pray that God will help you see the ‘fish’ around you and begin today to build relationships that are real, authentic and caring with others–the most irresistible ‘bait.’
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!