• Jill Jarrell Newsome

The Fish Are Biting

If you look, you will see how God is using this tough time of uncertainty. I am seeing a lot of people scared, hurting and depressed looking to God. Some for the first time. People are hungry for encouragement and God's Word is the best place to find it. For the men on the beach, for the life-long fishermen, Jesus was saying, “hey, follow me, and instead of fishing for yourself, instead of fishing for your own satisfaction and making ends meet, I’ll make it so you are fishing for the Kingdom. It’s not food that matters now; it’s people. So, join me and let’s put people first.” Jesus was not just speaking to them, He was speaking to us and still is! We are to be fishing and I believe the fish are biting!

You have to go where the fish are. You either go to a body of water to fish or you go out in a boat to fish. You go where you know there are fish. Sometimes you have no luck, sometimes you get a few and sometimes you get the mother load! Peter and Andrew had to take their boat to the middle of the lake and throw nets into the water. Remember the story after Jesus' resurrection when He came to some of the disciples, who had not caught any fish that night. He told them to throw their nets on the other side of the boat which I am sure seemed silly. But when they obeyed God, they caught more fish than they could carry. John 21: 6, "He said, 'Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.' When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."

If we only spend time with Christians, we'll have little chance to interact with non-believers. If we want to "fish" we must grow friendships with a wider circle of people. If you ask God to increase your territory, He will! When we fish we can witness to one at a time or we can throw nets to groups of people. We can share with friends and strangers on the internet. Jesus tells us that we must live our lives in a way that shows the truth we speak. This is the hard part because all of us are with sin. I often think, how can I share this when they know the real me? Matthew 5: 16, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." When our light shines, it shows that our lives have been changed and others will want that change.

If you walk closely with God, there will be times you will feel the Holy Spirit nudging you to talk to someone about Him. God may be wanting to use you to bring someone closer to Him. But we have to be obedient - it is not always what we want to do. At first it may seem unusual and we may be uncomfortable. But remember, He will never ask us to do something that He has not equipped us for.

The disciples spent three years on earth with Jesus. They walked, talked, prayed and ate with Him. They listened and watched Him imitate the Living Word! John 15: 4, "Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." I cannot imagine how afraid they were when Jesus died. John 16: 7, "But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." Like us, they would have His Spirit with them always. They were being prepared to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. One of the last things Jesus said before he died was in Mark 16: 15, "He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'"

"Be ye fishers of men - you catch them and He'll clean them!"


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