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Posts Tagged ‘fishers of men’

Social networking is still the fastest-growing active social media behaviour online, increasing from 36% of global Internet users to 59% managing their profile on a monthly basis by the end of 2011…Facebook has 845 million active users –  http://thesocialskinny.com/100-more-social-media-statistics-for-2012/

Recently, the world’s largest social network made news when it released an initial public offering to become a publicly traded stock.  That’s not the big news.  The big news has more to do with the potential that lies within social networking as well as social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  That’s the big news for those who proclaim the Good News.

Use Facebook for your ministry.  Set up a profile.  Find friends online.  Share the profile link via email with your ministry members or congregants.  Add the link to your Facebook to your email signature or link the Facebook button to your website or blog.

Here are some simple strategies for Facebook usage for ministry:

  • Post upcoming events and invite ‘friends of friends’
  • Share inspirational verses and passages through status updates
  • Upload photos from events like mission trips or church outreach activities
  • Start Facebook groups for prayer, Bible study or salvation Q&A
  • Set up a fan page for members to get updated information on church or ministry activities

Facebook has a lot of potential.  Use it to your advantage to advance the gospel.  Spread the Good News throughout cyberspace by using Facebook as a steward of the Good News.

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And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. – Matthew 4:18

Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. – Mark 1:16

Everything seemed normal that day.  Simon “called Peter” and his brother Andrew were doing exactly what fishers do.  They were casting their nets into the sea of Galilee as they had done for some time.  Fishing was their livelihood.  Everything seemed to be going normally on that particular day.

It all seemed like a regular day of routine fishing up until Jesus showed up.

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19 (NIV)

Jesus came onto the scene and disrupted their entire expectation for the day.  The Messiah emerged and offered a whole new opportunity for both of these men.  He found them doing what they did on a regular basis and shared a totally unconventional concept of the future for them.  He offered to make them fishers of men.

Jesus offers us an example to follow if we intend to enlist others in ministry and service for the Lord.  We cannot simply tell others to show up and expect people to absorb what is going on around them like sponges.  People do not develop into servants of the Lord by osmosis.  It just doesn’t happen that way.  We have to have something to offer and share our intentions with them as we enlist them.  What we have to offer should encourage others.

At once they left their nets and followed him. – Matthew 4:20 (NIV)

Obviously, these brothers were encouraged by Jesus.  They decided to leave what they had and link up with the Lord.  They did not hold onto their past or present.  They made an on-the-spot decision to go with the Son of God.  He found some fishermen, but He focused making them into fishers of men.

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When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. – Matthew 25:31-33 (NIV)

On the Day of the Lord, the Lord will judge the people.  He will come in his glory “and all the angels with Him,” sitting up His glorious throne.  At that time, He will judge the works of us all as believers.  Here, in the Gospel of Matthew, it is written that He will have all the nations gathered before Him.  I do not mean to offer a deep discussion on or explanation of eschatology, but I must share that the sheep and goats are of the Lord’s flock.

The Lord will separate each of us based upon our attitude and actions related to the poor, the imprisoned, the hungry and others.  He will pass judgment on how well we loved our neighbor.  He will not measure our actions based upon something that He has hidden from us.  He is a righteous judge.  After all, He is the Good Shepherd.  He will separate the sheep from the goats.

Which side will you stand on when the Lord judges the ways of men? Will you be among the sheep? Or, will you be among the goats? Will you be on the right or the left? Which will it be?

Take into consideration the entire chapter 25 of Matthew.  Consider how well you are preparing for the Lord’s coming day.  Read it and the prophecies related to the day of the Lord.  Read up on Joel and Zephaniah’s prophecies about the day of the Lord.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:40 (KJV)

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16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. – Mark 1:16-18 (NKJV)

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Jesus made an offer to fishers.  In Matthew 4:18, the Bible says: “. . . for they were fishermen” in the New King James Version.  These men knew fishing.  It was their trade and vocation.  They made their living with boats and nets.  They knew about fishing and how to fish.

Jesus offered them something vastly different from the world that they lived in daily.  He offered to make them “become fishers of men” (v. 17).  He would train them to be fishers of men by training them, as the New International Version says, “to fish for people.”

They would be able to do it, but Jesus would teach and train them in how to do it.  He would equip and enable them to reach people for the eternal kingdom of God.  They would serve as witnesses among men of the mighty power of His earthly works as well as His eternal works on behalf of the sinful throughout the world.  They would be trained at the feet of the Master to evangelize with purpose and power.

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Look at what Jesus can do with what you already have going for you.  He can use what you know or what you have experienced to make you suitable servants for the kingdom of God.  He trains us through His Holy Spirit, coaching us all of the way.  As we study and serve, the Spirit affirms the training of the evangelist within each and every one of us.

Read about what Jesus can do with us.  Francis Chan offers some insights into truly understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Look at evangelism ministries of the the likes of Billy Graham and Oral Roberts.  Let the Lord lead you in your own evangelism efforts.

Read about what Jesus can make of us.  He made fishers of men out of fishermen.  He used ordinary folks to extraordinary things.  Twelve Ordinary Men is an exceptional read and study into how jesus can make something else out of us.

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Study His Word and discover how He can make more out of us than we have ever been before today.  He is able to do mighty works among us and through us to accomplish His purpose.  He wants people saved.  He wants you actively participating in drawing people to Him as fishers of men

Join the fishing division of the Lord’s army of believers.  Go forth and fish for people.

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“More people are coming to Christ now than at any other time in history.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church

The church has a real responsibility.  It is revealed in the Word of God.  It is real work.  It amounts to the work of people.  People make up the church.  Therefore, the work of the church has plenty to do with the people who come into the church and are touched by the church.

The church has a responsibility to the Lord for how it handles people.  Its ultimate responsibility is to answer to the Lord and His commands of them.  It represents the Lord on this earth.  Its works shed light into the darkness of this world and offers mankind a reason to glorify God the Father in heaven.

The church is called to reach people.  We reach people with people and through people.  We do the work that touches people and impact lives on this side of heaven.

The church is called to receive people.  The Lord adds to the church.  That part is on Him, but we have a responsibility, too.  We are to serve as wise stewards over what He provides for us.  We need to handle what (and who) God gives to us in a manner that blesses God.

“Jesus commanded us to make disciples.” – Ted Haggard

“People need to feel needed.” – Myron Rush

“God has ordained the church as a place of truth.” – Bob Russell

“Ministry is a marathon.” – Rick Warren

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“We have to take initiative where we are, not where we have not yet been.” – Oswald Chambers

Imagine helping everyone else except for those whom you love.  You offer strangers and others more than your own children and loved ones, even your closest friends.  That would sound sort of strange, right? That would make you seem like some sort of hypocrite.

You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. – Matthew 26:11 (NLT)

We need to stop overlooking the needs that go unaddressed right around us daily instead of seeking to go off to some distant land and do the same good that we never ever attempted at home.  We should go abroad and carry the Good News of Jesus Christ.  That is certainly the truth.  However, we do not need to leave needs unmet right at our own doorstep.

What was it that James said about true religion?

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. – James 1:27 (KJV)

We need to start right where we are.  We need to start doing good works right where we live every single day.  We need to do our part to keep things in order right where we live.  Our works should start with what we have done on our home turf.  Then, as we build up those around us by equipping and empowering them, we can branch out from there.

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” – Acts 1:4 (NIV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8 (NIV)

Until the Lord directs you, don’t leave where you are today.  Get busy doing His work with His Word right there.  Stay on task.  Once He has developed you, He will direct you.  When He has readied you for branching out, He will tap you for further service.  He wants you working on His good works in His name.  Your best bet is to start where He has planted you.  He has put you here for a reason.

You may not be able to go to the ends of the world and do every good work, but you have somewhere to start.  You something to offer.  You can get started right here.  You can grow as you do good.  Let doing good works do you some good, too.  Let it be right where you are today.

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And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’s anointed.” So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.
 

Afterward David also arose and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your harm’? Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the LORD gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’s anointed.’
  -1 Samuel 24:5-10 (ESV)

David had an open opportunity to get his revenge.  Saul literally walked right into his hands.  In verse 4, David’s men shared how such a divine opportunity was laid upon David.  Truthfully, David was within his right to take Saul out right there in that cave.

Saul had it coming.  He had chased David throughout the kingdom.  He hurt those who had helped David.  He had killed others who had hidden or provided supplies or food for David.  King Saul sought to kill David.  King Saul hunted down his son-in-law, the husband of his daughter Michal, and desired to see him dead.  He did all of that out of envy and rage, seeking to destroy David and forcing David to hide in caves.

David refused to take revenge.  He had the opportunity.  It presented itself to him.  He saw the opportunity and neared it, daring to cut a slice from Saul’s robe as he relieved himself.  David did not slit the king’s throat.  He just cut part of the king’s robe.  David exercised restraint rather than take revenge.

Do we do the same? Do we hold back or do we go for the jugular? Do we restrain ourselves when vengeance emerges as an opportunity? If not, we could.  Better yet, we should.  We should restrain ourselves.

The choices that we face can cause us some real agony.  If we are not careful, we will find ourselves led by the wrong spirit and doing the wrong thing.  Revenge does not do anything positive for us that will last beyond the immediate moment.  Exercise restraint.

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