Goin' Fishin' -- By Dean Master
Matthew 4:18-19 (The Message): "Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, 'Come with me. I'll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I'll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.'" [1]

When the weather starts to warm up here in Northeast Tennessee some people get spring fever and start to think about goin'; fishin'. There are quite a few streams, rivers and lakes to make these people happy. As Christians, we don't have to wait for a certain time of year. Jesus commands us to go fishing all the time.

What are some basic ways of fishing and how can we relate to these as we become new fishermen?

We can see in the Scripture above that Peter and Andrew were commercial fishermen. They threw their nets in and then hauled whatever got caught into the boat. On the day of Pentecost Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, preached to many people. He was throwing out the net. You may be called to throw out the net by a number of ways. You might be called to preach in a church or even out in the open on a street corner.

One way I have heard of people fishing is by using a "trot line". It is heavy twine or such with sinkers and baited hooks on it. Each end is tied to something on the bank and then left in the water. Later the fisherman goes back to see if he caught anything. I liken this type of fishing to handing out tracts or pamphlets. You find places where people might have time to pick up something to read and leave a tract there. You may not know if they reach anyone but then we don't have to know because God knows and that is all that matters.

The most common type of fishing is with a rod and reel. For the new fisherman this is like personal witnessing. AS someone has to learn how to fish this way you will also need to learn either by practice or by watching someone else talk to someone about Jesus. Some people are not patient fishermen. They always have to be changing lures, etc. These people might bombard the person they are witnessing to with a lot of stuff which drives them away. Some people like to go to the creek bank and just let the line stay in the water until a fish decides to bite. This is probably the most effective way of witnessing. You first become friends with the person then slowly witness to them without being pushy.

With technology today there are a number of ways we can go fishing. There is the Internet, e-mail and instant messaging which can be used to reach those who don't know Jesus. We need to use whatever way the Lord leads us to use. The main thing is that we all need to go fishing.

There are many people out there that need Jesus Christ. Let's go fishing!

Dean W. Masters

Unedited redistribution approved
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