Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Using the right bait...
"...As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, 'I am holy; you be holy.'" -- 1 Peter 1:16
Yesterday I talked about how Jesus called us to be fishers of people (ok, fishers of MEN for my traditional friends. ;-) Exactly how do we do this? It is such an odd concept, fishing for people. But if you look closely at Jesus' words, you see that he gives us the KEY to understanding it.
"And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him." -- Matthew 4:18-20 (New King James Version)
Jesus, seeing two men who were fishermen, spoke to them in a language they would understand, fishing terms. The keys words in what he says to them are "Follow me." AND "I will MAKE you..." When they dropped their nets and followed him, they were agreeing to do what he did. Jesus was going to MAKE them fishers of men. It wasn't up to them to figure out how they were going to do that. If they followed his lead, they would BECOME fishers of men.
As the 1 Peter verse above says, we are to be obedient children and let ourselves be pulled into a life shaped by God. He wants to make us holy, as he is holy. He gave us Jesus, the ultimate example of living a holy life, to follow so we could BECOME holy.
I think I am far from holy...I have a LONG way to go to reach that ultimate goal. But, I think I am learning important lessons about how to get there. I am a very relational person. I make friends quickly. I love talking (those of you that know me know that well!) I can talk to all kinds of people on their level. I think I have learned from Jesus that you have to use the right bait.
If you are a fisherman, you know you have to have certain bait to catch certain fish. It takes research and study and experience to know what fish like. You can't just throw in a line with a worm on it and expect to catch the fish you want...unless the fish you want to catch likes worms! Fishing for people is the same thing. You have to know who you are talking to and adjust your vocabulary and conversational patterns around what the person you are talking with is confortable and familiar with. How do I know this? From experience, and because I am following Jesus and allowing Him to MAKE me a fisher of people.
If we go out in the world, (a world that doesn't understand the King James version of the Bible...or ANY version of the Bible) only speaking in King James vocabulary, they are not going to be drawn to it. If we go out in the world ONLY talking about how the world is going to hell because they don't believe in Jesus, or because they are sinners, they are going to turn away...because they don't UNDERSTAND. We have to SHOW them God's love...we have to use the right bait to catch them. Exactly how do we do this?
Follow Jesus...he will make you a fisher of people too.