The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Keep Fishing

Every fisherman has a fish story. I love the story about the fish that got away. One fisherman told of standing in the boat, reeling in a giant fish. As he brought the fish near the boat, he saw a single eye peering from the water. Then he looked to the other side of the boat and saw the other eye. What a story. But he Bible has some fish stories that are true. We know about Jonah being swallowed by a giant fish and then spit up on the shore. We know about Jesus sending Peter to catch a special fish which had in its mouth just enough money to pay the Temple tax for the two of them. We know that Jesus fed 5000 men and their families with only five barely loaves and two small fish.

In John 21 we read that the disciples were hanging out by the sea when Peter declared “I’m going fishing.” The disciples joined him in the boat and they fished all night. However, their nets came up empty. As they were coming back to shore, Jesus was standing there at a distance on the shoreline. They didn’t recognize him from the distance, but he called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” The disciples answered in the negative. So he told them to cast their nets to the right side of the boat. I guess they figured they had nothing to lose so they followed the order. When they did this, they caught so many fish that they couldn’t bring the net in. We know that the fish were caught because when they got to shore Jesus cooked some of them for breakfast.

Once before, Jesus called Peter and John and their fishing companions to come with him so he could help them to fish for men. They dropped their nets and joined his mission. The story above reminds us that even though we catch no fish, we should not give up. Keep trying and they will come. The same is true of fishing for men. Jesus called us to keep fishing.

Sometimes, we in the church get frustrated that the mission to reach the lost and unchurched can seem to be fruitless. People don’t respond to our call. Sometimes we want to give up. Jesus call to the disciples reminds us that we just need to keep trying. Casting to the other side, indicates that sometimes we may need to alter our methods. We need to seek creative ways to share the message of Christ with our world. But we should never give up.

Never give up on the mission. Keep bating hooks and casting. A time will come when there will be a catch. Lives will respond to our message if we don’t give up. Keep fishing!

This Sunday we will continue our mini-series of messages titled He Is Risen; What Next? with a sermon I have named, Feed My Sheep based on John 21:1-19. Join us for this great opportunity for personal growth in him.

Your fellow fisher of men,

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