Don’t Forget the Net

Connecting Points

Monday, July 29, 2013

Today’s Topic: Don’t Forget the Net

Today’s Text:  Luke 5:4-6 (ESV)  4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.

It was a great vacation. I am refreshed, relaxed, and restored in my spirit. I had never been that far north into Canada before. The beauty of the wilderness filled me with awe and wonder at the mighty power and majesty of God. I saw moose swimming in the lake. I saw eagles soaring over the waters looking for food. I watched a beaver smack his tail on the water as he escaped the approaching boat. I got up close and personal with a loon as she protected her fledgling baby. Every experience made me consider the glory of the Creator who instantly made all things that exist with nothing more than His words.

While all of the glorious sights were thrilling, they were not the reason I was there. I was there to fish. And fish we did, with plenty of catching included. As my brother and I motored away from the dock every morning, our primary thoughts were not on what we would see that day, but on what we would catch. Every day was all about fishing.

Before we would start the motor we would run through a mental checklist.

  • Lunch packed? Check.
  • Tackle Boxes? Check.
  • Fishing poles? Check.
  • Nets? Check.
  • Stringers? Check.
  • Depth finder? Check.
  • Gas tank filled? Check.
  • Rain gear? Check.

Once we got out into the lake we did not want to have to return for something we needed to accomplish the mission, and the mission was to catch fish. All our thoughts and conversations were about fishing. We talked strategy. We talked technique. We evaluated locations. We analyzed weather patterns and wind conditions and lake structure. Everything we did was about finding fish and catching fish.

After a couple of days of doing that, God slammed me with this truth – I am not just a fisherman for this trip, but I am a fisher of men every day of my life. But there are many days when I leave the dock without my fishing equipment, and some days without even a thought of even going fishing.

Jesus has called us all to be fishers of men. Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) He has given us all the same mission to cast the net of His Gospel truth over every person that we contact every day so that He can gather into the net those that He is saving from their sin. But many days we leave the net behind, and walk out into the world with a self-defined and self-serving mission on our minds. We become so self-absorbed in our own lives that even when an obvious lunker swims by ready to be caught, we miss them because we are looking at other things and are not prepared to catch them. We leave the dock without the net of God’s love and grace because we are so in love with ourselves.

The reality of that being true in my own life broke my heart. I realized how many days I get up, grab my coffee, and head out to conquer the day without a thought or prayer for all the fish that are waiting to be captured in the net of the King. I realize that underneath that reality there are two truths at work in my heart. First, I must admit that I am more concerned about my own life and maintaining its status quo than I am about the floundering fish around me. And second, that God doesn’t really need my net to accomplish His purpose. Both are wrong, and one is downright sin.

So I commit to making sure that my purpose every day is to look for fish, and to be prepared every day with the net of God’s love and grace. I will cast it out in every situation as I make contact with people, because it is what God has called me to do. He has called you to do the same.

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