Monday, November 4, 2013


Every day is a good day to be joyful in the Lord, whether in good times or bad. To be loving and kind to others, even our enemies. To bring His peace with us wherever we go. In other words, to be fishers of men, showing the love of Christ, as He commanded all of His followers.


Fish a-jumping

The smooth surface of southeastern Wisconsin’s Green Lake mirrored a pink and purple sunrise as fish began jumping. Lots of fish. Big fish. The kind we’d all love to be hauling in on a hook. The kind I hoped to reel in mentally as I attended the Christian writer’s workshop that met on the lakeshore.

What are they jumping after? I wondered, my writer-mind whirling with ideas. The answer appeared in the form of an undulating swarm of tiny insects that hovered a ways from shore. The insects probably were dropping their tiny eggs—just the right color and size to entice a fish to catch them in mid-air. The fish leaped upward in a frenzied dance as my gaze flitted back and forth, as I tried to guess where the next one would appear.

The intriguing sight contrasted sharply with the serenity of the quiet, colorful sunrise.

How long could they keep up their energetic feeding frenzy? How many insects would it take to fill a fish’s mouth? How much time and patience would it take for a person to catch one of those fish?

As I watched, I thought about Peter and the other fishermen on Jesus’ team. Commercial fishermen that they were, they must have spent many anxious nights, after a poor catch, wondering if they could meet their expenses. Health, weather, seasonal cycles, and a host of other factors always determines whether fishing is successful or a bust.

When Jesus met those fishermen, He had a different kind of fishing in mind. “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” He told them. (Matthew 4:19) He knew the world was filled with people in despair, people who needed to be lured by His love, and He would need His followers to help draw them toward Him for healing.

As followers of Christ, we are sent out to be fishers of men. Not that we should pursue them with ulterior motives, but with His love. Sometimes merely dangling the bait of God’s Word is enough to draw them in. Other times, sharing our story of how His love changed our life is enough to draw people to Him. Love is gentle and kind. A smile or hug, a prayer for a specific need can spell volumes for a hurting soul. God can use us in a variety of ways as we touch one life at a time, adding to His kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy.

Lord, help us to become loving fishers of men. In Jesus’ name, amen.  

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