Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fishing – For Men?

By David A. Sargent

     Neal Pollard recently reported: “In July of 2001, Kjell Wilhelmsen was fishing for salmon on the Gaula River in Norway.  What he saw in the water took precedence.
     It was Jens Ovesen, a 246-pound man, who had been swept away by a strong current.  Wilhelmsen had fished that river for a quarter-century, so he knew the movements of that current.  He ran across a bridge and waited for Ovesen to come his direction.  Then, with his homemade lure, Wilhelmsen caught the burly 60-year-old by his rubber waders on his first cast.  He ‘used every fishing trick he knew to reel the big man without breaking his light line’ (via Associated Press, 7/29/01).”
     Ovesen’s helpless condition in being swept by the current reminds us of
our OWN condition in sin....
     Sin results from our bad decisions, and we can be “caught up” in it (Galatians 6:1), enslaved by it (John 8:34), and because of our sin, find ourselves headed toward certain death (Romans 6:23).
     But Someone came to our rescue! God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to this world to live as a man and then to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16; Hebrews 2:14-17).  “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8 NIV).
     In His death, Jesus paid the price for our sins (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24).  Because of His atoning sacrifice, the “hand” of salvation is extended to save those who are drowning in the swift current of sin.  He will save those who will “take His hand” through their trusting obedience.
     Jesus will save those who place their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  Then, as we continue to follow Jesus in the light of His Word, His blood continues to cleanse us from sin (1 John 1:7).
     Those who accept His offer of salvation are then called to become “fishers
of men.”  Jesus approached two brothers who were casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee for fish.  Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19 NKJV).  “They immediately left their nets and followed Him” (v. 20).  They joined Jesus in the work of “fishing for men” – saving them from destruction and offering them eternal life.
     Won’t YOU accept Jesus’ offer of salvation and life on His terms?
     THEN, will you join Him in fishing for men?
     It is the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ that will save when it is believed and obeyed (Romans 1:16; 6:3-4).  One way to share the “Good News” of what Jesus has done for us is by sharing Living Water.  See the archive for other presentations of the life-giving message: http://www.creekwoodcc.org/LivingWaterArchive.htm

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* From “Fishing for Men” by Neal Pollard, in Daily Bread, Thursday, 3/13/14.  Neal serves as the minister of the Bear Valley church of Christ in Denver, CO.  See his articles on his blog: http://preacherpollard.wordpress.com


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