Fishing for Souls: Welcome

Jonathan ScottBy Jonathan Scott7 Minutes

Hello, my name is Jonathan Scott and welcome to Strengthen Your Walk. It’s our desire in Strengthen Your Walk to help you maximize your relationship with Christ, but also to maximize your kingdom impact for the kingdom. In this particular series, we’ll be taking a look at evangelism, the potential of it, the priority of it, and the need for us to partner with Christ in this amazing enterprise of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ, who He is, what He has done, and how that can impact each person as we are faithful to share that in a compelling way.

You’re probably wondering why we’re out here? What’s going on with the setup? We’re out here at a very wonderful lake in sunny South Carolina as a kind of a backdrop to help us learn some lessons from fishing that connect to what it means to actually share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others.

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Interestingly enough, fishing is something that over 50 million people in America enjoy being able to do. It’s like one of the top three favorite outdoor recreational activities, a wonderful pastime, and it comes with excitement and adventure, disappointment, and some frustration. Similar to what happens with evangelism where we have people who are nervous about it, people who are afraid, or people who experience a lot of excitement.

So, we’re going to take a look at some of the lessons we can learn to apply to this expedition of fishing for people. That is important for many folks, but it’s also important to Jesus Christ Himself. As a matter of fact, we find in Luke chapter 19, Jesus says, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost.” What’s interesting is that sometimes we as Christians, we focus on the character and the quality of Jesus’ life and His ministry. But isn’t it ironic that for about the two to three years that Jesus was in ministry, He spent the majority of His time training disciples to take over the family business, the kingdom business of drawing people into close relationships with God through the grace in Jesus Christ.

It starts with Jesus by a lake, calling the first disciples, Peter and Andrew’s brother, James and John, who were fishermen. It shows up in Luke chapter 5 where Jesus comes to this lake and He’s preaching. He comes to one of the boats, the boat that Simon’s in, and He says, “Simon, why don’t you push out a little bit?” And so, Simon does that while they’re all cleaning and washing their nets.

Jesus is continuing to preach because the crowds are pressing in. But the scripture says in Luke chapter 5 that after Jesus finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Now I’m thinking, Simon’s probably thinking, “Okay, this guy’s a carpenter. He’s probably never fished a day in his life.” So, he says to Jesus, “Jesus, we’ve been out all night. And we caught nada, nothing. But because You say it, fine, we’ll do it.”

So, they launch out into the deep and sure enough they encounter one of the largest catches that Peter’s probably ever seen in his life. He’s freaking out and the nets are starting to tear. He’s calling in for other boats to help. He realizes the impact of what’s happening. And he actually yells out to Jesus, “Jesus, go away from me. I’m a sinful man.” And the other disciples, they’re freaking out. Peter’s freaking out. We know that because Jesus then says to Peter, “Don’t be afraid. From now on, you’ll be catching people.”

Then they brought the boats to the land. They left everything and they followed Him. They left everything, their fishing nets, their fishing business, their family, and for the rest of their life, they followed Jesus Christ. Interestingly enough, Jesus is continuing to call people to join Him in this expedition of fishing for people. In Mark 16:15, Jesus says to His disciples then and to His disciples now, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all nations.”

Listen, for those of us that profess that Jesus Christ is our Lord and savior, the One who directs our affections and our attentions, you and I, we have a part to play and there’s a place for us in the family business of leading people into greater kingdom impact in connection with Jesus Christ. So, it’s our hope that in this series, we’ll learn some of the lessons from fishing that we can apply to this enterprise of what it means to follow Christ and to be a part of the kingdom business in communicating the gospel.

I want to encourage you to stay along with us, to learn what your active role is in joining Jesus in this amazing fishing expedition to impact lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When we come back in our next session, we’re going to take a look at – a deeper look at this call to go fishing in what we know as the Great Commission. I hope you’ll join us at this next session, but between now and then, may God bless you and may He make you a blessing. We’ll see you next time.

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