Fishers of Men Matt. 4:18-19 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Jesus told his disciples to follow him and he would make them fishers of men. The first four disciples he chose were fishermen. As many ways as there are to fish, there are ways to fish for men. As many places as there are to fish, there are places to fish for men. To be fishers of men requires:
Prayer. Prayer gives you a heart and a burden for souls. Prayer also helps God work on the hearts of people for whom you are praying. Gypsy Smith prayed for his Uncle Rodney for several years. He literally wore out the knees on a pair of his pants. When his uncle asked him why his knees were worn out, Gypsy replied that he had been praying for him. That opened an opportunity to preach the gospel and Uncle Rodney got saved. Psalm 126:5-6 reminds us to sow in tears and to go forth weeping. Fishers of men must pray.
Providence. Preaching the gospel and fishing for men is God’s business. He uses us to get the job done but he’s the one catching them. This helps us to remember that, as in fishing, some days the fish bite and some days they don’t. It is not up to us to force people to get saved. We should be content with fishing for men; we don’t always have to catch them.
Priority/Preparation. If you are going fishing, you need to prepare for your fishing trip the day before. Otherwise, you won’t be ready to fish. Likewise, fishing for men needs to be a priority and you need to make preparation. Otherwise, you will never fish for men. A fellow who owned a hat store dedicated his store to the Lord. He said my store will be a church and my counter will be an altar and my business will glorify God. As a result, each day souls were his priority and he was prepared to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ. From time to time, souls were saved there. His counter, indeed, became an altar.
Practice. The more you fish, the better fisherman you become. And the more we fish for men, the better fishers of men we become. You become an experienced fisherman. Knowing this keeps you from being frustrated when you don’t see people saved shortly after you begin fishing for men. It gives you reason to keep learning. Keep practicing.
Patience. It takes time to land a big fish. Likewise, when you are dealing with a friend or an associate, it may take you a long time before you see them saved. Brother Modlish prayed for and preached to his father for 24 years before he was saved. When you get a big fish on the line, you loosen the drag so that fish can run a while. Likewise, when you get a man on the line, you might need to loosen the drag and let him run a while before God can land “the fish.”
Perseverance. Those men who fish week after week become expert fishermen. They don’t quit just because they have a bad day. They stay with it. Likewise, we need to stay with it when we begin to fish for men. We don’t “go soul winning;” we become “soul winners.” There is a big difference between going fishing for men and becoming fishers of men.
Conclusion: the beauty of fishing for men over a long period of time is that you eventually take new fishermen with you. You train the next generation of fishers of men. You have as much fun watching them catch fish as you have catching your own fish. Finally, I am reminded that I never met a man who caught a fish when he wasn’t fishing. Become fishers of men.