Jesus summed up the main objective of Christianity in two commands. “And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these (Mark 12:30-31).” Many believers pay attention to the first commandment, but fail to make the second a priority. To love others as ourselves is easier said than done. When a religious ruler heard this statement, he asked Jesus, who is my neighbor? Jesus gave the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus was making a strong point. Don't be "so spiritual" that you forget the hurting people around you. Jesus' daily mission was to “…Seek and save those who are lost (Luke 19:10).” Jesus' mission should be ours as well. These are commands, not suggestions! Remember, Jesus reminds us, “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow (John 15:10-11)." Making people a priority causes our joy to overflow. When Jesus called His disciples, He made the main mission clear, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people! (Mark 1:17)." It was no accident that He related winning the lost to fishing. In the same way, let's look at 7 Steps for Fishing in order to obey His commandments effectively.
1. FIND A ROD
First you need a Rod. Just as there are different poles for the function of catching different fish, we all have different functions to accomplish our purpose. Your function is where you go and what you do. Our ministry consists of our function. JOSHUA 1:3 - “I have given you every place on which the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised to Moses.” Every place we go, we should be fishing for souls.
2. GET A STRONG LINE
This line represents our faith in others in order to win them to Christ. We should view others in the same way Jesus does. Everyone has the potential to be great for God! We should have faith for everyone, not just those that are "close to the boat." Paul said, “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)."
3. FIND THE CORRECT BAIT
our bait is your ability to serve others. Use your gifting to shine the light of Jesus! “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. (Romans 12:7-8 NLT)”
4. BE PATIENT
Every great fisherman understands patience is the key to catching fish. Remember, every seed takes time to grow! “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Corinthians 13:7)."
5. KNOW HOW TO HANDLE A BITE
The fifth step is to know what we do when we get a bite. When people begin to open up to you, ITS A BITE! It's your time to share the gospel with them. We need boldness to take the opportunities to minister to others.
6. REEL 'EM IN
We do this through prayer and intercession. “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. (1 Timothy 2:1)."
7. GET THEM IN THE BOAT
And lastly, we need to make sure we "get them in the boat." We do this by leading others to be faithful to Jesus and become a disciple. Church, let's take these seven steps and begin FISHING!