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Monday, December 9, 2013

F—I—S—H

By Chuck Marshall

      “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt. 4:20). Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed Him. Having been fishermen since childhood they knew much about catching fish, but probably little about catching souls. By examining biblical principles, you and I can also learn to be fishers of men.
     First, “fish” Fervently. Those who are enthusiastic about fishing spend their time and their money on the sport, or the business as it may be. They don’t give up quickly, and even when the fish are not biting they will fish all night. They also enjoy talking about fishing. Likewise when fishing for men, Jesus teaches us to be fervent—enthusiastic, devoted, and joyful.
      Next, “fish” Intelligently. Understand that everyone is not reached in the same manner. Knowing people and how to respond to different kinds of personalities, knowing the person’s social, religious and biblical background, and knowing when to press and when to “ease up” are all keys to effective soul-fishing. We need wisdom in what we say and how we say it (Col. 4:5-6).
      Then, “fish” Steadily.  Keep at it. Sporadic fishing doesn’t get the job done. Sometimes the fish aren’t biting – there is no interest in the bait. But if you stop because of that you may miss out when they become interested again.
      Finally, “fish” Hopefully.  Discouragement can end a fisherman’s career. You are going to hit slumps if you fish long enough. The prospect of catching a fish keeps a fisherman going. No one gets up at 4 AM, loads up the gear, buys, the tackle and bait, and travels for hours who does not expect to catch something that day. So it should be as we fish for men. It is the joyful anticipation of winning a person to Christ that compels us to keep fishing for men (Luke 15:7).
             
- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Dongola Church of Christ, Dongola, IL.  Gerald Cowan serves the congregation as minister.  He may be contacted at
Geraldcowan1931@aol.com

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