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Fishers of Men - Life of Christ Part 9

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
January 18, 2023 7:00 am

Fishers of Men - Life of Christ Part 9

So What? / Lon Solomon

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We're going to talk about fishing today, and the reason we're going to talk about fishing is because fishing was a major industry in Israel during the time of Jesus.

The whole Sea of Galilee where he spent much of his ministry was ringed with little fishing villages. And this morning we're going to see Jesus Christ interact with three professional fishermen and change their lives forever. Their names were Peter, James, and John. And if their names sound vaguely familiar, it's because these same three men became the leading three disciples of Jesus, the leading three apostles who established the early church. But they all began as fishermen in the little town of Capernaum where Jesus meets them here in Luke chapter 5.

And hopefully not only will we see him touch their lives this morning, but hopefully he'll touch our lives as well. Let's look, Luke 5, verse 1. One day Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.

You say, what is that? Well, it's just another name for the Sea of Galilee. And the people were crowding around him and listening to the Word of God. Jesus had gone down to the edge of the water early in the morning as the boats had come in from fishing all night, and people were gathered down by the sea buying fish for their daily food.

And as Jesus went down there, he began to teach the Word of God, and people began to listen, and a crowd began to swarm around him, so much so that it really became not a very good teaching situation. So, verse 2, he saw that the waters edged two boats, left there by the fishermen who were washing their nets. And he got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon Peter. And he asked Peter to put out a little bit from the shore, and then he sat down and he taught the people from the boat. To create a little better teaching situation, Jesus gets in Peter's boat, says, Peter, why don't we move out 6, 8, 10 feet into the water here. That'll put a little bit of room between me and the crowd, and I'll stand up in the boat and I'll teach from the water, which is what he did. Now, when he was finished teaching, he says to Peter, verse 4, Peter, I want us to go out into deeper water, and I want us to let down our nets for a catch. The Sea of Galilee is 13 miles long, 8 miles wide.

It's very deep once you get past the shallows. And so he said, Peter, let's move out from the shallows here and we're going to let down your nets and we're going to catch some fish. Everybody who fished the Sea of Galilee would have known that this is not how you catch fish there, the way Jesus was suggesting.

Peter knew this. In the Sea of Galilee, you catch fish at night, not during the day. If you go to Israel today and get up around 6 o'clock in the morning, you'll see little fishing boats on the Sea of Galilee coming in after being out all night fishing.

But during the day, you won't see anybody fishing. They don't fish it a day, they fish at night. Moreover, the way you catch fish in the Sea of Galilee is you don't go out in the deep water and try to catch them.

You stay in the shallows and wait till the schools come into the shallows, and then the nets were designed with little weights on them where you'd throw the net out and it would quickly sink to the shallow bottom and catch the fish under it and then you would pull it in. So you didn't fish during the day and you didn't fish in the deep water. Every fisherman knew that. Peter knew that. In fact, Peter's nets weren't even designed to be used in deep water. The point is, what Jesus asked Peter to do went against all of Peter's training and experience as a fisherman.

Look at verse 5. Peter protested. He said, Master, we've worked hard all night and we haven't caught anything. He said, Jesus, look, we've been out there all night working this stupid lake and we worked it at the right time during the night and we worked it in the right way in the shallow water and we didn't catch diddly squat. And now you're telling me to go out and fish it the wrong way at the wrong time and I'm going to catch something?

Nevertheless, look what he says, nevertheless, because you say so, we'll go out here and let down the nets. I might stop here and say to you for a minute, many times in our lives, Jesus Christ asks us to do things that look humanly illogical. And the reason for that is in the Bible. In the book of Isaiah, God said, my ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts.

As high as the heavens are above the earth, so much higher are my ways than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. God often has a plan that our human logic simply cannot figure out and many times he will ask us to do things that seem humanly illogical. That's what he was asking Peter to do. If we're smart, we will do exactly what Peter did.

We will say, Lord, this looks humanly illogical and preposterous, but because you said to do it, I'll do it. Now watch, verse 6. When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that the nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat, which was still in the shore, to come on out and help them, and they came and they filled both boats so full of fish that they began to sink. Now what kind of fish was this that they caught? Well, they caught a fish called St. Peter's fish.

That's for real. You go to Israel today and ask for St. Peter's fish around the Sea of Galilee and they will serve you the furry fish that Peter caught. You say, that's not a very precise name.

You're right. If you really want to know the technical name, it's Tilapia gallilea. That's true, but we call them St. Peter's fish, and you can still get them.

If you go, there's a little kibbutzim all around the Sea of Galilee. They catch them and serve them. They fry them whole.

They serve them with the heads on and the eyeball looking at you. But if you don't look into the eye of the fish, it's really very good. I mean, it's hard to eat something when you're staring in his eye, but if you don't look in the eye, he's very good, and this is what Peter caught, and he caught so many of them that he was about to have the boat sink. You say, well, how large was this boat? I mean, how many fish did they catch, you know? Well, we dug up a boat in 1986 in the mud flats around the Sea of Galilee. There was a horrible drought that year, and the sea receded back farther than it has in recent memory, and they unearthed a boat that was stuck in the mud. The boat's been dated to the time of Jesus.

It's on display near the city of Tiberius, if you ever go there, and that boat gives us a good idea what Peter's boat would have looked at. This boat was 26-and-a-half feet long. It was 7-and-a-half feet wide, and it was 4-and-a-half feet deep.

Now, I know what some of you number crunchers are doing. You're already multiplying this out to find cubic feet, and I'll save you the trouble. It's 895 cubic feet. So they filled up this boat with roughly 895 cubic feet of fish. Not just one boat, but they filled out another boat with 895 cubic feet of fish. Now, that is a lot of fish.

895 cubic feet is a lot of fish. More fish than Peter had ever caught in his whole life, and certainly more fish than he'd ever caught in the daytime in the deep with nets that weren't even designed for it. It didn't take Peter very long to figure out that catching them at a time when they should have caught no fish, at a location when they should have caught no fish, with equipment where they should have caught no fish, but they caught more fish than they ever caught in their life, that something was up. Peter was pretty smart. He wasn't a rocket scientist, but he was smart enough to figure this out. And what he figured out is that the person who said to them, let down your nets, was not an ordinary human being.

This doesn't happen ordinarily. So look, verse 8. And when Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and he said, get away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man. Get away from me, Lord. You don't have any business being around a guy like me. Get away from me, Lord.

I'm not the kind of guy you want to be hanging around with. Peter was scared, and he was embarrassed, and he was uncomfortable being around Jesus Christ because he knew his life, his lifestyle was out of step with God. I mean, his personal habits were profane. He had a bad temper. His language was as salty as the sea. He was materialistic. He had his women friends in town. He told jokes that were off color while they sat around cleaning their nets. He was stubborn. He was proud.

He was a racist. His motives were all self-centered, and he had no place for God in his life, and yet here he is in the same boat with the Son of God. And he recognizes, whoa, you don't want anything to do with a guy like me, Lord, not me. You need to be hanging around with those temple types. You know, you need to be hanging around with the Pharisees and the scribes that sit down there in the temple and talk about the Bible all day long. That's where you need to be, Jesus, but out here with a fisherman like me, I don't think so.

Get away from me, Lord. I'm a sinful man. The Bible says, and he said this, verse 9, because he and all of his friends were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and they were there, James and John, the sons of Debedee. But look what Jesus said. He said to Peter, Peter, don't be afraid.

From now on, you're going to catch people. Two things the Lord said in response to Peter saying, get away from me, Lord. I'm a sinful man.

He said two things. Number one, he said, Peter, don't be afraid. He said, Peter, you're not too sinful for me to love. You got it all wrong, Peter.

I don't care how sinful you are. I still love you. And Peter, I know more about you than you know about yourself. And yet, I do want you, Peter, and I love you just the way you are, Peter. Don't be afraid.

Nothing to be afraid of. Second thing he said to him is, Peter, you're not too sinful for me to use. You're not too sinful to serve God. If you'll turn your life over to me, Peter, I'll make your life count regardless of your weaknesses, regardless of your shortcomings. I'm going to make you a fisher of people, and I'll have you catching people for me, Peter, if you'll just turn your life over to me. You're not too sinful for me to use. Some people have objected to the terminology here that Jesus uses when he talks about catching people.

They've said, well, you know, that's really not very good. I mean, when you catch fish, that's harmful to the fish. I mean, they die. You cut them open.

You eat them. That's harmful to people and fish. And so to talk about catching people just doesn't seem to be very nice. But I hope you'll understand, Jesus never meant the analogy to go that far.

Not at all. I mean, when I let Jesus Christ catch me, it was the best thing ever happened in my life. And if you'll let Jesus Christ catch you, I promise you, he won't kill you and gut you and eat you.

No, no, no. It'll be the very best day in your life if you'll let him catch you because, you see, Jesus Christ, when he catches you, he never hurts anybody he catches. His fish are the safest fish in the universe. He doesn't put them in the oven.

He puts them in the aquarium where he feeds them and he cares for them and he treasures them. So when Jesus Christ talks about catching people, please don't think the wrong thing. He's not talking about doing harm to people. He's talking about giving them the greatest blessing of their lives. So here's what he says to Peter. Peter, you're not too sinful for me to love you and Peter, you're not too sinful for me to use you and if you'll give me your life, not only will I love you, but I'll use you to catch people.

The ball's in your court, Peter, what you gonna do? Verse 11. And then it says they pulled up their boats onto the shore, they left everything, Peter, James, and John, and they followed him.

And I'm sure they look back on this day as the greatest day in their lives when they made the decision to give up fishing for fish and go out with Jesus and start fishing for people. And dear folks, may I say to you that if you're here and you've never trusted Jesus Christ in a real and personal way, if you've never let him become the doorway as Peter, James, and John did to a whole new way of living and a whole new existence, then you're missing what God has in this world for you. God wants you to do exactly what Peter, James, and John did. God wants you to turn your life on the way you've been living because chances are it hasn't been that satisfactory and satisfying anyway. And he wants to give you a whole new way of living based upon his love for you and his service for Almighty God. And he'll change your life forever like he did Peter, James, and John if you'll just let him have it. If you're sick of the way you're living and it doesn't make a lot of sense, Jesus makes you the same offer he made Peter, James, and John. Follow me and I'll love you and I'll let you serve God and I'll give you a purpose for living and I'll change your life.

And I hope you'll do that if you're here this morning and you've never done it. Well, that's the end of our passage. And yet it brings us to the question, so what? Well, I want to talk to those of us here who are Christians who have already made the decision to give our life to Christ because I believe the day you gave your life to Jesus Christ, the day I gave my life to Jesus Christ, God gave us the very same appointment to being fisherman that he gave Peter. God called us to the very same vocation he called Peter the day we gave our life to Christ. You see, the reason God left us here was not to enjoy driving our cars and going to work and buying new clothes and enjoying our new furniture and going on vacations.

Not that there's anything wrong with any of those things. But you know, when you compare those to heaven, what we're enjoying down here is so piddly it's not even funny. If God really wanted to take us to the place where we would enjoy life the most, he would have taken us to heaven right away.

He wouldn't have left us here. The reason he left us here is one simple reason, to be fishers of people. And I maintain, dear friends, that when Jesus Christ said, go out into all the world and preach the good news to every person, that wasn't limited to just the apostles. It was for all of us. And when the apostle Paul said, I have become all things to all people that by all means I might win some, that that was the same passion that every one of us as Christians ought to have.

Listen to it again. I have become all things to all people that by all means I might win some people to Jesus Christ. That's why God left us here. Not to enjoy the things of this world, although it's fine if we do, but so that by all means we might be all things to all people so we might win some people to Jesus Christ before it's too late. And I maintain you cannot love Jesus Christ and not care about fishing for people. Because if you love Jesus Christ, you'll love what he loves, and Jesus loves lost people. The Bible says that Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost.

That's his whole mission. And if we know and love Jesus Christ, we will love what he loved, and he loved fishing for lost people. You can't walk with Christ, I say, and not have a passion for lost people. And if you don't have a passion for lost people, and forgive me for being so generalized in my application, I maintain something's wrong with your walk for Christ if you don't love lost people and you don't care about fishing for them. You say, but Lon, I do care.

I'm just not that good. I mean, you know, I'm not a good physical fisherman, to be honest with you, and I'm not real good at fishing for people. And, you know, it's not that I don't care.

I do care. I just don't really know exactly how to do it so good. Well, I want to give you a couple suggestions this morning. I have three suggestions about how to be a good spiritual fisherman. And they're kind of three suggestions that come out of being a good physical fisherman. Now, if you're a fisherman, you're going to say, Lon, that's not all there is to it. That's simplistic.

There's about 10 or 15 principles. Okay, well, I've only chosen three, so be nice to me. Okay. I'm not a fisherman, but I've chosen three.

Here they are. Number one. Number one, if you're going to catch fish, you've got to go where the fish are.

Does that make sense? You've got to go where the fish are. My uncle owns a fishing boat. He lives down in Virginia Beach. And in the years when he was speaking with me, we've been through a couple phases.

We're not in a good phase right now. But when we were in a better phase, I took two of my boys down, and he took us out into the Atlantic, and we went fishing on his boat. Now, he's got this little gizmo on his boat I'd never seen before. And what this gizmo is is it's sonar. And the sonar shoots straight down to the bottom and bounces back up. And when you get over top of a school of fish, it bounces up before it hits the bottom and makes little spike waves.

And so he can ride around in the ocean. And when this thing starts spiking all up, he says, Aha! Fish! And we turn off the boat, and we drop our lines. And then when the spike stopped, we'd move on till we found some more spikes, meaning more fish, and then we'd drop our lines, and we'd catch fish. And we caught so many fish! But the reason we caught them is we were always where the fish were. I kind of thought, this is kind of high-tech cheating, don't you think? Don't you feel sorry for the fish? I mean, they don't have sonar evading stuff like on Hunt for Red October or anything like that. Poor things.

But hey, it's a basic principle, right? If you're going to catch fish, where are you going to have to go? You've got to go where the fish are, right?

Can I give you a surprise? There are very few fish in church on Sunday morning. You say, well, we're here.

Yeah, but you're already caught, right? How many real fish do we see on an average Sunday morning? And I'm glad for people who come that don't know Christ.

I think it's exciting. But in an audience such as ours, I guarantee you they're a very small percentage. And you look across every church in America, they're a very small percentage, almost minuscule. And if we plant ourselves in the church and we say, we're here, we've got the message. Now, you all come. We're not going to get a whole lot of fishing done. Folks, the fish are out there. They're not in here.

They're out there. And if we're going to catch fish, we have to go where the fish are. And when we go where the fish are, we're going to have to be fishing.

You understand what I'm saying? We have to be fishing. What good is it if you're where the fish are and you're not fishing? If your Christianity works on Sunday, that's great.

I'm happy for you. But if you're going to be a fisherman, it's got to work Monday to Saturday. And you've got to leave every morning from your house with your pole over your shoulder and your tackle box in hand because you're going where the fish are. And you've got to think in those terms. And you've got to live in those terms.

And you've got to act like that. One of the most touching stories anywhere in church history of this principle in action is the story about the very first time John Wesley and George Whitfield ever took the gospel message into the streets of England. This is back in the 18th century. People didn't preach in the streets then. Nobody preached in the streets. The clergy spoke in the church. And if people wanted to hear, they came to the church to hear the clergy. Whitfield and Wesley said, But what about all the people in the street who don't come to the church? And the clergy said, If they want to hear the message, they come to the church and hear the clergy.

Whitfield and Wesley said, Baloney. So they began going into the streets. The very first time they ever went in the street and preached, they went to the coal miners in Wales. These were considered to be the dregs of society, the off-scouring of English society. They were despised. They were uneducated. They were poor.

Nobody cared about them. And Whitfield and Wesley went and set up a soapbox outside the mines and as the men would come out after being in the mines all day with their faces covered with black coal dust, Whitfield and Wesley would stand there and preach to them that Jesus loved them and preach to them that God cared about them and preach to them that they could have forgiveness of sin and have heaven through the death of Jesus Christ, things that nobody had ever told these people. And in Whitfield's journal, he wrote that he began to notice as he preached to the crowd little rivers of white staining their face, as tears rolled through the coal dust and cleared it away as these hardened miners began to realize that God really loved them and God really cared about them.

That's where the fish were, not in the church, in the coal mines, and in the ghettos and in the slums. And Wesley went on to write and say, and I quote, I love a comfortable room and I love a soft chair and I love a handsome pulpit, but preaching in the streets is what saves people because that's where they are. And today I believe the great challenge for us as Christians is to take Jesus Christ out of the church where hurting and broken people really are and be able to apply him to their lives outside of this building. If Jesus Christ were in Washington today, he would not be spending his time in churches. Jesus Christ in this day, where was he when we found him in Luke 5?

He wasn't in the synagogue saying, all right, I'm going to stand in the synagogue till all you people come. No, he was down at the seashore in the marketplace and his pulpit was a little rowboat. And if he were here today, you know where he'd be? He'd be at Dupont Circle, sitting on the fountain sharing Christ with people. Who are down there. If Jesus Christ were here today, he'd be on the campuses of George Mason and American University in Georgetown and the high schools if they'd let him on, sharing Jesus Christ with people today.

He'd be in the malls and he'd be at the Redskins game because that's where the fish are and that's where he'd be. And so, my dear friend, what I want to say to you is when we go out of our house Monday to Saturday, take your fishing rod and your tackle box because that's where the fish are, where you're going. Second thing I'd like to share with you is if you're going to catch fish, you've got to use good bait. You've got to use good bait. There are fishermen who spend their whole lifetime learning how to make bait attractive to fish. And as Christians, I maintain we have to be using the most attractive bait that we've got available to us if we're going to catch people.

You say, well, what is it? Let me tell you what it isn't. The most attractive bait we have is not our church. The most attractive bait we have is not our youth program. The most attractive bait we've got is not our morning services. The most attractive bait we've got is not Lon's messages. The most attractive bait we've got is not the music. The most attractive bait we've got is not any program we have. The most attractive bait we have is Jesus Christ himself.

Jesus Christ himself for two reasons. Number one, people can always find something wrong with all those other baits. They can find things wrong with our church. They can find things wrong with our youth program.

They can find things wrong with our music and wrong with our services, and I guarantee you they can find things wrong with me. But you can't find anything wrong with Jesus Christ. The second reason why he needs to be our bait is because only Jesus Christ himself can meet the needs of the human heart. Church programs can't do that. Church programs are nice, but they can't give peace and joy when you're in the middle of heartache. Only Jesus Christ can forgive sin. Church programs can't do that. Only Jesus Christ can take a life and renew it and make a person a new creature. Church programs can't do that.

Only Jesus Christ can give peace in the middle of the storm. Church programs can't do that. That's why Paul said, 2 Corinthians 4, We do not preach ourselves. We don't preach our church program. We don't preach our youth ministry. We don't preach our music. We don't preach ourselves, but we preach Jesus Christ as Lord.

That's what we preach. And so when you're going to go out and talk to people, if you're going to offer them the best bait that God has, don't offer them yourself. Don't offer them this church.

Don't offer them me. Don't offer them our programs. Don't offer them some Christian organization.

Offer them the risen Son of God and what he can do supernaturally in their lives. That's what you ought to be talking about to people. Don't sit around and talk about the church, but talk about what Jesus Christ can do in people's lives. That's the bait. Have you noticed? People in the world will talk about God all the time, but they'll never talk about Jesus Christ. Have you noticed that? People will talk about church, but they won't talk about Jesus Christ.

Friend, you talk about Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sin he offers, the newness of life he can bring, because that's the best bait we've got to offer anybody. Third and finally, not only do we have to go where the fish are and offer them the best bait, but third and finally, there has to be a perceived need on the part of the fish. There's a little lake up in Pennsylvania that my wife's family goes to just about every summer. It's called Cowan's Gap. It's a little state park. I don't know if any of you have ever been up there, but they have a little lake in the middle of the state park, and they stock it with trout.

Now, the way they stock it is great. They bring them in in huge dump trucks. I'm talking about the big serious type dump trucks that you see on the beltway with six wheels on one side type thing, huge dump trucks full of trout, and they back it up down the boat ramp, and they hit the little hydraulic lever, and this thing lifts up, and it just dumps I don't know how many thousands of trout into this lake. Now, you would think if you're going to catch some trout, the best place to be is standing right next to that dump truck on the day it arrives with your pole and your worm, wouldn't you? And you could catch so many trout you couldn't carry them home, but that's not true. If you go there on the day they dump them in and stand with your pole and your worm next to that dump truck, you won't catch anything.

You know why? Because the fish come from the hatchery, and what do they do to fish at the hatchery? They feed them, right, and the fish come all fed up. They're not hungry. You won't catch any fish, but you show up about two days later after the fish have gone without food for a couple of days, and they're hungry, you'll catch some fish.

What's the point? The point is you can have the best bait in the whole world and be right where the fish are, but if they're not hungry, you're not going to catch any fish. There has to be a perceived need on the part of the fish.

In this case, the fish has got to be hungry. Now, the same is true with human beings. We can go where the fish are with the best bait in the world, the Lord Jesus himself, but if people aren't perceiving a need, they're not interested in biting. And I have learned that human pride and human self-sufficiency is the strongest force in the world.

Have you learned that? That human stubbornness is the strongest force in the world, and that people will only be interested in Jesus Christ when they feel a need for help. They'll only be interested in Jesus Christ when they feel like they're in over their head.

They'll only be interested in Jesus Christ when they feel like they've got problems they cannot figure out and solve in their own self-sufficiency and human wisdom, and when that stubbornness has been broken down to a humility where they're willing to accept help. Now, folks, you can't do that. You might be able to go where the fish are and dangle the right bait, but you cannot change a person's heart.

You cannot bring a perceived need into the heart of people around you. Only God can do that, and God said he can. Listen to what Jesus said, John chapter 16.

He said, after I leave, I'll send the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will do something. He will, the Bible says, convince people regarding sin, that is, that they're sinners, regarding judgment, that is, that they're under God's judgment, and regarding righteousness, that is, that God has offered to give them righteousness through the death of Jesus Christ on their behalf. And the Bible says the Spirit of God will convince people of those three things. You can't, I can't, only God can, and he does it in response to prayer. And if God has not convinced somebody of that, I don't care what kind of bait you dangle in front of them, they're not gonna bite. Only God can do that, and he does it in response to prayer. So what that means is, when it comes to fishing for souls, good fishing takes good praying.

You with me? Good fishing takes good praying, because that's the only way a perceived need ever develops in people's hearts, is when God moves on their heart in response to prayer. A few years ago, I was given one of these little blue cards that we gave you when you came in, and I'd like you to take yours out. It says, 10 most wanted on the front. And I'd like to thank Ed Seal from Christian Businessman's for providing these for us.

He scrounged up 1,300 of these in 24 hours. Wasn't that nice of him? And I appreciate that, Ed, thank you. The Christian Businessman's uses this, and I was given one about 15 years ago, the first time I ever got one of these. And what they do is they say to you, now I want you to think of the 10 people you most want to see come to know Christ.

And then I want you to list them, and then I want you to commit yourself to pray for them until they either die physically or God brings them to Christ, one or the other. And the whole point of this is that good fishing takes what? Good praying. Say it again, good fishing takes what? Good praying, that's right.

Because no amount of bait's going to catch anybody if they don't feel a need. And feeling the need comes from prayer. And so I took this about 15 years ago, and I made my list of 10. I wrote down number one, number two, number three, number four, all the way down. And I began faithfully praying for those 10 people. I'd like to report to you 15 years later that I've been able to cross off number one on my list. They came to know Christ. I've been able to cross off number two on my list. They came to know Christ. I've been able to cross off number three on my list. They came to know Christ. I've been able to cross off a number of others on my list. Why?

They came to know Christ. You know who number one on my list was? My dad. You know who number two on my list was? My mom. You know who number three on my list was? My brother. All three of them, 15 years later, came to know Christ. Now when I wrote them down as one, two, and three, I gotta tell ya, I didn't think anything looked more impossible than I would ever be able to cross off one, two, and three.

But 15 years later, I have. Why? Because God is able, and God responds to prayer for people's souls. And if you're gonna be a good fisherman, you're gonna have to be a good prayer. I don't know who it is that you'd like to write on this list today, but I'd like to give you a chance to write some people on here. Maybe you can't think of 10, maybe you could think of one, or two, or four. Writing them on the list won't make a difference, but writing them on the list and praying for them will. So right now, what I'd like you to do is take a minute, take out a pen or a pencil, and say, God, who is it that I would like to see come to know Jesus Christ more than any other people I can think of? And who is it I'm willing to pray for until they either die or they do? And I'm gonna put them on the list.

Would you take a minute and do that? ["The First Noel"] Now, after we've done that, I know you may not have written all 10, but let's bow our heads for a minute. And you pray for the ones that you wrote. Heavenly Father, I'd like to pray this morning with each one of the people here, for the people whose names are on those little blue cards.

We've written down the names of people we love, people we care about, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends, people at work, people that really matter to us, whether or not they make it to heaven. And Lord, these are probably people we've tried so often to talk to. We've dangled the bait, but they just weren't interested in biting.

There was no sense of felt need. So Lord, we're gonna stop trying to talk them into it. We're gonna pray them into it. We're gonna trust the Spirit of God to do exactly what Jesus said He would do, to convince people of sin, of God's judgment, and best of all, that Jesus Christ offers to make them righteous in His sight if they'll just trust Him. So Lord, I pray that you would move on the hearts of each of these people we've written down.

Might take months, might take years, so what? Make us faithful, God, make us faithful to pray for them, not to give up so long as they're alive and breathing. No matter how impossible it looks, we know you're the God of the impossible. We're gonna trust you to do everything you can righteously do to bring these people to Christ. Make us good fishermen, Lord, help us to have the courage to go where the fish are, and to hang out in front of them the best bait in the universe, Jesus Christ, and all He offers to do for us. And make us men and women of prayer. Make us good fishermen for you. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-18 12:35:40 / 2023-01-18 12:52:25 / 17

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