Over thirty years ago, in southern California, I sang in a men’s gospel trio. Our name was coined from the leader, and REAL musician Dave Fischer. We thought we needed a ‘catchy’ name other than The Dave Fischer Trio and one night came up with, The Fischermen’s Trio [spelled that way on purpose]. One night after singing at an event, a man came up to me and asked, “Have you caught any?” “Caught any what?” I answered. He had a big smile on his face when he replied, “FISH!” Trying to be courteous, I smiled back and said, “the spelling of our group was different than what it sounded like. Our name wasn’t FISH-er men but FISCHER-men.” I was trying to be informative and yet appreciative of his attention.
The smile on his face seemed frozen as he just looked at me. And then he said, “Yeah, I know. But if we are ALL disciples of Christ as the Bible says, should we not be all FISHERMEN? For Jesus said to Peter and Andrew, ‘Come after Me [as disciples—letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!” Now the Amplified Bible adds the brackets, but the meaning is continuous with the man’s quoting from Scripture.
O GIVE thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name, make known His doings among the people!  Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and TALK of all His marvelous deeds and devoutly praise them.  Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek and require the Lord [as their indispensable necessity].  Seek, inquire of and for the Lord, and crave Him and His strength (His might and inflexibility to temptation); seek and require His face and His presence [continually] evermore.  [Earnestly] remember the marvelous deeds that He has done, His miracles and wonders, the judgments and sentences which He pronounced.”
Now I might not be a fisherman in the truest sense, but I have a few friends who are. They are so into FISHING, they are the kind who bait their own hooks, tie their own fishing flies, check out the tide-tables for the next month and spend an entire weekend camping out at Cabela’s [a sporting goods national chain]. Now those avid FISHERMEN are more than willing and eagerly ready to go out fishing at a moments notice. Just ask them. Now me personally, I could write down everything I know about fishing on a 3″ x 5″ note card. Although, my dream was to LEARN how and go FISHING with someone who really knew how to FISH! Always been my dream and still is at my young age of 70!!
ARE YOU WILLING AND READY TO GO FISHING?
In the book of ROMANS, the apostle Paul is explaining in his letter of intent to the believers in Rome. His message isn’t just to the believers but to Greeks and to barbarians (to the cultured and to the uncultured), both to the wise and the foolish (Romans 1:14). He tells them that there is an OBLIGATION, a duty to perform in ‘FISHING’.
“So, for my part, I am willing and eagerly ready to preach the Gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God’s POWER WORKING unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to EVERYONE who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith” (Romans 1:15-17 AMP).
“POWER WORKING” RELEASED:
In February of 1985, I was informed by the new management who had just acquired the company I had been employed by for the past 15 yrs. “You are going to be replaced as Branch Manager.” Fortunately, my severance pay and profit-sharing would pay the bills for my family for a period, but then what? I knew that the Lord would provide, He always had. I trusted in Him after all…or did I really TRUST Him? More to come.
About a month later, I received a phone call from a previous business associate, who had called for two reasons:  To give me his condolences and  He knew of a job possibility, if I was willing to check it out, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Would I consider the opportunity to move the family to the Islands?
Now I never had the opportunity, or the money to go to Hawaii before, but maybe, just maybe God wanted me to go. To provide for us, not where we were in the rainy Northwest, but to prosper us in tropical, sunshiny Hawaii! Could it be???
So I decided to at least check it out, to see about housing, working conditions, the Hawaiian people and the potential of a new employer and of course, their sizing up my fit with them. After putting our house up for sale; while waiting for our children to finish school, I went to an earthly paradise while my wife stayed on the mainland to finalize details of the property.
After two months of living in Hawaii and being away from my wife, I came to the conclusion, I might have made a terrible decision. Was I still TRUSTING Jesus? I came down with what as known as a horrible disease called, “ISLAND FEVER!” You can only go around an island so many times; I felt that I was living on Alcatraz!! And by the way, for all of you who think I was crazy…living and working in paradise is much different than a week’s vacation in paradise. Why would God send me here if this was my feelings? Was I being selfish because I wanted to live like the “rich and the famous” No, that wasn’t it. Was it because I missed my wife so terribly? Well, there is some truth there but… God’s plan was laid right before me and I didn’t see it coming. I had stopped trusting God and had put my trust in ME! Much later I discovered that God had sent me to Hawaii… on a ‘FISHING TRIP’!
FISHING IN HAWAII AND LETTING DOWN THE NETS:
“As He [JESUS] was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He noticed two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, throwing a dragnet into the sea, for they were FISHERMEN” (Matthew 4:18).
For the short time that I lived and worked on Oahu, I managed to room and board with a young couple, who both worked for the same company I worked for. They were struggling financially, so I offered to pay them rent for their spare bedroom, and help relieve the stress resting on their lives. They accepted joyfully and I became a part of the family as a father, brother, etc.
Since the couple had a 3 yr old daughter, the young mother was working part-time and was scheduled in the afternoons. Since her husband worked in the same department as I and both of us had to be into the office at 7 A.M., we decided to drive together in the commute. Honolulu traffic in the mornings and late afternoons is…lets just say, I let him do the driving!
Since there was plenty of time to chat in our coming and going, Holy Spirit reminded me that I might be the only BIBLE that Sandro has read; so I threw out the dragnet and waited for the results. I didn’t quote Bible verses, nor did I preach but I did the same thing that I had always tried to do back home; careful of the words I spoke; attended a great little church near Pearl Harbor; fixed my brown-bag lunch before I went to bed every night, washed my clothes, chatting with the couple in my doings. In other words, I practice a LIFESTYLE type of evangelism.
One evening before supper, I was reading my Bible outside in the Lanai [Hawaiian patio] when Sandro came outside and sat down across from me. His wife was preparing supper in the kitchen while THE MEN, we chatted continuously until the dinner bell sounded.
SANDRO: “I noticed Mel that you get up early on your only day off to go to church every Sunday [I worked 5 1/2 days every week]. Why?”
I paused for just a second and answered, “Since it was Jesus’ custom to go to church [Luke 4:16], and I enjoy Christian fellowship too, I go to church once a week.”
And then, to some what of a surprise at first he asked, “What is your definition of a Christian? Is all you have to do is go to Church on Sundays?”
THE ‘NET’ IS FULL!
I always carried in my wallet and still do today, The Four Spiritual Laws. Since a pastor shared them with my wife and I some 13 yrs before as we accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior [user friendly], I asked the young man, “Sandro, have you ever heard of The Four Spiritual Laws?” Could I have shared out my Bible with him, it was laying on the table in front of me? Perhaps the 8 Steps in Romans, etc.? Yeah, I probably could have but for this brief moment in time…the Holy Spirit chose the little wrinkled tract in my wallet.
After going through THE FOUR STEPS and using my Bible to point out some specific salvation verses, I asked Sandro the question: “Would you like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” He didn’t even hesitate “If it means that I will become a Christian, YES!” That day, a new babe in Christ was welcomed into the KINGDOM.
Now there is more to the story but I will share that in another blog sometime with you. My part was to be a disciple, an obedient follower and cast God’s net into the sea of humanity and leave the results to Him.
LETS DON’T BE ISOLATIONIST:
Psalm 105:1 “…make known His doings among the people.”
We have been given a function of not being isolated to just one day of the week; to remain within the walls of our churches. The Scripture verse says to “make known His doings.” We here on earth know the POWER and GLORY of God and tasted firsthand the redeeming power of the cross. But do we let that POWER show in our everyday life? I don’t know about you folks but I believe that most of us need to wake up! At times we appear to be “walking zombies.” Witnessing with a frown is useless. So too is a ‘have to’ approach; to ACT Christian to the point where it seems fake.
Keeping It Real.
You don’t have to have made a TV movie of a Christian experience to share with others. What you do need is to be able to answer the question “why.” Why are you here? Why do you follow Jesus? Why is it you believe what you do, and say what you say? If we can’t answer these simple questions, then why should anyone want to listen, much less follow us.
Keeping It Simple.
“Make known His doings…” Why? Because SALVATION is available to every person on the planet and not just to the select few in a church setting. We are not to HIDE in church, hoarding the gospel to ourselves. God’s plan for His disciples is to take His Word to every kindred, tongue and people. I’m not saying you must stand on a street corner with a sign and preach to the passers by. It’s more than that! It is letting the gospel of Jesus Christ show up in our lives:
–How we deal with our co-workers.
–How we deal with the guy down the street.
–How we deal with our brothers and sisters.
If we say one thing and do the opposite, we are HYPOCRITES and are no better than those who condemn Jesus. HYPOCRISY will drive people away and ISOLATE the church faster than admitting we’re flawed.
AND WHAT HAS HE DONE?
“[Earnestly] remember the marvelous deeds that He has done, His miracles and wonders” (Psalm 105:5 AMP).
Most of us don’t carry around a Bible on our person. I remember at a Billy Graham Crusade in San Diego when I was a counselor on the field. People were beginning to leave when I noticed two extremely large men carrying a smaller man by his arms towards me. The smaller mans feet weren’t even touching the ground. They stopped in front of me and said, “We are Marines from Camp Pendleton. We were saved last night and we want our friend to do the same tonight!” I explained the Lord doesn’t work that way and I went on to share with the man the Word. He too accepted Christ that night.
So like Peter and Andrew, we need to be prepared for all occasions Psalm 105:2 tells us we are to “Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and talk of His marvelous deeds and devoutly praise them.” Praise, worship and meditation are preparing the NETS, and baiting the hooks. If you think that is BLUNT in the approach, you’re right. Blunt or not, WORSHIP and PRAISE releases the POWER.
“Meditate On and Talk” About…
In the first chapter of the book of Joshua, God’s Word explains how to be successful in our lives and to those around us who do not know about what God has done:
“This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall MEDITATE on it day and night, that you may OBSERVE AND DO according to all that is written in it. FOR THEN you shall make your way prosperous, AND THEN you shall deal wisely and have GOOD SUCCESS” (Joshua 1:8 AMP).
MEDITATE on the Word and TALK about it FOR THEN…AND THEN…you shall deal wisely and have GOOD SUCCESS.
TWO TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN THE WORLD:
1..There are those who are PRETENDERS,
2. And those who are NOT PRETENDING.
Those who PRETEND say the right things at the right times and do good things ONLY when it will glorify themselves.
The ones who aren’t so good at PRETENDING, acknowledge they have faults and sin on occasions. But they are the ones who step back, let go of pride and ego and let God have control. Remember what JESUS told Peter and his brother Andrew,
“Come after Me [as disciples—letting Me be your Guide]. FOLLOW Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19 AMP).
Are you willing and eagerly ready to come after and follow JESUS and meditate on His Word? Because if you are…He will make us ALL…FISHERMEN!