And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Matthew 4:19

 

       Well, I planned on talking about going fishing on Sunday and because Jenny tested positive for Covid I knew the most responsible thing for me to do was to quarantine.  I have tested negative twice so I think I can get out on Wednesday.  I’m thankful that Jenny and I are both feeling well and I sure appreciate the calls and texts checking on us.  I did hate missing Sunday as I haven’t seen most of you all year (smile).  I hope you have been considering who your “one” will be this year.  I’m going to ask you to identify your “one” on Sunday so that we can start praying for them. 

       Growing up, I use to love to go fishing at farm ponds because most of the time you could catch fish after fish.  You didn’t even have to be good at fishing to catch bluegill as fast as you could throw out your line.  I never was very good at fishing.  I very seldom went fishing when “they were biting.”  Some of you know what I mean.  I had a good friend who could sit in a boat all day whether the fish were biting or not.  He liked fishing.  I like catching fish (which doesn’t always happen). 

       Anyway, after staying in the house the past several days, I keep thinking about how we’ve missed a week of fishing for the lost.  I was so encouraged last year when we were seeing people get saved almost every week.  I love seeing people get saved and start growing as disciples of Jesus.  I want to encourage us a church to go fishing for the lost.  To me, friends, neighbors, and associates are kind of like fishing in a farm pond.  Because you already have relationships established, friends and neighbors are often more receptive to a gospel conversation. 

       I have identified my “one” for 2022 and am already praying for him.  I want to see the Lord save him this year and I want to see the Lord save your “one.”  One thing I know for sure, if you don’t go fishing, you won’t catch fish.  Likewise, if you don’t sow gospel seeds and water those seeds, you probably won’t see a harvest.  I would love to help you in any way I can.  I would love to visit your “one” with you.  I’d love to help equip you to share the gospel (will be doing evangelism training on Wednesday evenings in January).  I would love to pray for your “one.”   

       I know sometimes it is hard to start a conversation about your faith.  I encourage you to start with prayer.  Pray each morning that God might give you an opportunity to be His witness.  After you pray, keep your eyes open for opportunities to plant some gospel seeds or opportunities to tell others about your hope and faith in Jesus.  As Covid seems to come up in so many conversations, it can be an easy transition to talk about life, death, and eternity.  You might ask a question like, “Do you know for certain that if you were to die you would go to heaven or is that something you are still working on?”  Or, you might be a little more specific and ask, “Suppose you were to die today and stand before God and He were to ask you, ‘why should I let you into heaven?’ What would you say?”  We certainly want people we care about to know how to be saved. 

        I would encourage you to have some gospel tracts that you can give somebody who might have questions about salvation.  I would encourage you to talk about what Jesus has done in your life (saved you, given you peace, hope, joy, and comfort).  I would encourage you to invite your friends and neighbors to join you in coming to a church service or participating in a Bible study. 

        If you can talk about things like the weather, your children/grandchildren, favorite sports team, and your political opinions, you should find an opportunity to talk about your relationship with the Lord.  He will help you.  Pray for opportunities, boldness to share, and receptive hearts.  Pray that me.  Again, let me know if I can go fishing with you.  I’ll be waiting for the invitation. 

 

Bro. Harold