Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Preaching to Myself

Fortunately, in my ministry career thus far, there hasn't yet been a Sunday where I was the only one that showed up at church. I have had some Sunday's that came pretty close, but I have never had to preach only to myself on a Sunday morning. However, there have been many times when I realized that I was preaching to myself along with preaching to the rest of the congregation.

The Sunday of our men's fishing retreat at Lake of the Woods was just such an occasion. The LORD used my own mouth to convict me. I shared about Andrew and Peter's calling to discipleship and how Jesus transformed them into fishers of men. That is one of those passages you have to consider from the culture of the day versus the American culture. Most people in America think of fishing as a hobby or recreational past time. We fish because we enjoy it, not because our livelihood depends on it. Andrew and Peter, however, were fishermen by trade. They provided for themselves and their families through the fishing industry. Far from merely a past time, it was their life.

Let's consider Christ's call in light of that. Jesus challenges them to a new life. He declares that now their primary occupation will be making disciples. He calls them to make evangelism their life now. Evangelism was not merely to be a hobby or past time for Peter and Andrew, but their primary occupation.

It was at that point I felt convicted. Do I view evangelism and discipleship as my primary occupation or merely a past time? I share my faith and have had the privilege of leading people into a personal relationship with Christ. But have I treated that as merely a past time? In my head, I know that it is to be my primary focus, but have I always lived that way? The honest truth is that I haven't.

Jesus called Peter and Andrew to a lifetime of evangelism and discipleship. Now I understand that none of us are the original twelve disciples. We all have unique giftings and callings. Yet, scripture does indicate that we our purpose on this earth is to serve as witnesses of His glory. We are to testify of God and His glorious work through Jesus Christ. We may each do it in different ways, but that doesn't dismiss our duty. Evangelism should be more than just a hobby we do in our spare time. Whether we are at work, school, a store, or wherever, we need to serve as witnesses of Jesus Christ and seek to make disciples of Him.

Where you work is not merely a place to earn some money, but an opportunity to fulfill your true calling as a fisher of men. You have the opportunity to testify of Christ's glory and His wondrous plan of salvation. As believers we may earn an income doing certain tasks, but we are not engineers, farmers, teachers, or anything else. We are fishers of men.

How's the fishing been lately?

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