Casting Your Line: On Becoming Fishers of Souls

8 Jul
Minneapolis has the largest concentration of N...

Minneapolis has the largest concentration of Norwegians outside Norway, at 42,469. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. First Corinthians 9: 24

I haven’t been fishing since I was in high school. We lived near a lake in Minneapolis (doesn’t everyone in Minneapolis?) and every once in a while I would head down with pole and worms to see if I could get a nibble from a sunfish or crappie. Even though I’m not an expert fisherman, I do know this: I won’t catch any fish if I don’t cast my line into the water!

Like any pursuit, it takes intentionality, determination, discipline, training, and a specific goal in order to “win.” Christ has called us to be winners of souls – fishers of men (and women). We cannot fulfill Christ’s mandate to make disciples if we don’t “catch fish,” and we can’t catch fish if we don’t cast a line.

In First Corinthians 9:19-27, Paul talks about running the race in order to win the prize. A runner who wants to win the race has to prepare. As we pursue the race toward heaven, our goal is to take as many with us as the Lord allows, and Paul provides a model for us to follow in First Corinthians 9.

Paul was always on the lookout for ways to connect the gospel to people’s lives. And he did this by being “all things to all people.” I really like how the Message paraphrase renders verses 19-23:

Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!

We are commanded to get out of our safe bubble of church and family and connect with those around us, building bridges to the gospel. It is a privilege to serve our Lord and we should rejoice that He entrusts us with opportunities to represent Him. How will you become a servant to those He puts in your life that you might share the good news with them today?

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