Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. This week, we continue in our series, Luke - Exploring who Jesus is. This week, our devotionals are based on Luke 5:1-11. Today’s devotional is entitled, Fish for people.
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‘Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.’ (Luke 5:10-11)
Lesson: Jesus calls us to fish for people, so let's get involved in the work of evangelism.
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Yesterday, we saw Peter’s confession of sin, and now we read of his (and the other disciples’) commission as witnesses to Jesus. Our salvation from sin is meant to lead to our helping others come to salvation from sin. The same Spirit that convicted us of sin and our need of forgiveness is the same power that will cause others to come to faith as we share about Jesus.
Recently, we looked at Jesus's words (and raison d'etre):
“I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” (Luke 4:43)
Jesus was sent, and He continues to send others to 'proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God'. In this narrative, we learn that we are all to be like Jesus in His commitment to mission. We are on the earth for many reasons, but as a priority, it’s as a missionary. Bill Hull writes about this:
"The church exists for mission. The church lives by mission as fire exists by oxygen. The church does not exist for itself." (Bill Hull, The disciple making pastor)
Jesus uses this analogy of fishing to describe how we will do evangelism. It’s wrong to read too much into a simple analogy, but we can learn some things such as:
1. All people need salvation
Firstly, like fish are to be caught, so people need to be saved in Christ. Every person is lost and needs to hear the gospel message.
2. Jesus empowers those who fish and those who are caught
As Jesus worked miraculously in this account, so He has the power to give us the 'catch' as we seek to help and lead others to salvation.
3. We must obey and put down our nets
Obedience led to a miraculous catch of fish; we are all called to proactively be involved in the work of evangelism. Prayer is important, but so too is getting wet and putting our nets down into the water for a catch. The phrase ‘“from now on you will fish for people" is continuous: a habitual practice is in mind’, writes Leon Morris.
4. Work in teams
We read that ‘they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them.’ The fished in a team. This forces us to ask a number of questions:
Do I have partners in the mission? Is my church united in this vision of 'catching people,' and how can I encourage this?
Am I a partner? Do I help my church to bring in the catch, or am I distracted, too busy, and individualistic?
Do I understand that I am to cooperate with God in His miracle of salvation, or do I think that He will do the mission without my involvement?
This text from Philippians is very relevant to the idea of being partners in reaching those outside of faith:
‘I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…’ (Philippians 1:3-5)
Much evangelism, like fishing, is done in a team where we work together to bring people to Jesus. In our Community Groups or in church ministries, we can get involved and work with others. In your workplace or place of education, can you meet to pray and plan with other Christians who are there?
Effective witnesses have left everything to follow Jesus
Finally, from this account we learn that in order to be an effective witness for Jesus, we must 'leave everything and follow Him'; we must serve Jesus and His call above people, our ambitions, and fears. These fishermen left their livelihoods to be fishers of men, and likewise, do we see that our lives and livelihoods are transformed from, for example, building to 'building for God'; from teaching to 'teaching for God'; from consulting to 'consulting for God'... In all things, we are to seek to serve our King and bring in His Kingdom.
Jesus calls us to fish for people, so let's get involved in the work of evangelism.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
Please read Luke 5:1-11
On Sunday we looked at Luke 5:1-11 and saw that we are to:
Look at Jesus so as to gain greater awe and follow Him wholeheartedly.
It’s so easy, if we’ve been a Christian for any time, to read a text like this without being awestruck by Jesus’ glory. We can allow our hearts to go astray and ‘follow’ others in life and on social media but fail to follow Jesus as worshippers.
This text is to inspire awe. What, from this text, most inspires you?
From memory, what events from Jesus’ life, or what truth about Jesus, do you Find awe-inspiring?
Jesus calls us to follow Him and this, in part, will involve, ‘fishing for people’ what does this mean?
What, from this text, gives us confidence that God’s power will be at work in our evangelism?
SIV - Our strategy for ‘fishing for people’ is summarised as SIV. We Serve, Invest and Invite. How and with whom are you currently doing this?
SIV - You have a net and we have nets - mission opportunities. What are the nets that you have and what are the nets that we have as a church that you could get involved with?
SIV - Lets pray for one another that, firstly, our awe and trust In Jesus would grow. Secondly, pray for one another in our call to fish for people - that we would Serve, Invest and Invite more faithfully.