Jesus saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men—Matt. 4: 19.
All of life's affairs will teach us lessons profitable throughout its future, if we will receive them. Perhaps there was something peculiarly helpful in the fishing business—something peculiarly like the great work in which the Apostles were to engage the remainder of their lives. Our Lord intimates this in His call. Fishing requires energy, tact, proper bait and that the fisherman keep himself out of sight. And these four things are requisites in the spiritual fishing in which the Lord privileges us to engage. We are to remember that as fish are easily alarmed when they find that anyone wishes to take them, so humanity is shy of being captured by anything, especially if they have the least suspicion that they may lose their liberties; and thus consecration appears to the world.
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As fishermen, we must be watchful, active, temperate, persevering, self-oblivious, tactful and lovers of symbolic fish and fishing. We must be equipped with proper language, the Truth, knowledge of human nature, versatility and imperviousness to disagreeable surroundings. We must seek to "catch men" at all seasons, inside and outside the churches. We must use the hooks of justification and consecration, and the bait of such truths as will appeal to the taste of the symbolic fish. Great care must be exercised as to how we cast in the hooks and lines, and as to how we act before and during bites as well as in drawing the symbolic fish in and in stringing them, if we would "catch men" for the Lord.
Parallel passages: Ex. 28: 1; 1Sam. 3: 4-10; 1Chron. 23: 13; Isa. 6: 8-10; Matt. 4: 18, 20-22; 9: 9; Luke 10: 1, 2; John 1: 43; Rom. 10: 14, 15; 2Cor. 5: 18-20; Heb. 5: 4; Matt. 10: 7, 11-13, 16, 25, 27, 28; 28: 19, 20; Luke 24: 48.
Questions: What have been this week's experiences as to this text? How were they met? In what did they result?
FELLOW-CHRISTIAN, enter in—
Into the work that calls for you,
Into the promises grand true:
Into the joy of faith that waits:
Why stand idly without the gates,
When the fields are ripe?
You sadly say you cannot know
What God has here for you to do,
Or the way wherein your feet should go;
But if you enter in today,
He'll show you, in His own sweet way,
Your privileged place.
And when the sheaves are gathered in,
We may be sure, in that blissful day,
To sowers and reapers Christ will say,—
"You who well toiled and labored and bore,
And zealously sought for more and more
Of God's blessed work,—
"Come in, beloved, come in, come in—
Into the rest prepared for you,
Into the glory now brought to view."
Our heavenly Bridegroom will await
Our triumphant entrance within the gate
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