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Topic: Fishing (06/07/04)
TITLE: GONE FISHING
By Phyllis Inniss
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“Gone Fishing” is an old ballad sung by one of the popular movie stars of the past. It came to mind when I saw the topic for this week. Fishing is a past-time enjoyed by many people. It is both a vocation and a pleasure activity
When Peter and Andrew his brother had gone fishing, Jesus called on them to follow Him. He told them He would make them fishers of men By His example He taught them, as well as the other disciples, how to go about the towns and villagers fishing, not with boats and nets, but with the power of God. They were taught how to exercise their faith in God to heal the sick, to give sight to the blind and to cast out demons. They were not educated men and many in the crowd who followed Jesus to hear His Word and to see His works were just ordinary folk. So He taught by parables to reach His audience. He taught love and humility, kindness and compassion, forgiveness and repentance. People were so touched by the power and delivery of His words that they sat spellbound listening fervently and attentively to what He said. Consequently, He drew large crowds wherever He went. After a long spell of teaching, he would feed the people. Five loaves and two fish were sufficient for Him to demonstrate His heavenly power. After blessing the food, there was more than enough to feed all and much was left over. (Matt. 14: 20, 21).
Fish features frequently in the Bible, but no type of fish has been mentioned, either in the New Testament or in the Old Testament. In Egypt, the monuments show many pictures of fish and fishing. The Assyrian sculptures also show men fishing, but never a name given to any fish.
Fishing is a means of livelihood for the poor and a pleasure activity for the rich and not so rich. God has provided this form of health food for man in the seas and lakes and streams and rivers. We have fish that live and thrive in fresh water and those that have their home in the big ocean. If we live according to the Word of God, He will give us the desires of our hearts. Our fishing will be successful, because He will clear the waters for us. Man in his greed has polluted the waters of the rivers and streams with chemical waste and the seas with oil spills. Satan is also polluting our lives by putting drugs and other harmful material within the reach of the young and not so young to confuse the minds of the innocent. He insidiously introduces arguments and ideas to attract the unsuspecting. People come to our doors disguised as believers only to distract us from our faith. We must fight with every breath not to be lured into the enemy’s devilish schemes.
I have been fishing for information for the longest while about the meanings and interpretations of different verses in the Bible. There are still sayings that I can’t quite come to grips with. I have listened to and have been helped by some of the explanations different pastors have given. Although I am of a different denomination, I find the Seventh Day Adventist Adult Teachers’ Books very helpful, especially the newest edition. From a historical and biblical perspective, they bring to light certain truths in the Bible that I would not have paid attention to before. It's quite a learning experience for me to have God’s Word brought to me in such an interesting and educational manner
This is what God wants for us. He wants us to equip ourselves with the knowledge of His Word so that we in turn can pass this on to others, especially the future generation. So that we too can become fishers of men and with faith change lives, not by sermonizing or preaching. We can do this by our example of Christian living. Our kindness, our patience, our almsgiving, our service to others will do more than just talk. Our fishing must not be in vain. If we cast our nets on the waters of Christian love and generosity, shoals of blessings will wash upon our celestial shores.