Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Follow Me


Follow Me
by Barbara Eccleston

These two watercolor fish paintings remind me that we are all called to be fishers of men by the Lord Jesus. These were the first fish He and I caught together – they are my son and daughter, both baptized into Christ soon after accepting Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Yet I know these sin-stained hands have no part in redeeming anyone. It was the Father’s work, all by His grace, that called these two young fish into His boat. There’s no monster fish too tough to be reeled in by my Father’s hands. There’s also no fish so small that He’ll say, “Why bother?”

Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19). What a wonderfully exciting promise this is, fishing to win the souls of men! But follow how? Here in the United States, many church-goers have been taught to befriend people and gain their approval before witnessing to them. But that is not what Jesus did, nor any of the Apostles. The Bible calls us to be peculiar, to be separate, and to be holy. Paul asks in II Corinthians 6:14, “What fellowship has light with darkness?

It is our difference, our Christ-like aroma that will draw men to the Lord. If we do succeed in fitting in, there’s nothing appealing left in us to draw others to Christ. Unfortunately, this also means we don’t truly believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to convict and call a man to Christ. We feel we are the one who is winning these people over – that it is somehow up to us, with our wonderful smile and smooth talk! However, our part is to live holy lives and speak truth. God’s Spirit does the rest.

So let me say again, Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” But follow how? He is my example. He was compassionate towards all people, yet never cowered from speaking the truth they needed to hear. He told lowly strangers, as well as prominent persons, of their sin and challenged them to repent. It is only as I closely follow His example, that I can claim this promise and become a fisher of men’s souls.

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