Pastor Kirk

Reflections from a spiritual pilgrim in Toledo, Ohio

Go Fish

Why Fish, 18 March 2012

Big Idea: Fishing (for men and women) is joining God on His mission to seek and save the lost.

To really understand the idea of spiritual fishing, we need take a look at our mission at Scio Community Church:


We exist to fulfill the Great Commission and follow the Great Commandment by

- serving our communities
- sharing our story
- sending disciples to bless the nations

so that God is glorified.


This is the reason we exist—to follow the Great Commandment (love God and your neighbor) and fulfill the great commission which involves Jesus’ final command in Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Go..make disciples...of all nations. That’s the command. Put another way...go fish!!!

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:18-19)

Notice the three verbs in that last sentence.

Come.
Follow.
Send.

We are to go and be people of action. We are to love God, love our neighbors, and make disciples of all nations.

Today’s question is, “Why Fish?”

For many of you, you’re already bored. You’re thinking, “Been there, done that. Here’s another series on evangelism where we feel guilty for not getting everyone “saved” when I have my own doubts and questions and fears and don’t even know how to, uh, fish.”

Brothers and sisters, fishing is what Scio is about. It’s what Jesus is about. We’re on a mission...from God! If you’re actively engaged in the mission, great! I’d love to hear your stories. We’d all love to hear your stories. If not, let me remind you of THE story, His story. Our story. It’s pretty simple, actually, but we need to go back to the beginning!

It all began in a beautiful garden. He created an amazing planet for us to enjoy. Then He created man and woman. Then sin entered the world, first through a piece of fruit, and later through murder, deceit, and every imaginable sin. Death, violence, separation, and wickedness fill the earth and defile the image of God in man.

The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. (Genesis 6:5)

He establishes a covenant with a man name Abraham (Genesis 12:1-­‐3). He promises to bless all the peoples of the world through the seed of Abraham. We discover that God chooses his people by grace (not by any merit of their own) (Deuteronomy 7:7-­‐9) God rescues His people from slavery/oppression (Exodus 3:7) God gives the law/sacrificial system to show Israel how to live with him as their God (Deuteronomy 30:19) Israel was to be a people who display God’s glory to the nations (Isaiah 49:6).

They rebel again and live in their own ways (the definition of sin)—doing what was right in their own eyes. This cycle continues throughout the Old Testament (Isaiah 53:6; Judges 21:25; Jeremiah 2:12)

To summarize, Hugh Halter said, “Though the majority of the Old Testament focuses on God’s work with the Jewish people, spaced strategically throughout are windows to God’s larger redemptive plan with outsiders.”

The Old Testament is often viewed as more harsh than the New. We see God’s wrath and anger when the people of Israel rebel.

As we’ve been reading, God keeps HIs promises. He said to the Israelites, “Obey Me and be blessed, disobey and be cursed.”

God’s story is all about outreach, second chances, grace, and redemption. It’s also very inclusive. Jesus came not only for the Jews, but He radically loved Gentiles, too, infuriating the Jewish leaders of His day.

After 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testaments, God sends a Savior.

Hugh Halter, again, says, ““Like the first sprout of a beautiful tulip emerging from the dark, cold days of winter, God’s story of blessing pokes out of the ground again.”

John 3:16 famously tells us that “
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus enters our world.
At just the right time God puts his plan of reconciliation and redemption into action. Jesus is born of a virgin (fully human and fully God) (Matthew 1:22; John 1:1,14). He is baptized (identified with sinful humanity) (Matthew 3:13), led by the Spirit (Matthew 4:1), tempted (Matthew 4:10), lived a perfect life (He did what Adam didn’t do by overcoming the tempter and living a life of faith/trust), became a substitutionary atonement (John 1:29), offers forgiveness of sins (Luke 5:20), was crucified, raised from the dead, and declares Himself to be Lord over all (Matthew 28:18-­‐20).

Halter again writes, “Are you beginning to see how these stories fit together? God’s plan to bless, reach, include, adopt, reclaim, and redeem has not been abandoned or forgotten. It is about to touch down in every neighborhood, village, and town.”

But why fish? It’s all because God invites us to join Him on mission. It’s not a burden, but a privilege.

In a few months, athletes from all over the world will represent their nation in London for the Olympics. They don’t have to. It’s an honor. Jesus passed the baton to His disciples who over the past 2000 years have passed it to us.

Jesus commissions his disciples to join Him on this incredible mission of reconciliation and restoration (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-­‐20). His church will be made up of men and women from every tribe, tongue, people, and language (Revelation 5:9). The church has been commissioned to bring the blessing (gospel) of God to all the peoples of the earth in fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 12:1-­‐3). The disciples of Christ wait for the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14), the Holy Spirit is sent to empower the church for the mission (Acts 1:8), the gospel is proclaimed (Acts 2:36), the church multiplies, is scattered, and the gospel message spreads throughout the known world awaiting the return of King Jesus who bring full and final judgment and restoration.

Do you see it? Can you step back and see the greater picture? The beautiful mosaic that is the Word of God in its fullness. Do you see what God is calling us to be as HIS church? Do you see that you are a part of the on going story of God?

We are a church on mission because we serve a God on mission.
God is calling us to join Him on the incredible mission to reconcile all things back to Himself through Christ! Peter made this declaration...

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
(1 Peter 2:9)

“The church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, and sermons...are simply a waste of time. God became a Man for no other purpose.” - C.S. Lewis


Credits

Much of this message was created by E.A.C.H., everyone a chance to hear, www.eachtoday.com

You can listen to the podcast here.

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