Where to Cast Our Nets

JESUS SPEAKING

So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5: 1 – 8)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Although Peter was initially hesitant, he ultimately obeyed Jesus’ command to return to the sea and let down his nets. In so doing he observed a miracle that only God Himself could orchestrate. His nets could scarcely contain the abundance of fish they had captured. Because Jesus promised to make them “fishers of men,” this event is a symbol of the greater calling of every Christian. The gospel is the net that we spread, and the fish are those we have captured for Christ. If we are attentive, God will inform us of when and where to cast our nets. Although we are one body, we are often called to different ministries.

In the early 1800’s, an English missionary named Barnabas Shaw was forbidden to preach in Cape Town. And yet he chose not to leave Africa, but rather to push on into the interior. He purchased a yoke of oxen, put his wife and his goods into a wagon and stared out, resolved to settle wherever he would be allowed to preach. So they journeyed for three hundred miles. Then one night while camping they discovered that a band of natives (Hottentots) were camping nearby. In conversation with the leader Shaw learned that these tribal people were on their way to Cape Town to find a missionary to teach them about the Christian faith. Shaw was the exact man they were seeking. He soon realized that God had been leading him the entire time.

Like Barnabas Shaw, God has called every believer to accomplish some outreach in furtherance of the Gospel. Each of us has been endowed with different gifts, talents and abilities, which we can use to more effectively minister to others. If we are willing to listen, Jesus Christ will show us when and where to cast our nets; and those who are obedient will be fruitful. Therefore we must ask ourselves this important question: What ministry have we been called to accomplish for our Creator?

“Lord Heavenly Father, you are our strength and our redeemer; without You we are lost. As we journey through this life, we ask for Your direction. Where would you have us serve? And to what ministry have we been called? Grant us that wisdom; and give us the courage and passion to become the instruments of Your will. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!


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