Today’s been a busy day. It began with an early morning prayer meeting at our church – our overnight guests (IM missionaries from Slovakia) were the featured speakers there. Afterwards we went out for breakfast with the prayer meeting attendees (as is the tradition for this particular group of mostly retired missionaries). It was a great time for my friend, Karla Thiessen, to tell more about life in Slovakia and ministry among the gypsies there.
The rest of the day was filled with random stuff – fix lunch for our guests, help Karla prepare her workshop handouts for Missions Fest, get my eyes checked (I’m trying contact lenses without much luck), and then driving our guests to a family member’s home 40 miles away. It’s nearly suppertime, and I’m finally sitting down to write my blog.
For those of you who do your quiet time in the morning as I do, I’m going to do my best to post early in the day from now on. I want to keep this as a priority and to make it as convenient as possible for my readers. By the way, thank you for your comments – I really enjoy hearing about what you’re learning. We can all benefit from each other’s life lessons. Keep ‘em coming!
And now, for today’s thoughts…
When Jesus called Simon and Andrew to join His team, how did He phrase the invitation? He said, “Follow Me, and I’ll show you how to fish for people” (Matthew 4:19). He could have said, “Follow Me and I’ll show you how to fish for wealth,” or “Follow Me and I’ll show you how to fish for popularity.” Yes, He could have made these promises, but He didn’t. Instead, He said, “I’ll show you how to fish for people.” No doubt about it – Jesus values people. In fact, His love for mankind motivated Him to leave His heavenly home, give up His rights as God, become a servant, and obey to the point of death on a cross.
Here are a couple of questions this verse brings to mind:
- Do I share Christ’s passion? Or do I too easily get caught up in my own pursuits – as legitimate as they may seem – bypassing people in the process?
- How can I ensure I maintain Christ’s focus on people?
Perhaps the secret of success for the latter question lies in Christ’s command: “Follow Me.” The closer my relationship is with Jesus, the more likely I am to value what He values. The more likely it is that I’ll share His heartbeat for what matters most. The more probable it is that I’ll be a conduit of His love for men and women within my sphere of influence.
It’s the John 1 “abiding in the vine” principle. As I abide in Christ, my life will produce much fruit. And that fruit is all about impacting people. It’s all about loving them, befriending them, showing kindness and sympathy and empathy, being respectful and non-discriminatory. It’s about taking time to listen and to show interest and to care. As I follow Jesus, He’ll make me more like Him. The automatic result is that people – not things, programs, or my own personal pursuits – will take a higher priority in my life.
What are your thoughts on this topic? What does “fishing for people” look like in real life for you?