“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 (NASB)
Most fishermen I know fish for fun. They love the smell of the salt water, the freedom of the outdoors, and the taste of fresh fish. It’s also a great time of bonding with friends and family. Then there’s the competitive challenge of outsmarting the fish and coming up with a way to catch fish when nobody else is able. Fishing, for most people, is recreational hobby, a stress reliever, a game, and relationship builder.
Don’t however, be fooled into thinking that being a “fisher of men” is a recreational sport. “Fishers of men” can’t afford to just fish for fun. Lives are at stake. The reason we “fish for men” is because of the tragedy awaiting men if we don’t “catch” them. The Bible is very clear, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” (Rom 6:23) It also says that, “it is appointed unto man once to die and after that comes the judgment.” (Heb 9:27) “Fishers of men” are committed to insuring that every man, woman, and child knows of and has an opportunity to overcome the penalty of sin and receive God’s gracious gift of eternal life.
At the end of Paul’s life, he summed up his commitment as a “fisher of men.” He said he “fought the good fight…finished the course…kept the faith.” He understood the very serious nature of his calling. He carried it out to the end with diligence.
How about you? When you get to the end of your life on earth will people say these things about you? When it comes to being a “fisher of men” we can easily fool ourselves into thinking that’s what we’re doing. We easily replace the mandate of sharing the Gospel with others with religious habits such as attending church, tithing, praying, etc. “Fishers of men” fish for men. The many other spiritual disciplines sensitize us to God’s activity and promptings but don’t catch men.
“Fishing for men” is a battle (“fought the good fight”), a race (“finished the course”), and matter of integrity (“kept the faith”). There’s nothing recreational about it. It’s a mandate and calling for all followers of Jesus Christ.
Come on now…let’s get back in the boat and do some fishing.