Jesus moment

Neighboring Well Part 4

This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “Neighboring Well”.

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We are talking about Neighboring Well. We are also having our Fisherman’s Blessing today. Fortunately, both these ideas fit together very nicely. In our ongoing series we have been talking about neighboring well. This series is hospitality. I said last week that there are some spiritual applications and some practical applications that I want us to look at. We are talking about the importance of taking a stand for our neighbors by taking some time to look at the armor of God in Ephesians 6. We have discussed the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. Today we are going to look at Ephesians 6:15 and talk about readiness and the gospel of peace.

A few fishing quotes

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles. ~Doug Larson

Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting. ~Dave Barry

Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught. ~Author Unknown

A couple of fishing jokes

A small town Doctor was famous in the area for always catching large fish. One day while he was on one of his frequent fishing trips he got a call that a woman at a neighboring farm was giving birth. He rushed to her aid and delivered a healthy baby boy. The farmer had nothing to weigh the baby with so the Doctor used his fishing scales. The baby weighed 21 lbs 13 oz.

A guy calls his boss and says “I can’t come to work today The boss asks why and the guy says “It’s my eyes.” “What’s wrong with your eyes?” asks the boss. “I just can’t see myself coming to work, so I’m going fishing instead….”

Speaking of eyes, what do you call a fish with no eyes? A: fsh

Scripture Reading

Matthew 4:18-22 (NIV)
18 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. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

As I said earlier, we will also be discussing

Ephesians 6:15 (NIV)
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

As we read in our scripture reading, the first four people that Jesus called to be His disciples were fisherman. And when we read John 21:1-3 it is possible that seven of the disciples were fisherman.

John 21:1-3 (NIV)
1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

It’s apparent that Jesus likes fisherman.

1. Things we can learn from fishermen

a. They keep at the ready

All of the fisherman were busy when Jesus called them to follow. They were either casting, preparing or washing their nets.

Fisherman spend a lot of time keeping ready.

b. They have patience

Fisherman sometimes have to wait for things to happen. Let’s just give this spot a few more minutes before we move along.

c. They have faith

Fisherman go fishing expecting to catch something.

d. They have courage

Bad weather, deep waters, etc. I watch deadliest catch sometimes. No way.

When Jesus called these fisherman He said:

2. I will make you fishers of men

Matthew 4:19 (NIV)
19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

This idea of being “fishers of men” is what the next piece of armor we are talking about in our series is all about.

Ephesians 6:15 (NIV)
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

Like fisherman, we are to be courageous, faithful, patient and ready to go with the gospel.

Feet fitted with readiness is all about being ready to go fishing, in this case it is about being fishers of men. The apostle Paul was most likely relating this part of the armor with this verse in Isaiah:

Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)
7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

We are to be people who stand for our neighbors by being ready to share with them the Good News whenever the opportunity presents itself. This Good News is what Paul is calling here the gospel of peace.

3. The Gospel of Peace

To be at peace with God, means to be reconciled to God. The message of reconciliation is the Good News, the Gospel, the Truth. We have all sinned and God made a way for us in Christ to be reconciled to Him. Christ died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day He rose, which was witnessed by hundreds of people. His perfect sinless life was given in exchange for ours. He paid for our sins and we can now be reconciled to God. We can be at peace with God.

a. Peace with God

Romans 5:1-2 (NIV)
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

We have confessed with our mouths and believed in our hearts that Jesus is Lord and we have been saved, born again, made new. Our sins have been forgiven and we are reconciled to God, we are at peace with Him.

Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Since we are at peace with Him, we now have access to His peace. We don’t need to live lives of worry and fear, we can experience His peace and the fullness of the now and forever life that He came to bring us.

b. Our desire is that everyone would come to know His peace

Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are to live as His ambassadors with the message of the Good News at the ready. Not only to speak the message, but to live out the message by acts of kindness and words of encouragement.

Fisherman’s Blessing

God we pray that you bless all these fishermen. That you’d be with them in their going out and their coming in. And, God, we pray that you’d allow them to provide for their families, that you’d bless the harvest of their traps, their lines, and their nets. That all types of fisherman, commercial, recreation, and sport would always find and experience times of joy in the beauty of Your creation here in these Florida Keys.

And

For all the fishermen on earth
I say this prayer today
Be generous to them, O Lord
And help them on their way
As once you talked to Peter and
He cast his humble net
So may their daily catch become
As great as it can get

But also in my prayer I ask
This miracle again
That they not only search the sea
But try to fish for men
To fish for souls to do Your will
And spread Your gospel true
As Your disciples on this earth
To praise and honor You
I pray that every fisherman where ever he may be
Will turn his thoughts to You and to
The Sea of Galilee

Lines in italics are a poem by: James J. Metcalfe

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