My mom taught me how to wave goodbye to the ice-cream truck as it drove past our house.
I have wonderful memories of camping with my dad and fishing at our favorite lakes and rivers. One sunny day we were walking down the trail with my new fishing pole straddling my shoulder thinking how great of a dad I had. Suddenly, to my fearful surprise, I heard behind me, the screams and nasty words of my dad as if I had done something wrong. I turned around to inquire about all the noise. Never seeing my dad, just hearing his angry voice following behind me as I turned around and around and around. Finally, my dad’s firm hand grabbed my shoulder and yelled out, “STOP MOVING!”
To my shock, I had caught a WHOPPER, and it was my dad. My fishing line had hooked him through the nose, and he was MAD! With his nose bleeding, me crying, the ride home was way too long. He told me he would never take me fishing again! I promised him I was sorry that I would be a good Son, and I would never disappoint him again. I was devastated that my dad would have that kind of reaction to an accident.
It took some time before we went fishing again. A happy camper and world-class fishing kid, pleasing my dad in every way. However, looking back over my life, there were hundreds of promises made and broke to my family and friends. I was a complete disappointment to my parents. My mom taught me how to wave goodbye to the ice-cream truck as it drove past our house. My dad helped me to lay-low when the Federal Marshals came knocking at his door.
Dysfunctional doesn’t come close to the destructive dynamics I created in our family! My parents grew to dislike me. However, I later found a Heavenly Father who wanted all of me.
Confident the WHOPPER I caught as a child was not the kind of fish Jesus spoke about in Matthew 4:19-20, Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They left their nets and followed Him.
The hook that caught my dad, which brought pain is now a metaphor to my Calling in Christ. To follow Him, to be a Fisher of Men, I needed to leave my Nets behind. My Nets were my drugs, my sins, my old life, and lack of commitment to God’s Divine Purpose.
I am to bait my hook with God’s Truth and cast the line of Salvation out in the Name of Christ. I am relying on the Holy Spirit to catch one person at a time for the Glory of God and His Eternal Plan. Discerning, we are all members of the Body of Christ with distinct functions and gifts. “Some plant, some water, but it’s God that gives the increase…,” (1 Corinthians 3:6).
God has called us to forsake all, pick up our Cross, follow him, and become fishers of men for the Gospel of Eternal Life in Christ. God was faithful in this part of my story because it ends well. When I finally allowed God to work in my life, He did make me a fisher of men. My parents experienced my transformation as I brought Glory to God. I lived and applied Matthew 5:16 before their eyes, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Deciding to obey God, I went into my dad’s room expecting rejection. To my surprise, he was so excited that I prayed with him, and he committed his life to Jesus. We never know the day or the hour when we are to leave this world. My dad died within a few hours after our prayer. When the Spirit leads, we must take immediate advantage of God’s appointed time. Had I waited another day for the courage to obey God, my dad would have died separated for all Eternity from our Lord.
When I visited my mom in the hospital and said, “Can we talk?” she excitedly said, “I was wondering when it was my turn.” She was waiting to believe it! Amazingly, many people are just waiting to believe and for us to share Christ with them. Don’t let past relationships or pride stop the conversation.
LET GOD’S BUTTERFLY PROJECT TAKE FLIGHT IN YOUR LIFE
Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). We need a spiritual rebirth because that is where the Spirit comes alive. The flesh offers nothing of value.
Being born-again makes the process of transformation possible. It’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Transformed is the ancient Greek word ‘metamorphosis’ describing the astonishing alteration taking place as we put off the old life and put on the new.
The most important prayer you can ever pray is (The Sinner’s Prayer) the one that invites Jesus into your heart to forgive your sins. Paul sums up the power behind this prayer of forgiveness:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and your heart” (that is, the Word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:8-10).
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you can receive Him into your heart by faith today. You can pray the following prayer.
“Dear Father in Heaven, I believe you sent your Son, Jesus, from heaven; I believe He died for my sins on the Cross; I believe He rose on the third day and sits with you in heaven even now.
Please forgive me for my sins. Jesus, please come into my life as my Lord and Savior and guide me with Your Holy Spirit. Thank you, Father; In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN!”
PRAISE GOD, you have come to Christ in faith, trusting Him as your Lord and Savior.
“Welcome to God’s kingdom, and may we fellowship throughout eternity.”
God Rewards Our Obedience: Let’s look at what happened when the disciples obeyed Jesus’ instructions. “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4).
Life is a composite of decisions. Where we are today is the result of choices we made in the past and today’s decisions determine where we will be tomorrow.
The Results of the Disciples’ Obedience to Jesus’ Instruction:
You need to know what you want in life before you can make well-informed decisions. Also, you must factor in God’s will and purpose. Will this decision glorify God and help establish my life’s purpose? Having a good sense of yourself and your relationship with God makes the whole decision process more manageable.
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
God is faithful – you can bet your life on it!
“God’s promises will expire (in the twinkling of an eye) between our last breath and our entrance into eternity.”
Written by, Brad Wyrick