The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 01/21

Posted on | January 21, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 01/21

Scripture reading: Luke 14:12–24

Fishy Business

Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men. (Mark 1:17)


Imagine a group of people who call themselves “fishermen” but never fish! I’ve heard variations of the following story through the years but have no clue of the source for the original story. The idea is borrowed but the words are my own.

  • • • • • • • • • • • • •

And it came to pass that a group of men who loved to fish formed “The Fisherman’s Club.” The lakes and streams in the surrounding area were teeming with fish. Bass, perch, trout, and many other varieties were in abundant supply. For one who loved to fish, the possibilities were limitless. Membership grew as those with a passion for fishing joined the club.

And behold, as the years passed, the founders began to die, and a new generation joined the club. Although these new members called themselves “fishermen,” their activities differed from those of their elders. Their passion was methods, strategies and technology, not fish. Some devoted their attention to the décor of the club- house and made sure that members were comfortable and well cared for. Others worked on the bylaws and the constitution for how the club would operate. A few felt called to get advanced degrees in ichthyology. Great advances were made in understanding the eating habits of fish, how fish mate, and the genetic code of different species. Other focused on advancing fishing technology so that state-of-the- art equipment was created and stored in the club’s warehouse. Still others wrote an exhaustive history of fishing. The library at The Fisherman’s Club became well stocked with excellent resources for anyone who wanted to know anything about fish and fishing.

Every year the club would sponsor a Fishing Conference, bringing in special guest speakers who explained how fishing was done in lakes and rivers of other countries. These specialists often brought slide presentations of exotic fish that delighted the members of the club, who prayed fervently and raised money for the catching of more fish in foreign water. They not only printed slogans on posters and hung them throughout the building: “Each One, Catch One,” “Every Member a Fisherman,” “The Club Exists by Fishing as Fire Exists by Burning,” etc.; they also hung maps around the building indicating areas of the ocean where “unreached fish groups” were still to be found.

And lo, it came to pass that a strange thing began to happen: the fishermen ceased to fish. They studied fish, prayed for fish, obtained licenses to fish, and even went on short-term fishing trips. But they ceased to fish in their own ponds and rivers. When a visitor once suggested that they shouldn’t call themselves fishermen if they didn’t fish, they were deeply offended and refused to let that person join their club.

Today, if you visit The Fisherman’s Club, you will find a beautiful building with lots of wonderful activities for the members. But if you want to fish, I’d suggest you go somewhere else!




The Lord has called us to be fishers of men . . .

We have become merely keepers of the aquarium.

Occasionally I take some fish out of your fish bowl

and put them into mine, and you do the same with my bowl.

But we’re all tending the same fish. —Sam Shoemaker




point to ponder In what kind of condition is your “fishing club”?


prayer focus Are you fishing? How’s the catch?


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