Archive for the ‘Fishing’ Category

February 8th, 2009

Leaving Your Boat

“So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” Luke 5:11 (NIV)

Salvation is an event followed by a process of maturation. Once you become a follower of Christ, your eternal destiny is radically altered and your daily activity should be intentionally allocated. The daily spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible intake, solitude, journaling, worshiping, witnessing, serving, and persevering become growing attributes of your walk with God.

What do you need to leave in order to follow? What is keeping you from full devotion to Christ? What boat do you need to pull up on shore in order to follow Christ? Your boat may be preoccupation with hobbies. Your boat may be infatuation with your career or intoxication by excessive media consumption. Perhaps your boat is fixation on security, stability, and predictability. Everyone has a boat that needs to be beached!

  • “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’” Luke 9:62 (NIV)
  • “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” Phil 3:8-9 (NIV)

What do you need to “stop doing” in order to be fully devoted to Jesus? What do you need to “start doing” in order to give your undivided loyalty to Christ? Take a few moments to develop a “stop doing” list and then a “start doing” list! Identify the boat that is hindering your love relationship with Christ and pull it up on shore and leave it. If you want to cleave to Christ, be willing to leave the boat on the shore!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, February 8th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Choices, Discipline, Fishing, Following, Loyalty.
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February 7th, 2009

Focusing Your Life

“Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’” Luke 5:10 (NIV)

If you’re not fishing, you’re not following. Following Christ will result in faithfully and intentionally fishing for souls. When you follow your Rabbi, Jesus, you go where He goes and you do what He does.

Jesus alleviated Simon’s fear by clarifying his life-focus. Instead of fishing for fish, Simon was being invited to a life of fishing for souls.

  • “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” Prov 11:30 (NIV)
  • “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philem 1:6 (NIV)
  • “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Jude 1:22-23 (NIV)

Focus your life on that which is closest to the heart of Jesus. Souls! Focus your life on fishing for souls. Join God in His redemptive activity by bringing others into a saving relationship with Jesus. Share your personal salvation story (I Pt. 3:15-16) and invite others to become followers of Jesus Christ. Focus your life on souls! Eternity is at stake!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 7th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Fishing, Focus, Following, Soulwinning.
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February 6th, 2009

Awe

“When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’ For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.” Luke 5:8-10 (NIV)

What produced such awe in Simon’s heart to cause him to respond to Jesus the way he did? Simon recognized that he was in the presence of the Divine. Jesus was more than a carpenter from Nazareth. Jesus was the Master of the wind, the waves, and the fish. Jesus demonstrated His omnipotence.

Simon and his fishing partners were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken. Yet, Simon was gripped more by Jesus than the catch of fish. Simon recognized his own personal sinfulness in light of the holiness of Jesus. We see similar responses from Isaiah and John when they encountered the Lord.

  • “‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.’” Isaiah 6:5 (NIV)
  • “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.’” Rev 1:17-18 (NIV)

Don’t lose the awe of serving your Master, Jesus Christ. He is worthy of your wonder and awe. Jesus is holy and deserves reverence and honor. As you engage in activities throughout the day, whether menial or magnificent, remember the awe of serving Jesus!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, February 6th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Awe, Fishing, Following, Soulwinning.
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February 5th, 2009

God’s Way

“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.” Luke 5:6-7 (NIV)

God’s way is always best! You will never go wrong obeying God. He knows you and He knows what is best for you. Everything God invites you to do allows you to participate in His Kingdom activity.

Simon and his fishing partners experienced a miraculous catch of fish because Simon was willing to obey Jesus. Blessing follows obedience. Simon responded to Jesus’ invitation to let down his nets for a catch in the deeper waters in the daytime. The fishermen normally fished in the shallow waters at night in that region of the Lake of Gennesaret (also known as the Sea of Galilee). However, Simon was willing to fish Jesus’ way and reap the tremendous benefits.

Both boats were filled so full that they began to sink. What a picture of the abundance of God’s blessings! Doing life God’s way is always the right choice. Even when God’s directive doesn’t add up in your logical thinking, you can count on God’s way to be the best option.

Can God speak through a donkey (Num. 22:30), cause an axhead to float (2 Ki. 6:5-6), and provide water from a rock (Num. 20:8)? Yes, God can! Can God handle your situation? Yes, God can!

Will you trust God and submit to His way? Will you seek the Lord (Is. 55:6) and draw near to Him (James 4:8)? Will you trust in the Lord (Prv. 3:5-6)? Now, walk in the light God gives you!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 5th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Fishing, Following, God's Way, Obedience, Soulwinning.
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February 4th, 2009

Simon Says

“Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’” Luke 5:5 (NIV)

Do you remember those words you frequently heard as a child? You may have challenged something your parent said and then they responded emphatically with, “Because I said so!”

Simon had one of those moments in his own boat with Jesus. After a long night of fishing and coming up “empty-netted,” Simon and his partners were in the process of completing the task of washing their nets. Jesus borrows Simon and his boat in order to teach the crowd aligning the shore. Jesus then asks Simon to maneuver the boat into the deep waters and to let down his nets for a catch.

Addressing Jesus as Master, Simon recounted his all-night fishing experience and the fact of catching no fish. Then Simon says to Jesus, “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Simon demonstrated loyalty to Jesus. By his actions, Simon was in essence saying, “Jesus, I trust you and whatever is mine is yours and whatever you ask of me I will obey.” Embracing Jesus as Captain of his boat, Simon exemplified surrender and submission. He was willing to make Jesus the Lord of his boat and his life.

Have you given Jesus dominion over every area of your life? Is Jesus truly Lord in your life? Have you given Him full authority in your private life? Does Jesus have full reign in the public and visible areas of your life? Your loyalty to Christ is proportionate to your willingness to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Make Jesus the Captain of your boat! Give Him full access and full authority over every environment of your life!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Dominion, Fishing, Following, Lordship, Soulwinning.
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February 3rd, 2009

Crisis of Belief

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’” Luke 5:4 (NIV)

Jesus had been teaching the crowd from Simon’s boat. The water’s surface propelled the teachings of Jesus with clarity to the hearers. Simon was in the boat with Jesus and overheard His teachings. The lesson was going to be directed Simon’s way. Jesus challenged Simon’s faith by asking him to transition the boat to deeper waters. The request escalated as Jesus exhorted Simon to let down the nets for a catch.

What is a carpenter doing telling a fisherman how to fish? Fishermen in that region knew that fishing the shallow waters at night was the protocol for success. Yet, Jesus issues a seemingly impractical call to fish the deeper waters during the daylight. Simon experienced a crisis of belief. He had to wrestle the words of this carpenter up against his own personal experience as a commercial fisherman. Simon knew the waters and the industry. Would he consider obeying the words of Jesus?

Sometimes life doesn’t make sense. Sometimes the way of Jesus is counter to the way of logic. Jesus invites us to join Him in the journey of faith. Faith is not a blind leap in the dark. Faith is trusting that Jesus knows what is best for us. We come to the place of experiencing the crisis of believing our own way or the way Jesus illuminates.

Simon was willing to take Jesus at His Word and to trust Him with the results. Simon silenced the voice of doubt and amplified the voice of Truth.

What are you currently wrestling with? Is there anything agonizing your inner being and causing you to question the best next step? Are you willing to take God at His Word and trust His prompting? If your next step did not require faith then you could pull it off on your own. God’s way will bring you to a crisis of belief that will require faith and action.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Crisis of Belief, Fishing, Following, Soulwinning.
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February 2nd, 2009

Urgency

The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” Jer 8:20 (NIV)

How much time do you have left on earth? How many people will die without a saving relationship with Jesus Christ within the next twenty-four hours? What difference will your life make in light of eternity?

Jesus modeled a deep abiding passion for souls. The Bible says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost”(Luke 19:10 NIV). Jesus never lost His focus of redeeming the lost. He did not neglect His mission to save the lost at any cost.

How many lost people are in your sphere of influence? What kind of relational bridge are you building to them? What are you willing to do to introduce them to a saving relationship with Jesus?

Pray this prayer with me. “Father, forgive me for my passive neglect. Forgive me for being so self-absorbed that I have minimized the urgency of soul-winning. Elevate my soul consciousness. Give me eyes to see lost people in their desperation. Anoint me with the courage of Jesus. Empower me to be your witness and to be your laborer in the harvest field. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, February 2nd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Fishing, Following, Soulwinning.
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August 30th, 2008

Fishing

“‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” Mark 1:17 (NIV)

If you aren’t fishing, you aren’t following.

Jesus invites us into a love relationship with Himself that is immediate and eternal. Our relationship with Jesus is to be marked by spiritual maturity and a passion for souls. Once you have been delivered from the flames of hell and graciously positioned on the path that leads to life eternal, you will want to share the Good News with others who don’t know Christ. You will want those who are hellbound to become a new creation in Christ. When your citizenship has been transferred to heaven at conversion (Php. 3:20), you will want others to have the same gift that you have received. You will not be ashamed of the gospel for you will recognize it as the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16).

  • “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” Prov 11:30 (NIV)
  • “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philem 1:6 (NIV)

Watch for divine appointments ochestrated by God. The fish will be attracted by the lure of your life transformation in Christ. The glow of God on your countenance and the “Living Water” you splash as you interact with others will draw people to Christ. Let others see Jesus in you. Infuse your conversation with spiritual questions that prompt people to think about their eternal destination. There’s no lack of fish, only a lack of fishers of men, women, boys, and girls (Matt. 9:38). What will you do with the opportunities God gives you this week to make Jesus known?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 30th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Evangelism, Fishing, Soul Consciousness, Soulwinning.
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June 2nd, 2008

Reveal (7)

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.” Mark 1:16-18 (NIV)

If you’re not fishing, you’re not following.

To be a true follower of Jesus Christ, you must be fishing for souls. Jesus has called every follower of His to fish for men, women, boys, and girls. Our purpose for existence is to know Jesus personally, to grow in Jesus progressively, and to go for Jesus intentionally.

  • Know: As a follower of Jesus Christ, your lifestyle should include both private and public worship. To know Jesus personally gives expression through your daily intimacy with Him in private worship. You bring your worship of Jesus with you to a gathering of fellow followers of Christ in public worship.
  • Grow: Are you growing in your love relationship with Jesus? Are you connected to a small group of Christ-followers in order to grow progressively in community, in Bible knowledge and application, and in exercising your spiritual gifts? Are you growing in your knowing?
  • Go: As you know Christ and grow in Christ, you are compelled to go into the world to represent Christ. Your lifestyle becomes intentional. Your soul-consciousness is elevated. Your passion to reach the lost at any cost is ignited.

Now, let’s go fishing!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 2nd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Conceal, Fishing, Following, Reveal, Soul Consciousness, Soulwinning.
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