“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. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-20).
The bride of Jesus Christ is the Church; we’re not a social club remaining unto ourselves (at least we’re not supposed to be). There are many vehicles for spreading the Good News, but I don’t think there’s any substitute for engaging people one on one. I know, I know, no one wants step outside of their comfort zone to do that. Somehow, despite all of our planning and micromanaging and efficiencies and all the other excuses we use to procrastinate and avoid doing what we ought, God works all things together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). I’ve heard all kinds of excuses, and even come up with a few myself, but God has shown me that evangelism is much like the starfish story.
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean. One morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm and found the whole beach covered with starfish washed up by the tide.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy throwing starfish into the ocean. When the man made his way closer, he called out to the boy, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. Unless I throw them back into the water, they will die.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish washed up on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it as far as he could. Then he turned and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
Inspired, the old man joined the boy in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined them, and eventually, all the starfish were saved.
Adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley.
The account of when Jesus called Peter and Andrew was the first place in scripture God lead my heart when I began thinking about this post. “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. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-20). Going door to door, for example, may not be the pattern to which everyone has been called, but the Great Commission is a call that every Christian shares; our salvation has been bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). Therefore, may our joy overflow, and spreading the Good News be the desire of our hearts; the world sees our inaction, and the excuses we make to absolve ourselves. What does it say about the Church, about any of us, if we’re content with keeping our good news all to ourselves?
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