Gone Fishing

Pastor Justin Krupsky   -  
Growing up in the Krupsky family and living in the state of Michigan, fishing was just part of who I was. My memories as a young boy consist of pike fishing off the Basset Channel, perch fishing in Port Austin, walleye fishing at the cut off, and bass fishing at Buoy 14. I know I am very blessed to have these memories.
More importantly, growing up in the Krupsky family meant that fishing for men was a higher priority than fishing for fish. As a young boy I remember attempting to fish for a neighbor friend. He was in fourth grade when I was in third grade. I remember asking him if he believed in Jesus. I remember him responding with a clear “no.” I remember my response to him was that he is going to hell, and yes, I remember the first punch in the nose I received. To this day, I don’t know if that conversation has stuck with him as much as it has stuck with me, but I know that the conversation Jesus had with His disciples has continued to stick with me: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
What I have been learning lately about fishing for men is that the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) are our best bait in catching men and women who do not believe in Jesus. Yes, they need to hear the Gospel message, that in Jesus their sins are forgiven because of what He did for them on the cross, but they also need to see it. When they see something they do not have, they can’t help but want to have it.
What is interesting to me as I consider each of these virtues, these fruits, the Spirit of God desires to live out in us, I keep thinking about how they are lived out in me as a fisherman. I honestly love fishing. Fishing does give me joy and peace. It definitely gives me an opportunity to live out patience. It never hurts to be kind to the fish by giving them some tasty bait. It is always best to be good and obey fishing laws. Being faithful to my spots that produce fish is what I do. If I am not gently and hoist a fish up, it usually never ends well. Self-control is so easily forsaken when telling a fish story. See what I mean!
As the weather becomes nicer, we may have plans to go fishing. But again, this is not about fishing for fish. As disciples of Jesus, I wonder if we are planning on fishing, not for fish, but for men and women. Fish that have not been caught yet. I wonder if our words and actions will share Christ’s story with love.
As you consider this, let me remind you of what Jesus said in Luke 11:12, “Our Father will give us more of the Holy Spirit if we ask Him.” Will you ask our Father for more of His Spirit? I know He is willing to give and inviting you into fishing opportunities where you can live out these fruits of the Spirit. Will you go fishing with Him?
My prayer for us is that God our Father reminds us that several of His children do not know Him. I pray Jesus reminds us that we need to fish for them. I pray that the Holy Spirit gives us more of His fruits so that we will catch some fish.