March 18, 2020
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Frankly, I have never enjoyed eating worms. I don't know about you, but I assume you would agree with that. It's never really been appealing to me. But I know the saying, "The early bird gets the worm." Well, if that's the case, why would anyone would want to be the early bird? I mean, fish like worms. Oh, yeah! I never understood that, but they really do. I like pizza. But how would you like to go fishing and try to put a slice of pizza on the hook? See how many fish you catch when you use what you like to eat. Now, if you're not catching fish, I think any fisherman would tell you it's time to check your bait.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Two-Legged Bait."
Our word for today from the Word of God is about fishermen; in fact, James and John and Simon Peter, to be exact. And I'm reading from Luke 5:10 where Jesus says to Simon, "Don't be afraid. From now on, you will catch men." Now, I like that. That's an interesting image of your influence and my influence in the world. I'm sure that Jesus would walk up to you and maybe say much the same thing.
Now these guys had as their point of reference fishing. But He might walk up to you and say, "The real mission of the rest of your life is to catch men and women - spiritual fishing." You notice He doesn't just say, "I want you to go out and fish." He says, "I want you to catch fish." Sometimes we say, "Well, you know what? I'll just try to be a Christian influence, I'll just live the life in front of them." God says, "I don't want you to just go out there and fish. I want you to ask people to come to Christ. I want you to bring them home to me. I want you to catch them."
Sometimes Christians say, "Well, I'll just let them watch my life. You know, my life is a witness. I don't ever really tell them about Christ, but I know they're watching me." Well, that's really good because your life should back up your message. But, you know, never in a million years of watching you are they going to say, "You know, he is such a nice guy. I'll bet Jesus died on the cross for my sin." They're not going to figure that out! You have to tell them!
Now let me ask you this, "Who is it you really care enough about that you really want them in heaven with you?" The most appealing bait is not some clever witnessing gimmick, or some very contrived way to get into sharing Christ with them. See, the two-legged bait for the Gospel would be changes Christ could make in you that demand an explanation. That would get their attention. Look, what changes do your friends and family see in you that would make them want to have an explanation for those changes? That's how you draw men and women to Christ.
It's far more costly than handing out a tract or having a one-shot conversation. For example, what difference would your parents respect in you right now; something Jesus could change in you that would get their attention? How about your good friend? What change would be noticeable to those friends? What about your coworkers? They might not care about your beliefs or the meetings you go to, but they care about how you treat them. They care about how you handle office gossip. They care about how you act around the water cooler. They care about how you get your work done. How about your boss?
And then as you look at those friends, you say, "What's the hole in his life or her life that might show them that God's missing? Is he lonely? Is he trying to cope with pressure? Is he trying to keep a marriage together? Is he afraid of death? Is he having trouble with relationships? Is he stressed out? Start at that point. Your loved ones will be attracted by your behavior much more than your beliefs.
Don't expect them to swim to a bare hook. You! Your winsome life, your Jesus-changing life. You're the lure that will attract them to your Jesus.