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Are you engaging or enraging people with the Good News of Jesus?

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A Daily Word from the Word for Wednesday, February 26, 2014

“Then He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” – Matthew 4:19

God is going to blow your mind today, as He reveals what a fisher of men really is. Are you ready for a mind explosion, which will create a mind-expansion for you, family? Too many Christians overstep their God-given boundaries because they don’t have an accurate understanding of this verse. And God is going to change that this very day! When Jesus gave His disciples, which include modern day believers, this invitation, He was inviting us to be part of leading people back into a right relationship with the Father through Him.

When Jesus offered us the eternal life-saving opportunity to “follow” Him, The Savior of the world was saying akoloutheo (pr. ak-lo-loo-theh-o), which is to “accompany, follow, reach” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). We are to reach unbelievers with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to reach souls the way Jesus reached out to us. The Word-became-flesh (John 1:14) reached out to us, reached for us, reached down to pull us out of our sinful state. Romans 5:8 casts a wide net as it testifies “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus did not attempt to assault, manipulate, control, degrade or condemn us; He simply reached for us. The God Who we love, because He first loved us, captivated and captured us with His love through His gentle reach (1 John 4:19).

Sadly, too many well-meaning Christians try to capture folks by assaulting them with the Word of God; rather than captivating them with the reach of the Savior’s Hand. Our responsibility is to reach for lost souls, to catch them by captivating them with the love of Christ. We overstep our authority when we try to clean folks up. It is God’s job to clean them—not ours. How can we clean up someone else when we couldn’t even clean ourselves?! When we try to clean up other people, we end up making an even bigger mess! Let’s review: our job is to catch, and God’s job is to clean. Nice job, people. Now we are cooking with olive oil! J

Now, here is the part where God is really going to blow your mind and have you staring at the wall drooling for an hour or more: The Greek word for “fishers” as used in this verse is halieus (pr. hal-ee-yoos), which means “engaged on the salt water.” Why is this so deep? I am glad you asked. The Sea of Galilee, which is the location where Jesus first offered this way to His original disciples, was fresh water! So why would God specifically tell the disciples that to be fishers of men, they would need to engage on the salt water?

I did some research on the differences between fresh and salt water. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), 97% of all water is salt water; and, of the 3% that is fresh water, only 1% is drinkable because the other 2% is frozen in glaciers. In addition, all water, including fresh water has salt. The density of salt determines whether a body of water is salt or fresh water; as a certain density proves unsafe to drink.

The 97% of oceans, which are salt water, are considered wild and undrinkable by humans; whereas the 1% of bays, rivers, lakes, and streams, are considered tame, tranquil, and safe for most human consumption. The sea represents the world and its ways, which are wild; and of which, drinking from this deadly basin, will kill you. Sadly, it is slowly killing every unbeliever.

The salt contained in these bodies of water is not the same salt that Jesus referred to when He commanded us to be salt (Matthew 5:13). Jesus was talking about refined salt, in which the contaminants were stripped out through a refining process. The deadly salt from the world’s oceans, which cannot be drunk, is unrefined and contains a high concentration of saline as well as a combination of over 80 different chemicals, minerals, and contaminants.

We are to engage those who are dead in their transgressions and sins, as we once were; and but for the grace of God who reached for us and pulled us out, we are now alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:1, 5). Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines “engage” as “to offer (as one’s word) as security for a debt or cause, to attract, to induce to participate”; whereas “induce” means “to move by persuasion or influence.” We are to offer the unsaved Jesus Christ, Who was and is the only One able to pay the debt of sin in full!

The Apostle Paul, was also persuaded, knew how to fish as evidence by his revelation “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Are you now persuaded to engage and not enrage, my brothers and sisters? Me too! So grab your gear, and let’s go salt-water fishing!

Father, thank You for Your amazing revelation! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of Your Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). Father, help us to reach people with your love. Give us wisdom to engage souls for Christ. Break our hearts for what breaks Your big, beautiful, pure, and loving heart. In Jesus Name, we thank You that today You have made us fishers of people. Amen and Amen.

Take action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to engage the lost with the Word of God, and not enrage people by assaulting them through speaking out of your own flesh. Choose to seek God’s wisdom by asking Him to put a sensitivity in your spirit for His lost creation. And continue to fight the good fight of always carrying plenty of the Father’s love in your tackle box; for God, your Ultimate Catch, has already given you the victory!

If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do it today, right now, by saying this prayer out loud: “Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I am sorry. I truly desire to be saved and reconciled back to God, my Father, through You. I receive Your sinless Blood as payment in full for my sins—past, present, and future. I now call You my Lord and Savior, and invite You to live within my heart, and to permanently live within me. I make You Lord over me and over my life from this moment on. Amen.” Congratulations! You are now a child of God, made whole and made new, by the Blood of Jesus Christ!

God tells us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Be a blessing to someone by sending them this word of encouragement. If God did not already put someone in your spirit and on your heart that needs to read this uplifting message from above, simply ask your Heavenly Father who to bless on today. Forward this message right now by email, facebook, or twitter.

Jesus is coming soon!

May God Bless you and keep you always.

With warmest regards,

And, in service of The Most High King,

Matthew

Matthew.Gargano@HMDMinistries.com

www.HMDMinistries.com

© 2014.

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Matthew is founder of HMD Ministries, and sits under the leadership of Apostle Dr. Don Lyon of Faith Center Ministries International in Rockford, Illinois, where he serves as an associate pastor.

All references to Hebrew and Greek words and meanings, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance © 1990 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All dictionary references are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary © 2013, unless otherwise noted.

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