day as Jesus was walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon
and his brother Andrew fishing with nets, for they were commercial fisherman.
Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me! And I will make you fisherman for
the souls of men!” At once they left their nets and went along with him.” (Mark
I asked myself what stuck out to me in this passage?
What stuck out to me was Jesus saying,
“Come, follow me! And I will make you fisherman for the
souls of men!”
I thought to myself, why is it significant that Jesus uses those words?
I was reminded of Peter and Andrew’s profession! Simon and
Andrew were fishing with nets and being commercial fisherman was their
Jesus uses language that they are able to understand as
he meets them where they are. He does this by asking them to follow Him, letting
them know that what they have learned throughout the years will not go to waste
but can be used when they follow Him too! This time it won’t be just catching
fish but being fisherman for the souls of men using what they are good at.
I thought to myself what is the function of a
fisherman and how could
fisherman become ‘fisherman for the souls of men’?
It made me think about the function of commercial
They have to go out into the sea if they want to
start fishing or at least have access to the water.
They need to have a good net that fish will become
attached to and cannot escape.
It is not enough to have the best net if the net is
not thrown in the water at the right place and time.
Usually they need to work together as one drops the
net and others help pull it up.
They utilize ways to attract the fish to come to
Once the fish are caught they make them die to be
They clean the fish and make them available to
These are only some of the
functions I can think of but there could be more to a fisherman than meets the
eye. Those 7 could have been their responsibilities and here comes Jesus asking
them to follow Him and He will not let their profession go to waste but use
those same principles to make them “fisherman for the
souls of men.”
I found that very exciting as
I began thinking of the 7 functions of fisherman that came to my mind and how
those functions could be utilized as an analogy.
They have to go out into the
sea if they want to start fishing or at least have access to water where there
In the same way, to be
‘fisherman for the souls of men’, Jesus wants them to go to places where there
are lost people or have access to lost people so they can fish for their souls.
They need to have a good net
that fish will become attached to and cannot escape.
In the same way, to be
‘fisherman for the souls of men’, Jesus wants to
become their good net that they can use so that lost people will become attached
to Him and they cannot escape
once they come to Jesus.
At first this thought
sounded as if people coming to Jesus become prisoners if they cannot escape.
But, I believe once ‘fisherman for the souls of men’ allow Jesus to work in
their lives, lost people start seeing the work of Jesus in people’s lives that
they are so attracted to Jesus’ work in the people’s lives that they want to be
part of it. So, now lost people get attracted to Jesus and come. Once they come,
they cannot escape because they come to the point of ‘surrendering their lives
In a way, some people do
think about becoming a prisoner once they give their life to Jesus. But, I
believe it is those who have not surrendered their wills to Him who feel that
way. Those who do surrender find abundant life with Jesus.
Lost people get attracted to
Jesus many times because of the lifestyle of those who already know Jesus and are known by
It is not enough to have the
best net if the net is not thrown in the water at the right place and time. This
goes back to the previous devotional on
How do you handle T.I.M.E given to you? (Jan
21, 08, 1:31 p.m.)
In the same way, it is not
enough for us to know Jesus and be known by Jesus to reach out to lost people,
if we are just content with having Jesus as our best net and do not access the
help Jesus provides to reach out to lost people at the right place and time.
Just as the disciples went out in faith while they threw their net for fish and
believed in the profession they were in, ‘fisherman for the souls of men’
need to go out in faith, believing in Jesus and presenting Jesus to lost
people at the right place and time.
It won’t always be easy to
find the right place and time but fisherman keep going at it and so should
‘fisherman for the souls of men’. Eventually, just as fish are caught ‘lost
people’ do come when we do not give up and keep presenting Jesus.
Usually, they need to work
together as one drops the net and others help pull it up.
In the same way, just as one
person may present Jesus to someone or multitudes, that person has just dropped
the net in a ‘lost person’s life’. This is just the beginning where the seed has
been sown. As others help pull the net, I am reminded of Billy Graham Crusades
where ‘lost people’ are attracted to the net of Jesus and come to Him. While
they come to Him, they are helped by tons of counselors to pull them up from
where they were to ‘where they can be now’. Now, they are attracted to Jesus and
come but are helped by people who know Jesus and are known by Him.
I learned reaching out to
‘lost people’ is not a solo job just as being effective fisherman is not. Jesus
did not call Simon and Andrew individually but both of them together in
utilizing what they are familiar with. Jesus loves pairs and working together :)
They (fisherman) utilize ways to attract fish to come to
In the same way, to reach
‘souls of men’
can be utilized as ‘fisherman for the souls of men’. Some can use evangelistic
crusades to attract people to Jesus, friendship/relational evangelism,
testimonial evangelism, narrative/story telling evangelism, evangelistic movies,
confrontational/street evangelism, and most of all personal evangelism: Living out our life in such a way that we
become the bait to attract people to Jesus. Personal evangelism could use other
ways to reach out too. These are just some examples and are not exclusive.
Once fish are caught, they make them die to be used.
In the same way, once lost people are caught,
for the souls of men’ make them realize that they need to ‘die to self’ and
surrender themselves completely to the Lord to be used of the Lord. It is here
‘lost people’ actually have the opportunity to give their life to Christ by
praying and meaning what many call the ‘Sinner’s Prayer’.
If they do not want to die to
themselves and be born again for Christ, they have freedom to go their own way! But if they do that they still remain lost to
Christ but alive to the world which is not a good thing in the long run. It is possible these lost people are attracted sometime in the future and
decide to ‘die to themselves’ as other ‘fisherman for the souls of men’ come
They (fisherman) clean the fish and make them available
In the same way,
‘fisherman for the souls of men’ clean
the ‘lost people’ after they ‘die to themselves’ but this cleaning is not done
without the help of the Lord. Lost people who are saved now and born again are
helped to clean their lifestyle with the help of Jesus. Jesus personally works
in their life through the power of the Holy Spirit, through His Word, through
prayer, and the community of believers.
As this continues to happen, now ‘lost people who have
been found’ are available to others to reciprocate what happened to them. Just
as fish is eaten and people get nourishment after it is available to them, in
the same way, now people who are saved can allow Jesus to work in their lives
and bring spiritual nourishment to others.
I ask you now dear friends, what
kind of profession are you in?
Dear friends, I
learned that Jesus wanted to use Simon and Andrew from what they had already
pursued and were pursuing to make an impact for the Kingdom of God. This is
awesome because no matter what you are studying or where you are working, I believe that area of
academics/trade can be used by the Lord to make an impact in the Kingdom of God.
So never give up on what you want to pursue because as you pursue your academic
dream and die to yourself and become alive in Christ being willing to follow
Him, He can use you where you are at. Simon and Andrew decided to follow Jesus
and the Lord has used them in mighty ways. Even if you are in a career and not
studying, the Lord can still use you mightily.
If you have time, you can look at the function of your
profession and see how you can make an analogy to use that profession/major to reach
lost people for the Kingdom of God. There could be times the Lord could ask you
to change your profession/major completely and take you to another profession but that
can be used to bring lost people to Christ too if you have a willing spirit of
surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.
In closing, I want to share with
you couple of true stories that happened in my life few semesters ago. To put
things into perspective, I have finished my degrees in Psychology,
Administration of Justice, & a major in Legal Studies w/ minors in Mathematics, Computer Science,
Business, and coursework in Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition. I now work full-time
as a manager for Sodexho, a
job I love very much!
How was I able to use my
There was a young guy who was drunk at the bus stop at
Forbes Ave opposite to the William Pitt Union wanting to go to Shadyside. He
asked me what bus he needed to take to go there and I kept telling him that he
was on the wrong side of the street if he wanted to go to Shadyside. He was so sure he was on
the right side and just needed me to tell him the numbers. After awhile, I did
not try to persuade him anymore. Rather, I decided to read my Bible.
He comes up to me and said that he liked to read the
Bible too and told me that he loved ‘Revelation’. He asked me what my favorite
passage was and I used that opportunity to tell him one of my favorite passages
was in Proverbs 23.
Then, I asked him if he would like to read a certain
passage from there which was my favorite. He decided to read it with whatever
comprehension he had while drunk and saying what it meant to him. Then he asked
me what I thought about it.
A great idea is to ask
people if they want to read the verses you want to share with them. This
way they get to read Scripture for themselves.
I told him psychology talks a lot about the dangers of
alcohol but the Bible already mentions them here. Finally, he looks at me and
said, “You know, all these things I have experienced”. He was so awestruck with his experiences and what he was going through was already mentioned in the Bible
even before Psych books came along.
Later, he gave me his number to keep in touch and gave
me a big hug. Finally, he tells me that he was on the wrong side and decides to
go to Fifth Ave to catch the bus. This type utilized a type of evangelism more
than psychology but psychology did come into play. One of the Quiet Times I had,
had to do with alcohol and is called A.L.C.O.H.O.L. You can access it by typing
'Previous Devotionals' in the search box.
My mission has been to
‘Counsel broken hearts with the love of Christ.” While I have had multiple
opportunities to counsel students and non-students and see their lives change for the glory of God, I have utilized the
principles I have learned in psychology but not the methodology of psychology.
Rather I have focused on
For example, a student would tell me how things were
always going wrong for her and that she could never do anything right. She feels
like she is a failure and so on. I would let her know the more negative things we say to ourselves, naturally
those get acted upon and we are in a rut where we started at because of our
words affecting our self-esteem. Then I would take her to Scripture and tell her that the Bible talks
about the words of our mouth having power to destroy or build. I would tell her
that the Lord spoke and it came to be. My basic point to her was that she needed
to watch what negative things she would say about herself to others and herself.
She was amazed. No, I was not emphasizing the power of positive thinking but
emphasizing that there needs to be a transformation in our own thinking that is
in line with Scripture then we will see positive fruit.
I take classes as a means to ministry. When
we have exams, I pray to the Lord and prepare my own sample exams and
post them on the EDUCATION section of Pittsburgh Standard so my
classmates can access it. The ministry part is when Bible verses are
embedded within the sample exam for students to read if they choose to.
The exams have helped so many students. Anything we do, we can use it
for the glory and honor of the Lord.
My friend Liz chooses to paint different things.
One day she started painting a water fall with rocks side by side. If
you looked at the painting, you will be surprised how vivid and magnetic
that painting is. That painting made me want to go to that particular
place, as I was awed at God's wonderful creation, where the water fall
is seen beautifully blue because of the skies reflection. I marveled at
God's creation because of her painting. It reminded me of Psalm 8 and
also the hymn, "How Great Thou Art". I even used a picture of her
painting to do a persuasive presentation in class. This is significant
because a painter can make their profession something that draws people
to the majesty of God.
I had an opportunity to use my field of psychology to open a counseling session
online. It was on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) years ago. A person came into that
chat room and I talked with her asking how her life was and so on. She told me
that she was not doing well. I shared with her a poem called "Never Forsaken"
that the Lord helped me write. After talking, I asked her if she wanted to give
her life to Jesus Christ and allow Him to work in her life and take care of her.
She did, so I prayed with her by typing each prayer sentence and she typed it
after me. It happened online and did not even see that person's face. It did not
matter because the Lord used that moment to bring her to Salvation.
I used to wonder how she was doing and one day
I received a snail mail about how her life changed. She told me that she
was 25 yrs old and lived in California and because of her becoming a
Christian, her husband came to know the Lord too and that she was
pregnant with a child. This is awesome that she is a mother who knows
Jesus Christ and can raise her child with Christian principles. She also
sent me money to help me when I was doing full-time ministry with
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
I thank the Lord for the
opportunity to use my profession to counsel and minister to her and to
see her soul saved!
Lord put upon my heart to write what I have learned in my solitary time
with the Lord and share the study part with hundreds of students as a
expositional devotional. There have been days that I did not feel like
studying and sharing but I wanted to be obedient to the Lord and have
done it. After I have done it, I felt I was so nourished by the Lord.
What I did not know was going to happen, Jesus already knew. Jesus used
the devotionals I posted online at
http://www.pittsburghstandard.com as an instrument to bring a
student to come to know Him. As a former campus minister, I was glad to
be able to write devotionals such as these to minister to believers and
unbelievers. Just recently last week, a student wrote to me how much
this devotional helped her:
Mark 1:12-13: "How
do you handle T.E.M.P.T.A.T.I.O.N?" (Jan 19,
08, 12:27 p.m.)
In closing, there is a profession that is
so important that every woman who raises a child becomes part of. I am
talking about the profession of motherhood. I want you to think about
your mommy and the life she gave you. A mom can use her profession of
nurturing and raising a child to bring them to Jesus too! This is what
happened to me!
our mommy would read us Bible stories every night before we went to bed.
There was one day I was watching a television program and the host
talked about 'Accepting Jesus into your heart". I had no idea what that
meant and asked my mommy what it meant.
took me aside to my bedroom and explained to me what it meant. My mommy
then asked me if I wanted Jesus Christ in my heart. I told my mommy
excitedly that I wanted Jesus in my heart. My mommy then wrote a prayer
down on a 4*6" cardboard and prayed with me. I repeated the prayer and
gave my life to Jesus Christ. Lord used my mommy to help me come to
Jesus. I had severe
asthma and said to myself if Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and
tomorrow, what Jesus did then, He can even do now which means He can
heal my asthma. After I gave my life to Christ and became His follower, my
asthma was healed too!
know what your relationship with your mother is like but no matter how
it is, your mother made it her profession to give you life and not abort
you. However, your life is going Jesus Christ can change that! I believe
These days the profession of motherhood is
looked down upon by many in the Western culture but it is so noble as
mentioned in Proverbs 31 too. A mom usually is the one that can
influence their children to come to know Christ. That's what our mom did
for all of us.
My mom has always been the best domestic
engineer, making sure everything goes well at home. She raised 4 of us
boys, 2 of us who are hyperactive including me. My hyperactivity could
be because of the wonderful desserts my mom would always make that I
would gobble up! Of course, that gave me a sweet tooth not to mention
all my relatives stuffing me with sweets :) My mom ministered a lot to
my dad too who is in Heaven with Jesus. Praise the Lord for the Lord's
Friend, it does not matter what profession you are in. Whatever your
profession, it can be used for the glory of the Lord. A mom can work and
raise children too with the Lord's help. My mom preferred to stay at
home to take care of all of us! Lord has used my mom to be a counselor to me which I have
used to counsel others.
May the Lord use your
profession for His honor and glory and may you know that He can inspire
you and nurture you daily helping you in whatever area you are in this
New Year of 2008 and forever! Amen!
“Please Remember Our Faithful
Encouraging Savior Sends Inspiring Omnipotent Nurture” (P.R.O.F.E.S.S.I.O.N)/”What
do you do with your profession?”
Friend, opportunities will come as you decide to follow
the Lord in the profession you are in. May you allow Him to work in your life!
Dear Lord Jesus thank you for the professions you have
given us. Lord, I want to thank you that no matter what my major is, you can use
me for your honor and glory to be a ‘mechanic for the souls of men’ , ‘scientist
for the souls of men’, etc regardless of what I have majored in or am majoring
in as I follow you. Thank you Lord, academics can be used for your honor and glory for all
Truth that is out there is your Truth. Lord, when we do encounter things that
are contrary to your Word please do help us. I thank you for using us to be an
instrument so people can be saved into your Kingdom. Thank you for being delighted to use us. Help us to be
available for you always. And most of all help us to be teachable. Thank you for
loving us so much and dying for our sins. Thank you for coming back to life to
save us. We give our lives to you and ask you for your help. I acknowledge you
as my Lord and Personal Savior. Please be my Lord and personal Savior. Come into
my heart and make my heart your home. Live in me Jesus so I can live for you and
serve you the rest of the days of my life. Thank you Jesus for coming in and
being part of my life. Clean me Jesus as I surrender my life to you. It is not
easy for me and I need your help. Whatever your will, please give me the
willingness and strength to rejoice in it. Thank you Jesus you have heard my prayers
and answered me. In Your Name I Pray Jesus! Amen