There’s three levels to receiving a message from a sermon. There’s listening, receiving and then there is applying. While they may seem like similar things and you can argue that they are all important, however one must understand that it you only take each of these aspects on their own, nothing will change. Nothing happens if you are applying them all individually.
When you listen, you are only hearing. It is when you are physically there but mentally? You’re probably thinking of the upcoming week and all that you plan to do. The next step from there is receiving the message. So you now are able to mentally be in church now and when you hear the message, you take it and understand. You are able to accept the messages of change that is presented to you and know that you must work towards bettering yourself but… that’s it. You acknowledge it but go right back to what you had always done. Now, comes the third step. It is actually applying what the sermon message is into your daily life. It is not only listening, but taking what is being said, knowing that a change must happen if there is one to be made and actually moving towards that change. It is taking the steps towards what you know is to be changed.
So here is my take home message from a sermon that I had heard from Pr Erickson Fabien titled “In the game of life”. he stated that we must all Be Fishers of men, not keepers of the Aquarium. Now most Christians know the story of when Jesus called upon the first disciples to leave everything and to follow him and that he will make them “fishers of men”. Here is the thing though, are you going to stand on the outside and observe or are you actually going to take action?
A message can only go so far. When I heard the urge to be fishers of men and not just keepers of the Aquarium, it forced me to take a small step back and evaluate some things that occur in my life. Am I uplifting His name with what I say, think and do? How am I bringing others to Him?
Being a fisher of men personally means being a light. It is being someone who brings people together so that they are not only closer to each other but also to Christ. It is an urge to leave behind things that you once knew and take up the cross. You are not fishing with simple hooks and bait in which you catch a fish quickly. No, being a fisher of men sometimes means taking the longer route. Sometimes it means creating relationship with people. It can mean sharing your faith or the breaking of bread. Being a fisher of men does not mean you’re out there giving out promises of miracles of God. It can take different forms. Your story is enough. My story is enough. Just like there are different Fishing reels that can catch different fish, different stories can bring different people to God. Just remember that though your story may not bring this person to Him or even the next five, there will be someone who would be uplifted by your message. You will find those in who you were meant to catch.
Let us not be keepers of the Aquarium. Let us not just stand to the side and say “it’s okay that it is not me… someone will do it”. For too long and for too many times, we tell ourselves that we are content with how things are going. That we are happy with how our life is. We tell ourselves that the safest place to be is the seat in the sidelines that we have reserved for the last ten years. Watching is not bad. It is when we do nothing about what we observe. It is when we stay on the side, smile and carry on with our day as though we see nothing wrong with what we have. Let us be doers! Let us not allow life to mold us into someone that we do not want to be. Ignorant.
The challenge to you, as well as myself, is that we be someone who not only observes but also takes the actions when it is needed. Be someone who is daring and bold enough to share their story of Christ to whomever they can get to listen. Be someone of courage who takes up the cross though people may criticize and point their finger at you, mocking you. Take up your truth and own your actions. Be someone is who always directing others to Christ even if they resist.
Be Fishers of men, not keepers of the Aquarium.