Launching Out Into The Deep
Updated: May 25, 2020
By bro Alvin Lin Today is a special occasion for all of us because it marks a fresh chapter in our lives as we move out from Lim Ah Pin church of Christ to start a new work in the east to expand the borders of the kingdom of our Lord. I would like to take the opportunity to commend and thank all of the members for joining us in this journey as we work hard together to grow Eastside church of Christ. We are launching into the deep with many uncertainties that require us to walk by faith, not by sight (2Co 5:7). We are leaving the familiar shores of Lim Ah Pin church of Christ and venturing into the deep unknown. As fishers of men (Mar 1:17), we need to move out from shallow waters and move into deep waters if we want to catch more “fishes”. In this article, we shall examine how we can be used by Christ to become effective fishermen to catch men.
Christ uses those who are willing to listen to Him
In Luk 5:1-3, many people came to Jesus to hear the Word of God, so much so that Jesus asked Peter to sail a little from the land. What was Peter doing prior to listening to Jesus from his makeshift pulpit? The parallel account in Mar 1:19 suggests that he was in his ship with his brother Andrew mending their nets, just like what James and John were doing. Not only that, he had worked hard all night and he was most likely sore and tired from the menial labour, yet he still made time to listen to the Word of God!
If we would become effective servants for God, we too have to make time to study His Word amidst all the hustle and bustle of life. We may have rough days like Peter, tired out from work and having other commitments to attend to, but let us take time to study God’s Word to be a workman that need not to be ashamed (2Ti 2:15).
Christ uses those who are willing to trust in Him
In Luk 5:4-7, Jesus told Peter to launch out into the deep and let down his nets for a catch. What was going through Peter’s mind upon receiving these instructions? It was a bad day at work for him, for he had worked hard all night and got nothing to show for his efforts. Any decent fisherman would know that the best time to fish is at night, when fishes come up to feed in the still silence, certainly not with all the commotion and talking. Yet the fisherman trusted the carpenter to teach him to fish and he was amply rewarded for his faith!
If we would become effective servants for God, we too need to trust him amidst the worries in life. We may have reservations like Peter, unsure and hesitant of what lies ahead, but let us trust in our Father as believing children (Mat 7:11).
Christ uses those who are willing to humble themselves before Him
In Luk 5:8-10, Peter fell down at Jesus’ feet when he saw the miracle performed by Jesus. What caused him to humble himself as such an extent, even though this was not his first encounter with Jesus (Joh 1:41- 42)? A fisherman is his own boss, for he decides when to work and rest, but Jesus had shown him that his very livelihood depended on Him. It was like an eureka moment for him when he realised the vast difference in their status. He was a sinful man but Jesus is Master and Lord!
If we would become effective servants for God, we too need to humble ourselves before Him amidst the rich blessings we receive from Him. We may be our own boss like Peter, and we may be rich, famous, or powerful, but let us humble ourselves before our Master as unprofitable servants (Luk 17:10).
Christ uses those who are willing to sacrifice for Him
In Luk 5:11, four fishermen forsook everything they had to follow Jesus. What were they thinking? They were leaving a stable life for a life of persecution (Joh 15:19-20). They were willing to make the sacrifice because they believed in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, who has the words of eternal life (Joh 6:67-68). They counted the cost and knew that following Christ required a complete surrender of their life (Luk 14:33), but the sacrifices pale in comparison to the rewards (Mar 10:28-30)!
If we would become effective servants for God, we too need to make sacrifices amidst our dreams and desires. We may have a stable and contented life like Peter, but let us be willing to bear our cross daily as true followers (Luk 9:23).
Brethren, having launched out into the deep unknown, let us keep swimming to stay a oat, or we will sink. Just as Peter asked for help from other partners to bring in the big haul of fishes (Luk 5:6-7), Eastside church of Christ needs all of us to work together as fishers of men to bring in the catch of souls. God has blessed us much in bringing us thus far in having our first worship this day, let us demonstrate our gratitude in our love, obedience, and service to Him. Let us launch out deeper and deeper to catch more men (Luk 5:10).