TEXT: MATTHEW 4:19; 1CORINTHIANS 11:1 1PETER 5:4
"And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
"And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of
glory that fadeth not away."
He who walks after Jesus, walk surely and assuredly! A man who look up to Christ for guidance and example, would never stumble: he would perpetually remain in the good book of God and all good men. It is an act of wisdom and self-preservation when a man turns away from anybody that is not himself following Christ's footsteps: it is eternally dangerous to take after a man who is not taking after Jesus!
Our Lord, during His earthly ministry, was a pastor, discipler, shepherd and guide to His followers or disciples. Peter would refer to Him as the chief shepherd, meaning He is the head shepherd from whom every other shepherd Must take cue.
To, therefore, ascertain whether a pastor is worth following, we need to only ask if such a pastor is following the chief shepherd. Is he employing His method and policies? Does he have the same forcus with the Head shepherd? What then is the dream and forcus of the chief shepherd? What was His intention for those who where privileged to be under His direct shepherdhood? What did He plan to make out of their lives?
He planned to make them fishers of men! Their followership would ultimately culminate in them possessing the ability to catch me as fish is caught by a fisher man, using either a hook or a net. "Follow me," He thundered, "and I will make you fishers of men!" This is His agender for them. So, right from the first day they met and accepted to follow Him, their parts and destiny were clearly and unambiguously defined to to them.
If they followed well and enough, they should be able to catch men! This they know and nothing else was promised them: neither gold nor silver; comfort nor pleasure were promised to them. They shall be turned into human hunter and fishers. They failed if they become something else, no matter how glorious such thing is. Their thermometer for measuring thier success is not acquisition of certificates and material goods: it is simply this: ability to catch men for Christ.
Success is simply when a man becomes what God wants him to be! For a man's life does not consists in the abundance of his possession. Put differently, real life and real living are not related to how rich we are. Yes, life is not measured by [does not consist of] how much one owns. By what then is life measure? It is measured by the extent of our conformity to the original will of God for our lives.
We should make sure we are doing what God wants us to do. Jesus is the most successful man on the surface of the earth, hear how he summarised His success story: "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." May God give us timely understanding! Amen! Let us, therefore, inquire from God what He would have us do then do them speedily!
Knowing what God would have us be and do, would make us pastor ourselves toward such personality and status. If we are becoming anything short of fishers of men, then something is wrong. We are supposed to be missionaries any where we find ourselves. To be a missionary does not necessary mean we should relocate to the wilderness or the interior places. Funny enough, many who have done that in the name of mission are useless to the Lord because of their life styles there! A man can be in the urban area and be very effective and also looked upon as a missionary. Whatever God gives us, is to make us better fishers of men.
Our jobs, careers, money, wealth, contacts and connections are meant to strengthen our hooks and net for the fishing of men. See to it that you are driving your whole life toward this assignment in life. Because of the present hardship in the world, many have left this pursuit and have turned their whole energy to mitigating life's hardship. The focus of many is how to make life more tolerant for them! To be continued.
Emeka Joe Uzosike