There is a technique used by good story tellers where they “start at the end.” What I mean by that is they will divulge the end of the story before it is even told. Only after the entire story has been shared do all the details and connections fall into place. This technique is often used to build confidence in the storyteller since they obviously knew the whole story ahead of time. Another tool is the use of analogies. Sometimes if we are too close to something we won’t see the lessons we should learn. So, it can be best to teach a lesson through an analogy. This helps the audience relate to, and understand the lessons and principles without having an initial bias. Jesus Christ is the greatest storyteller in history. As He ascended to heaven He left us with the “Great Commission.” It was the end of His story while he walked among us here. -Matthew 28:19 NLT “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” As an expert storyteller, Jesus told His Apostles the end right from the beginning. When he began his process of discipling to the apostles he announced the “Great Commission” was coming. -Matthew 4:19 NLT “Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”” Likewise Jesus began explaining how they would achieve their calling using an analogy they would relate to. Jesus told fishermen they were going to become fishers of men (or in the case people). Since Jesus announced from the beginning what He intended to do, it makes sense that a key focus of His teachings was how to do it. The first thing a fisherman needs to attract fish is the right bait or lure. In this case the Lure is living a life filled with the love of Jesus Christ. The ability to go through life filled with joy, patience, courage, love and other noble attributes is very attractive to anyone. As a believer of Christ we have an intimate relationship with Him which fills us with these attributes. We should live them with boldness and confidence. -Matthew 5:14-16 NLT “”You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” It is truly a miracle that we get to live a life filled with the love of Christ, and that living this life already accomplishes the first part of our calling. As if being loved by God wasn’t enough, He tells us that just by living in that love we will draw others to us.
So if just being loved by God, and living like someone who feels that type of love, is the bait… what is the hook? -1 Peter 3:15 NLT “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” When someone asks you how you live the way you do, just answer them with the truth. Let them know how much God loves you, and if they admire such a life they need only accept His love too.
So if it’s that simple why is it so hard for many people? A great many people do not fully understand how relationship with God works; or should I say, they believe it is their works that will create a good relationship with God? So many people feel they have to earn their way into God‘s good graces. The reality is God’s grace is free and it was given so we could have a relationship with him.
I once heard grace defined as: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense We do not earn Gods favor, we get to enjoy it fully because it was bought and paid for by Christ. Far too often people feel they must do good deeds. The real power comes from God‘s love for us filling our needs. When we are filled with God‘s love, we then love the same way he loves us. Out of that overflow comes the good deeds others are trying to mimic. It is the motives, desires, and love of the heart that truly determine whether a deed is good or not. Jesus may have been 100% God, but He was also 100% man. As a man, Jesus explained that even He was in capable of doing anything apart from God. He was able to be connected to God because He was free of sin. -John 5:30 NLT “I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.” We, being creatures of sin are separated from God though. So, how can we possibly connect with God as Jesus did? Through the sacrifice and atonement of Jesus on our behalf. The sin which separated us from God is covered and washed by the life Jesus gave to pay for it’s penalty. So through Jesus we reach God.
The analogy Jesus uses is of a grape vine. In His illustration we are the branches which produce the fruit and Jesus is the vine. This would make God the soil from which everything draws its nourishment and life. -John 15:5 NLT ““Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” If the analogy of a fisherman, fishing for men, is to be played out to the end; then the life we lead is the bait, and our testimony is the hook. Who is the fisherman? Well, that’s God‘s part. All we need do is be loved, and be present. If you are the kind of person who feels you cannot witness in today’s society, then be encouraged. All that is required of you is to love God, be loved by God. When others ask you how you live a life which is so attractive, share the love of God made directly possible to everyone through Jesus Christ. This is literally the main point of The Gospel, and it is our calling.
Share this with another believer to help embolden their walk today.