Saturday, May 24, 2014

God's Hyper Attractive Followers

MY TIE Value: Trust in the Lord and Do Good (Psalm 37:3a)

While I had many family members who could catch a good fish, my grandma was the only true fishing champion.  What I remember most about fishing with grandma was her “hyper attractive” worms. Whether the worms were of the small earth worm or the large night crawler varieties, they seemed to have super natural abilities to squirm, hop, and twist more than any other fishing worms I have ever seen.  
As I would hold these active worms in my hand, I would imagine magnificent worm stories. One is the classic cartoon where the worm forcibly agrees to go on the hook after have a gun pointed at it. Another was a Worm Olympics where these worms would set world records in such events as the high jump, 100 inch squirm, and shot-put.  And my most common imaginative thoughts were that the bouncy, squirmy worm was teasing the fish to get them to eat the hook while the worm dodged being eaten by the fish.

Then at some point in my elementary years, I learned the secret to grandma’s worms. She mixed coffee grounds into the dirt. These worms were on PEDs (Performance Enhanced Dirt)!

MY TIE Reflection

The Bible has its share of fishing stories. One of the famous stories was about a prophet named Jonah who became the bait. That is not the direction I want to go for this week. Rather, I want to focus on the initial calling of Jesus’s first disciples where He stated, “Come follow me. And I will make you Fishers of Men.” In keeping in the My TIE theme of Psalms 37:3-8, I see a parallel with the words in verse 3, “Trust in the Lord AND do good.” Or as my Bible verse mash up would state, “Trust in the Lord as we follow Jesus AND He will ATTRACT people to Him through His good works that are ATTRACTIVE in our lives.” 

What Kind of Interesting Fish do Hyper Attractive Followers of Christ Attract?
(Matthew 4:23-25)

1. Sick Fish
As news about Jesus spread, the sick people came to Jesus. He responded to them by “Healing them all” (v.24). It did not matter how the people received their brokenness. It only mattered that they came to Jesus for their the healing that only Jesus can give. Just like in Jesus’ day, the broken are still attracted to Jesus.  We are all called to bring relief to the broken so they can come near to God.

2. Dangerous Fish
Included with the sick people where those who were suffering under the tyranny of demons. These evil beings are the foot soldiers of Satan’s army (v.24). They had taken possession of people’s bodies. No doubt the demons were making the possessed people very scary people that could intimidate the populace.

There were also other dangerous fish who sought to destroy the mission of Jesus. One was the religious leaders who were at odds with Jesus. They were trying to preserve their own system and culture that they had developed outside of God’s Holy calling upon their nation. And another dangerous fish was included within the 12 disciples. This person was Judas who would become the famous betrayer of Jesus.

3. Curious Fish
 The final fish that active followers of Jesus will attract are the curious fish. In the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible, the word “amazed” is used at least 30 times to describe people’s response to either the Jesus’ works or His teachings. The crowds were amazed about Jesus’ revelation that God’s Kingdom confronted the sins of heart like anger, adultery and revenge is subject to God’s judgement along with their outward sins. Jesus also revealed that in God’s Kingdom that one who is near God’s heart will respond to their persecutors by love, prayer and good or kind works.

These revelations are counter intuitive to the way we process why people are attracted to Jesus. Yet as the story of the Gospel unfolds, Jesus allowed room for all people to discover who He is as the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Whether one was in the crowd of people, the religious, or the disciples; the Gospels allowed each group the opportunity to discover WHO Jesus is.

Becoming “Hyper Attractive” Christians

The ultimate goal for the fish (people) that are attracted to Jesus is to become a “Hyper Attractive” Followers of Jesus who are given a second chance at life. Fish are normally caught for the purposes of consumption for food or entertainment. However, the people who are caught into His nets find themselves moving to life saved from certain destruction. God desires to shape His children in such a way that they can discover their abilities, spiritual gift and passions in such a way that they can be “Hyper Attractive” as a display of God’s glory in places where God remains unknown or misunderstood.

How Can We Be Hyper Attractive in Attracting People to God?

-          For the Broken people, we can bring relief to their suffering AND walk with them on their way in being reconciled to God (1 Cor. 5:18-20).

-          For the  Dangerous People, we can trust that God’s full armor will neutralize their attacks and advance His Kingdom despite their destructive efforts (Eph 6:12-13).

-          For the Curious People, we can create environments where people ask questions about topics or why we choose God’s way for life in such a way that they can discover the power of the Risen Lord (Acts 28:21-22).

We all can better trust that God will bring out His good works to attract the broken, dangerous, and curious through His “Hyper Attractive” children.

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