And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20
The very phrase, “I want to be the person God wants me to be,” can seem overwhelming and points to a goal that seems impossible to achieve. This is due in part to how we see ourselves. Have you ever noticed that we can be harder on ourselves than anyone else can be? Thankfully, God sees us as a work in progress- not a finished product.
It is said that in the company of sinners, Jesus dreamed of saints. When He called His twelve disciples, He certainly called an imperfect crew. If we read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, this becomes very apparent. The same invitation to follow Him that was given to these imperfect men is the same invitation that is given to us. Let us look at that call.
Hear Jesus say, “Follow me.” This is an open invitation to know Him personally. He has extended the invitation; all we need is the desire to accept it. The Apostle Paul expressed this desire clearly: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10). Simply, we must be willing to do whatever it takes to really know and follow Him.
Now hear Jesus say, “I will make you fishers of men.” Philippians 1:6 says: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” He is able to finish what He starts. He knows we are imperfect. Therefore He works in our lives and shapes our character as we follow Him. Then, as time passes, He begins to use us to influence others to follow Him.
It seems that the Lord has more confidence in us than we have in ourselves, doesn’t it? Knowing this, we need to be encouraged. Yes, we are imperfect. However, He is always mindful of what we can be. That is even more reason to answer the call to follow Him.
Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.
Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter — Breanna.
Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.