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home : religion : religion July 23, 2019

6/1/2019 12:11:00 AM
Did It Leave A Mark?

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC

I have always wondered how brothers or sisters can have the same mother and father and be complete opposites from each other. My older brother is the easiest going, soft spoken person you would ever want to meet. I’m not. However, we did share one hobby growing up that we both enjoyed: trout fishing!

For the first time in a long time, I hope to be out on the creek banks sometime soon. Anyway, back to my youth! Our mother would let us fish the creeks in Altapass as long as we stayed together in case one of us (me) got into trouble. You probably already know this but trout fishin’ is an art that encompasses patience, endurance, stamina, and the skill of knowing whether to fish with live bait such as worms, crickets, or artificial bait like a spinner or a fly. We would take different types of bait to see which the fish would be interested in for lunch or supper.

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My older brother had all of these characteristics, but I was lacking in all of them. I always had the best of intentions when I started fishin’ but I would get easily discouraged if the trout were not hungry. I thought it was very inconsiderate of the fish not to bite on the end of my line after I had gone to the trouble of fixing it for them. Did trout have a menu they selected from on any given day? What made matters worse was when I could see the trout in the creek and they would not take a bite of what I had prepared for them. I would become furious.

When all the conventional ways of trout fishin’ didn’t work, I would try something new. I may not have had the patience of Job but I did possess the creativity of Leonard DaVinci. I had watched on television once where people jabbed at the fish with poles and sticks. I had no success with this method because the trout were just too fast and I would have to chase my stick downstream if I threw it at a bunch of trout.

So, I turned to rock throwing. If the fish didn’t bite on the end of my line maybe they were hungry for some granite, or quartz with a dash of fool’s gold! This action would make my brother mad and he would scold me and tell me that I was scaring the fish and they would go up stream and tell the other trout. What? My brother knew that fish talked to each other? No wonder he was an excellent fisherman.

As we walked to the next fishin’ hole I would begin to wonder what the fish were saying about me. “Red alert, red alert (bubble, bubble, bubble) some kid just hit me upside the head with a rock (bubble, bubble, bubble) and he is coming this way. Can someone look and see if the rock left a mark? (bubble, bubble, bubble).”

I don’t believe that God ever intended for man to fish with a rock. A hook or a net most definitely, a stick maybe, but not a rock. You can quote me on this: a man that is fishing with a rock is not really interested in catching fish.

Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (NAS)

If you are a Christian, how do you make a disciple out of an unbeliever? Do you live your life in such a way that brings people to Christ, or do you try to make disciples by throwing rocks at them and calling them names? Trust me, the person who wants to condemn others and throw rocks at people who will not do as they wish are not interested in making disciples. You can quote me on this as well.

Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!

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