Today, while cleaning out an old jewelry box, I found a special ring that I thought I had lost. The ring was hidden in a secret compartment of my jewelry box, because it was very special to me. Do you ever hide something so well you hide it from yourself? I am a pro at this.
From lack of polishing, the sterling silver pinky ring was badly tarnished. I put the pinky ring with the fish symbol on today to wear it again. I just took a picture for you to see my special ring. Back when I was twenty years old, I probably did not understand why the ring turned dark. A little polish applied to the ring and it shines.
Why is this ring so special to me? On April 6, 1975, a 21 year old girl, named Susan Wang led me to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ while I was in college. When I told Susie I trusted Jesus to save me, Susie started jumping up and down with excitement. I think Susie was more excited than I was at the time. Priceless!
Soon after my decision to trust Jesus as my Saviour, Susie gave me a pinky ring with an attached fish, a Christian symbol. At the time when Susie gave me the ring, I had no idea what the fish symbol meant.
I just showed my husband my lost treasure that I just found. I told him it is ironic that in my Quiet Time this morning I had read about fish in the Bible.
First I read about fish in Luke 5: 1-11. The crowds were pressing in wanting to hear Jesus. Jesus chose an unattractive smelly fishing boat. As soon as Jesus stepped into that boat, it became a Gospel Boat.
Then, Jesus went fishing and had a conversation with Peter. He told Peter to let down the net to catch many fish. Peter fished for a living and he knew his trade. Peter was exhausted and told Jesus they had worked hard fishing all night and had not caught one fish, but he obeyed Jesus and let down the net.
All of a sudden there were so many fish that the net broke and the fish filled up two boats to the point of sinking. This reminds me of how little I accomplish without the Lord.The secret to success is doing it with Jesus.
Even when the Lord leads, problems happen as evident when the net broke and the boats started sinking. But, we are on the winning side. Peter then realized his sinfulness as He also realized he was in the presence of the One who was Holy. When you and I get into God’s presence to read His Word, are we aware we are in the presence of The Holy One and our need to confess and turn from sin unto Jesus?
In verses 10 and 11 Jesus said unto Peter, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”
“Catch men?” Jesus called Peter to be a fisher of men, a witness to others telling them, “Jesus is the only way to heaven.” We are commissioned to do the same. The last words Jesus told us before he ascended into heaven were to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Matthew 4:19,20 “And he (Jesus) saith unto them (Peter, Andrew), Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”
I had also prayed this morning that I would be a better “fisher of men,” a better witness. I started thinking how recently, I have been getting lax about passing out Gospel Tracts. Before, when I would venture out, I would always make sure I had several tracts with me.
Yesterday, I did not have any tracts in my purse, and I wished I did when I talked to people. Has that ever happened to you? This morning, I loaded my purses up with Gospel Tracts. If I take a black, brown or beige purse out, I am ready to witness, to be a “fisher of people.” Every time you and I give a Gospel Tract to others, we are fishing. We are obeying the Lord to “go”. When we share a Gospel Tract, these people have the opportunity to come face to face with Jesus. It is then up to God to do the rest. Where would I be today if Susie had not given me the Four Spiritual Laws tract?
Susie gave me this pinky ring, because she knew the symbolism represented with the fish. The Greek word for fish is “ichthys.” Ichthys consists of five letters from the Greek alphabet: I-ch-th-y-s. When these five letters are used as initials for five words, it becomes: Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter. This is an acrostic for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Saviour.”
In the years following the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, the Christian church grew rapidly. Christians soon found themselves in danger of being persecuted. Christians were often put to death for practicing their faith, so they worshiped in secret places. Because it became dangerous for first century believers to be known as a Christian, it is believed that the fish symbol was a way for Christians to identify other persecuted Christians.
Even though Christians are not persecuted to the point of death in the USA today, we still see the Christian fish symbol around. I like seeing the fish symbol on cars and businesses. If I see a car with a fish symbol, I look inside to see the Christians. I feel good knowing there are other Christians around and they are identifying themselves.
The word, Christian was first used in the Bible in Acts and meant “follower of Christ.” What is the Bible way to identify ourselves to a lost and dying world? They will know we are Christians by our love. (John 13:35)
Road rage is not loving others. I cannot even comprehend road rage. I don’t understand why some Christians are so aggressive and worldly instead of being kind to others on the road. If we are rude, we will lose.
Even though I have never been an aggressive driver on the road, and I have no problem following the speed limit, I do get a little agitated at something I see on cars on occasion. There is a spoof symbol which spins off the Christian fish symbol. It is an anti-God symbol attacking our Bible belief in creationism. Can you guess what symbol it is?
The big ugly Darwin fish with legs and it is eating the little Christian fish. I think, “Get your own symbol, people.” Maybe, I get agitated because I feel like Christians in the USA are being persecuted for their belief in the Bible by having their freedoms stripped away one by one. Christians are being persecuted in the USA in that their good they teach from God’s Word is being considered bad by the world and as hate crimes.
When I see this ugly Darwin fish symbol gobbling up the Christian fish on a car, I also look into the car to see the driver and passengers. After an initial feeling of aggravation, the thought comes, “Expect sinners to act like sinners.” Instead of getting mad at them, I pray for the passengers of that car. The Bible says in Luke 6:27 to bless them that curse you and pray for them. I picture where they will spend eternity if they don’t trust Jesus, and then I feel mercy towards them. It is so sad for them if they do not trust Jesus!
When we feel like our Christian freedoms are being stripped away, we know who is behind it; the devil. We don’t fight the puppets, but we fight the puppeteer by doing our part. The good thing is that Christians have the Truth, and we know the end of the story. We are on the Winning Side.
Just as tarnish hides the shine of a ring, Jesus will not shine through us if we do not love others. A good way for me to remember how to treat others is the Golden Rule of the Bible. Matthew 7:12 is familiar to us all. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I would much rather people be kind to me than rude. How about you? If I give kindness, I will usually receive kindness. Give, and it will be given to you is another Bible truth. Let us give people the greatest gift they will ever have by getting the Good News out to those we meet. First, let us show them love by being friendly and kind….then pass them a Gospel tract. Let’s go fishing!
Lord, let me be aware today that others are dying and going to hell. Bring them across my path, so I may boldly share the Good News with them today. Thank You for sending someone to me to tell me how I could be 100% sure I was going to heaven. May I do the same with others. In the precious Name of Jesus Christ, Amen!