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Catch And Release!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Matthew 28:19-20

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

When I was a boy (some of you may be amazed that I can recall that far back) I was struck dumb by a man who had landed a huge sturgeon. He had this monster in the back of his pick-up truck. The nose of the fish is against the back of the cab and the tail was sticking up above the tailgate. No fish story was necessary for this man.

Across the years I encountered fishermen who brought their catches home in order to "show off their catch". I guess I was well into my thirties before I met a man who loved to "catch and release" very large trout. He never brought them home, but enjoyed the thrill of releasing them back into the stream.

While stationed in Newfoundland, I did a considerable amount of fishing. I knew that I would not be eating the fish I caught, so I entered the thrilling world of "catch and release". It actually gave me much more pleasure than to destroy these creatures by taking them back to show them off.

A few days ago a dear friend forwarded a series of pictures of a unique catch and release experience. A man was fishing about a mile and one half off-shore when he noticed something swimming in the water. Upon closer inspection he discovered that it was a deer.

He and his fishing partners lifted the frightened animal out of the water and into the boat. The exhausted doe seemed to be grateful that she was saved from certain drowning. With her feet tied, she lay quietly on the deck leaning against her savior, who took her back to shore and released her. That gives a whole new meaning to "catch and release".

In today's Scripture we read a familiar portion of the Great Commission that Jesus left for His disciples. What truth can we gain from these words of Jesus? First of all we need to understand that this is a mandate---marching orders from our Great Commander and Chief. We are to go and do what He says!

The second truth that I see here is that it is only for believers. It is based upon something that we have "caught". I do not mean to cheapen the good news of the gospel. When we confess our sins and open our hearts to the Lord Jesus, He has promised that He will come in and make His home in our heart.

That is the most electrifying news we can ever imagine. We have---in effect---caught the thrill and excitement of an eternity with God. We are told that we are now to release this wonderful message of the new birth to family, friends and those who the Lord brings across our path. Are you ready? Release the good news and be ready to spend time making disciples with those who need to grow in the Lord.

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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