I once heard about a young fellow, a kindergartner, who loves school! He enjoys the teacher, and he loves the friends he is meeting and making there.
Every day when his mother meets him at the bus stop, he gets off that bus and has a smile from ear to ear. Well, most days, anyway.
One day, though, he got off the bus and there were tears in his eyes. That day, it seems, his teacher had left early and he was put into an art class with the big kids from the older grades.
And when the art teacher left the room for a short time, those older kids began to pick on him verbally and say the mean kinds of things that school kids are all to prone to say.
But when his mom was able to sit down with him and get him to talk about the situation, he did not seem to be angry at all with those older kids. He simply said, “Mommy, I know why those kids are mean. It’s because they don’t have Jesus in their heart.”
And the next day he took action on that insight. He took little bags of candy to those kids with a little Gospel booklet included.
We often say that the wisest things come from the mouths of babes. That is so true in this case.
This youngster has learned a truth that many of us never seem to learn, that being a follower of Jesus will change the way you treat others. But even more impressive than his words was his action following those words. His desire was not only to get them to quit picking on him, but also to help them come to know and to follow Jesus as their Savior too.
In Matthew 4:19, Jesus, in talking with those who would be His disciples, said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
He was challenging those men then, and vicariously us now, to follow Him, so He could teach them how to fish. This young kindergartner was following Jesus and in following Jesus he was fishing for men!
That is a great example for each of us to follow! The Lord wants people who will follow Him, because he wants people who will fish for Him!
Evangelist Larry Moyer tells the story of an airline pilot who prayed that God would use him to reach his co-workers with the gospel of Christ. This seemed to him like a good idea, especially since he was confined with a couple of them in a cockpit for long periods of time, several times every month.
But after a few years and very little progress in this regard, he revised his prayer. He began to pray then that God would allow Him to at least in some way let every one of his pilot co-workers know that Jesus loves them. He simply wanted to communicate the love of Christ in a verbal way to these pilots.
Even this task seemed to be an impossible task, for his company had on its roster over 6,000 pilots! But an incident occurred that changed all of that.
Before all the security precautions brought about by 9-11, this man was sitting in his cockpit preparing for take-off when a man entered the cockpit whom he did not recognize. The man stuck the barrel of a pistol in his ear and told him he wanted to go for a ride. He had already emptied the plane of all the passengers and the flight staff, so it was just this young man and the pilot.
The young man ordered the pilot to get the plane in the air. As they taxied down the runway, the pilot began to inquire about the life of the young man and shared with him that Jesus loved him and how the love of Christ made a difference in his life. The hijacker told him that he needed this same love and asked him to turn around and go back to the terminal where he then turned himself in.
The pilot became an instant hero overnight, for there were seldom instances where pilots could deal with hijackers successfully. His superiors asked him to sit for an interview, which would be taped and used in new and ongoing pilot training for the future.
This pilot in that interview told how his love for Christ motivated him to share that love with the hijacker, and how that made the critical difference.
The interview was completed in one take, and that tape was kept intact, without editing, and was used for training all the pilots for the airline!
His prayer had been answered in a very unusual way! What’s more, that tape was also purchased by five other airlines for use in their training programs for pilots and flight personnel!
Jesus calls us to follow Him, and when we do, He will teach us to fish!
Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the News Journal and a former pastor in the area. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.