If you know me at all it comes as no surprise that one of my favorite things in life is Bass fishing! That's right....I love chasing those Sneaky Ole' Florida Bass! I have to admit that the huge "wall hanger" has still eluded me, but I love going after all of the others anyway. A few eating size Bass end up in Corinne's frying pan and that is always a very special treat!
I consider myself a pretty good fisherman. I do lots of study, like reading some articles on Bass fishing in some magazines and on-line. I'm constantly learning. Like I learned years ago that when a lilly pad moves in a little bit of a funny way there is usually something under that pad that might like my lure. I live on a 22 mile chain of lakes and I've not even come close to fishing it all. Yet, I do know the parts I do fish, like what time of the year the fish seem to be there, etc. I also learn about what lures to use and when to use them. I seem to be getting this all down pretty good.
However, no matter how much knowledge I have, I've found that there is one very special key to successful Bass fishing and that is my attitude! I'm not alone on this thinking either. In this month's Bassmaster Magazine an Elite Series pro fisherman, Gerald Swindle made the following statement, "The biggest tool in fishing is the angler's mind. Remaining positive at all times most definitely helps fill the livewell." He went on to say, "It's easy to focus on something bad that's happening during the day. So my resolution is to remain positive in the rest of my life and with fishing." I'd say that Gerald is reflecting my feelings exactly!
Someone I know is in sales. This person is outselling just about everyone in their organization. The person I know is strongly coming into the revelations of New Covenant living. This person often glows with the Glory of God in their life and I'm certain that Glory is passed off to the customers that come their way. I'm watching the same thing going on within our church (New Covenant Grace Fellowship of Citrus County, FL). I really mean it when I say that one of our goals as a local church is to make certain people leave our meetings feeling better about themselves than when they came. Now I know that flies in the face of the Religious Preachers who might say that in order to preach the Gospel you have to step on toes. But who says that is correct? Is that God's love being manifested?
I constantly read on Facebook posts that reflect God's judgment. "Watch out you Sinners....repent or the sky will fall in on you," seems to be the judgmental message of so many. Yet this is not the true Gospel, Good News of Jesus Christ!
I am finding that understanding God's provision for me within His wonderful New Covenant is helping me in every aspect of my life, as a husband, father, grandfather, pastor, church member and yes, even in Bass fishing!
Allow me to close this post with the key to it all, Paul's words to the Roman Church in Romans 6: 11, (NLT) "So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus." These are powerful, life changing words! Religion and religious churches thrive (or don't thrive) on keeping their people "sin conscious." That is not the true message of Christ! We are thriving in our total consciousness of Christ and what a difference that makes!
I know what I'm about to say is not going to make too many pastors happy with me, but I'm going to say it anyway...If you are attending a church where the message is mixed with law and grace, where you are being taught to work harder in pleasing God, and other such things, my question is....Why are you attending there? Why are you subjecting yourself to that? Why would you subject your children to that? Allow me to explain....Years ago, Corinne was looking over some Sunday School material we were purchasing for our youth. This material was published by a very large, well known Christian supply company. Here is what she discovered in one of the workbooks, "You children must behave your patents and teachers all the time or else you will loose God's love for you!" That is sick! It certainly is not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ which firmly states, "God will always love you, no matter what you do!"
I trust that this year you can find a church, ministry where New Covenant Grace is the center. If you can't then don't go just any were just because you feel like you have to attend a church someplace on Sunday mornings. Listen... you are better off staying home than exposing yourself and your family to the teachings of Religion! Ouch! You may not like what I just wrote, but I'm right, 100% right and I completely stand by my words here!
So...Glory to God! Jesus did it all! And that includes the ability for me to catch my trophy, wall hanging, huge, Florida Largemouth Bass! For I live in the fullness of the New Covenant and I have dominion over the fish in the sea! I have dominion over the bad sharks that try to ruin my life. After all, I am holy and perfect and I am the "righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!"
Grace and peace!