I Just Wanted To Go Fishing

Published on May 31st, 2017 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
I Just Wanted To Go Fishing

I Just Wanted To Go Fishing Did you know that it is easier to donate a left kidney than it is to register a tiny, plastic bass boat in NJ? I am really not sure of that statement because I have not had the pleasure of donating my kidney yet but I can’t imagine it would be any harder. I made the mistake of purchasing a small 9 foot plastic bass boat with an electric motor from a nice man in Kutztown, Pa. He was happy and I was happy. I picked the boat up, slid it into my truck and sped off down the turnpike toward many years of blissful fishing on the little local lakes around my house. Somewhere on my blissful ride home a wicked thought popped into my mind. I wonder if I have to register this boat? Ignorance is bliss. I now realize that I should have gotten his original bill of sale from 14 years ago when he purchased the boat, a notarized bill of sale when I purchased the boat, his hull numbers, his mother’s birth certificate, and his son’s DNA. I am also learning that in order to drive this awesome speed boat, top speed 3 MPH, I may have to take a boater safety course on line and in person. I am just starting the process and am constantly reminding myself that I am new person in Jesus and that the nice folks who hate answering your questions are just trying not to do their jobs. I can’t wait until I am waiting in line with all of the other yachts to get my boat inspected.

While journeying down this blessed highway I began to do my study for our Wednesday Evening Bible study on Titus. I was studying Titus 1:10-16. It is an interesting little section of Scripture and I would encourage you to read it. I was grateful that it was not on patience and that Paul used some great descriptions of false teachers that were totally not politically correct. I am trying my hardest to equate motor vehicle folks with false teachers so I can use some of his terms but I think I may be crossing some exegetical lines. What I did appreciate is that Paul reminds Timothy that those false teachers who want to stress legalism are doing great harm. He describes them as “evil beasts and lazy gluttons”. He borrows this from a Crete philosopher but his description is accurate. They are not like true believers who are called sheep and desire to be led by their shepherd. They want to be independent and on their own. They are also lazy because they want to live by a few rules that they have chosen and ignore and indulge in things they enjoy. They have, by their rules, made a mess of life and have taken that which God meant for us to enjoy and bring him glory and have made it impure and evil. Excessive rules can do that. We may think that we are helping or protecting but in reality we are trying to control things in our lives that God wants us to give to him.

I love what one author shared. Legalism tells us we should not. The gospel shouts to us that we need not. God is big enough to satisfy so we need not look elsewhere to get our needs met. God is big enough to bring us great joy and so we need not look for joy in temporary pleasures. When we are satisfied with God then we are free to enjoy all that he has created for our pleasure and joy and in doing so we bring him great glory.

I am not completely foolish. I wouldn’t mind getting some instruction as to how to be safe on the water. I understand that there needs to be rules and registrations. But when we use rules to simply control and change people’s behavior it often results in more harm than good. It often incites to a greater desire to disobey than it helps to tame wild hearts. It often takes what you are trying to protect and makes it unpleasant. I am not sure what the answer is for a government trying to tame those who are wild and unsafe on the water. But I do know that Paul was vehemently against those who tried to reduce Christianity to a list of rule and regulations. It does not produce righteousness and it does not change hearts. This is a good lesson for all of us but especially parents. Discipline and raise your children in the gospel freedom and not in the jaws of legalism. One sets us free to need not while the other incites as it shouts should not.

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