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Catfish in your Tank?

February 21st, 2011 Posted in sermons

Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.  1 John 3:13

I heard a story about some fish suppliers who were having problems shipping codfish from the East Coast. By the time the fish reached the West Coast, they were spoiled. They froze them, but by the time the fish arrived, they were mushy. So the seafood company decided to send them alive…but the fish arrived dead. On their third try, they once more shipped the fish alive, but with one difference. They included a catfish in each tank. The catfish, you see, is the natural enemy of the codfish. By the time the codfish arrived, they were alive and well, because they had spent their trip fleeing the catfish.

Persecution

Could it be that God, in His wisdom, has put a catfish in your tank to keep you alive and well spiritually? Maybe there’s a person at work who always has hardball questions for you every Monday morning regarding spiritual things. Maybe it’s that neighbor who constantly gives you a hard time about your faith in Jesus. Maybe it’s a spouse or family member who doesn’t believe. And you begin to wonder, “Why is this happening to me?”

God allows it.

It’s just that catfish in your life…keeping you spiritually alert and on your toes. It’s God’s provision to protect you from a weak, mushy faith.

Shortly before He went to the cross, Jesus told the disciples, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19).

God will allow persecution in the life of the believer. If you’re experiencing persecution—whether subtle or out front and in the open—here are two things to remember: First, persecution confirms that you are a child of God. Be glad in that. And second, persecution causes you to cling closer to Jesus.

When you endure persecution for your faith, remember that this world is not your home.

And as far as I know, there are no catfish in heaven.

3 Responses to “Catfish in your Tank?”

  1. Ken Miller says:

    Awesome message and perfect timing as our early morning Bible Study Group is looking to become “Disciples of Men” to lead them to Christ… the Holy Spirit is ever present and this message is a perfect analogy.

    Thanks for sharing this message Greg.

  2. Ssamula Rodgers Ivan says:

    Indeed ‘cat fish in your tank’. That is the exact life we live. Many people, at work, home, all over the place are looking out to see whether we actually live a life like that of Jesus or we Just preach it and in the end they shape us. It helps us stay focused on Jesus as to avoid criticisms.

    Thanks Greg for that message

  3. Susan Henley says:

    Dear Greg:

    I just recently heard of Christopher’s passing in 2008. I have been living in New Mexico for the past 12 years and have been out of touch but I just want to say how truly sorry I am to hear of this news. I used to be in the ministry at Harvest where I taught sunday school and Topher was one of my students. He was so smart, Greg. He knew so much about the bible, it astounded me and actually I would ask the class questions about what they were learning and he would have the answers every time, it was so refreshing. He is so missed and will be remembered for years to come. I feel very blessed to have known him and to have been a part of his young life and thank you for doing such a great job in raising him and Jonathon, they are both such handsome young men and so much like you and Cathe, I miss you all very much and Harvest especially. I was born again at Harvest in 1981 and attended until 1997, I was also in the counseling ministry for a while. Now I am attending Calvary Chapel of the Rio Grande Valley under Ray Jaramillo.

    God Bless you

    Susan Henley

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