Is Your Bait in the Water? – Matthew 7:21-23

Can’t catch fish without bait

I have made several day trips down to the Florida Keys, Marathon area specifically to go fishing. I still remember the time I went as a child with my family. I also remember the time  I went as an adult.  No matter what, I always had fun. I like to fish. One thing I learned – you can’t catch fish without bait. At least I can’t.


I can still remember the time I traveled down with friends in my early twenties. We made our way down to the Keys for a weekend trip of fun, lobster diving, and fishing.

Don’t like seafood

I must be honest and tell you that I do not eat seafood, nor am I one to even touch live seafood. To me, both are disgusting. Eating seafood is gross, but catching fish is fun, and I enjoy fishing and the thrill of fish on!

I will fish for several hours, but never actually touch a live fish. If the bait isn’t dead when it goes on the hook, I have a someone bait my hook. If I catch a fish, I have someone else take it off, and I gladly give it away. Fish never goes home with me.

Bridge fishing

I remember the trip with my friends down to the Keys so well. On this trip, we decided to do some night fishing off the bridge. It was a massive bridge with a catwalk. We loaded up all the standard gear, set up our chairs and bait buckets and dropped lines into the water. If you have ever fished from a bridge or catwalk before, then you know your bait has a long way to go down to the sea. It seems even longer when you are fishing in the dark.

There was about an hour, where I wasn’t getting any bites. I mean nothing was even remotely close to biting my bait. I didn’t understand what was happening. Everyone else was getting nibbles, some also pulling fish up, but my line was a real dud! I was using the same bait as everyone else, but for some reason, I was getting no action. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

What’s the deal?

I finally got smart and shined a flashlight down below, illuminating the water around my line. To my great disappointment and surprise, my bait wasn’t even in the water. It was swaying in the night breeze about ten feet above the surface of the water. All this time, I thought my bait was in the deep blue sea. It wasn’t even close. The fish couldn’t see it swinging, because none of them jumped to grab their night time snack.

We all got a good laugh

It can be the same way with our faith. We can think we have all the right equipment. We can think we are doing all the right things, saying all the right stuff, but if our hearts aren’t into it, then we’re never really going deep. We’re never actually building a relationship with Jesus Christ. No, we’re fishing with our bait above the water.

Fish out of water

I keep revisiting the passages in the Bible where Jesus is teaching, and He says in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 7:22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ 7:23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!”


We must have our bait in the water. We cannot pretend we’re fishing. Our bait has to be in the water.

What’s the difference between catching fish and not catching fish? It’s the bait. Is it in the water or isn’t it?

What’s the difference between knowing Jesus and having a personal relationship with Him? It’s the investment.

What waters are you fishing in today?

What bait are you using?

Are you willing to put your bait in the water?

Would you be willing to go deeper with Jesus?

Have you considered being a fisher of men as Jesus described?

Let’s pray

Father, thank you for being our God. Thank you for Jesus’ message to the people about pretending. Lord, it is so simple, yet it can be so difficult to follow, so hard to live out for some folks. Help people get their “bait in the right waters.” Give people the desire to fish and share your words. In Jesus’ name, I pray all these things, Amen.

In His Service,
Jeanette Duby, The Teaching Lady

Smartphones – Kids

Bridge to Grace

My cheesy rap song




Submit a Comment