Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel always, and when necessary use words.” It is critical to live out the gospel, without which my words are empty. Where then is the line between a living demonstration of Christ in my life, and stepping beyond to help make the gospel clear to someone whom the Lord has prepared to receive Him?
We may be so accustomed to sowing seeds and trusting that God will bring another to reap where I have sown, that stepping out to reap is a bit frightening.
The Bible does say that one sows and one reaps, and in the sight of God there is no difference between the two. But Psalm 126:5-6 resounds with promise: “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him” (NIV).
It’s been a long time since I’ve read those verses, but the promise of reaping is to the sower also.. Isaiah 55:11 says that the Word of God will not return empty, but it will produce fruit and accomplish his purpose.
The Lord gives an invitation to salvation in Isaiah 55:1-7, as he calls those who are thirsty to come, and receive mercy.
The key question for me is how much time do I spend weeping in prayer, while also carrying the precious seed of the gospel to those who don’t know Christ?
Are you taking for granted that someone who lives with you, has grown up with you, has worked with you for many years, has heard the gospel, knows how to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour?
I am reminded of the words of Jesus when He told his disciples to “wake up and look around” because the harvest was ready for reaping (see John 4:35). Am I ready and willing to share and to reap?
My prayer to the Lord is that He will work in my heart so I will get out of the way, set my agenda aside, and allow him to love people through me. I pray I will weep for them, while carrying the precious seed of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, who not only died, but rose from the grave, all to pay the penalty for our sin and purchase a place in heaven for us.
Why did He do it? He did it to rescue relationship. Is that your heart too? Do you want others to know Christ as you know Him? What greater joy can there be?
May we come to know the meaning of “that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19, NASB).
What are we waiting for? A grandmother had been attending church for 20 years, watching how her grandchildren grew up in Sunday School. She was like a fixture in Sunday School. After finding out that she had been attending services in English whilst she understood little of it, I asked her “Grandma, do you know Jesus?” Here response was “Yes, I have heard of Jesus, of Jesus’ love, in the Sunday School lessons, I am not a Christian but I am waiting. My mother was a Christian and my brother is too. But it is not time yet.” I asked her what she was waiting for. She could not tell me till one day the Spirit inspired me to ask her children to explain to her the way of salvation. They told me she knows the way but she was waiting. Everyone was waiting for when she is ready. When would she be ready? Everyone assumed she was not ready and no one asked if she wanted to accept Jesus. I felt led to ask her if she wanted to accept Jesus as her Saviour and she said “Yes” and a member who could speak her dialect led her to accept the Lord.
Another time, I discovered that a lady had been attending church faithfully for 15 years and was even reflected as a member. When I asked if she wanted to renew her membership she said, I have not been baptised. How can I be a member in this church? Everyone had assumed she had accepted the Lord as she was active in participation and attendance to the house of God. When I asked what she was waiting for. There was a silence and they she said “Waiting to be asked.”
One day six weeks after his baptism, I asked a medical student, “why don’t you attend the Bible study? why don’t you attend one of the cell Bible study groups?” His answer was “I am waiting for the invitation”.
Have we missed out in our service to the Lord by focussing on programs and wondering why they are not being well attended? Perhaps people have not been personally asked to participate. Sometimes a generic announcement is not enough, we have to be personal to be effective. So let us spend time to reap the harvest individually. Do not forget the last step of invitation and commitment.
Do not assume that your children who have attended Sunday School all their lives, have given their hearts to the Lord. It is too important a decision to assume that our children have made their decision for Christ. Be very sure.. ask! and lead them to commitment to the Lord.
May the Lord help us to complete the task He has laid upon our hearts and may we have wisdom and discernment to spy the opportunities to reap for Him.
Have we shared the gospel and not asked?
Will you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?
When was the last time I allowed the Lord to use me to give such an invitation to someone?