Steve F. is a great encouragement to me. He works as a pilot for a small charter company out of Pearson. He has co-laboured in the Gospel with me many times over the past three years. I have especially enjoyed his fellowship in the Gospel this summer. Not only am I delighted by his fellowship, I am also honoured to have him as one of my groomsmen at my upcoming wedding! I really encourage you to read this very encouraging post which he wrote. In a heart warming manner, this post challenges us to keep planting and watering:
Evangelism and Joy
I once heard John Piper speak about the prayer of a man who was about to go out and do some evangelism on the streets in Minneapolis. This man prayed that he and those going out with him would have the joy that he so often experiences after getting back from evangelizing before they went out.
In the few times that I’ve been out on the streets this summer with Paul I haven’t always experienced much joy before going out, but I can say that again and again I experienced the joy that is so often accompanied when you return from speaking about Jesus Christ. Paul tells me of days when he’s out spreading the good news when it seems that most of the people he talks to are hard – no one seems to even care about the state of their soul or the righteousness and justice of their Creator. I’ve experienced the same thing at work when I talk to co-workers and it appears they really couldn’t care less. After conversations like this I still have joy in knowing that the Word of God went forth, however, this joy is something that has to be fought for.
It’s great when people actually have some level of interest, especially when they begin to ask questions. But I find that my heart longs for more than just people expressing interest in the gospel – I want to see people responding to it. I want to see fruit. I naturally think that if I don’t see the fruit from the words I spoke, then there won’t be any. That’s simply not the case.
An Encouraging Reminder to Keep Planting and Watering
It was about two weeks ago, when taking my car in for an emissions test, the Lord reminded me of something that I had forgotten. As I was waiting for my car at my friend’s shop, a gentlemen walked in who appeared to be in his late fifties or early sixties (he also had an English accent). I was reading the Bible and I had a desire to somehow move the conversation toward spiritual things. However, I had no idea how to do so, that is, until he said something to the effect of “it’s all in God’s hands”. I thought to myself “perfect.” I mentioned something about going to the same church as my friend who owns the shop. He said, “Oh, so you know Pastor Paul.” I said, “I sure do.” Turns out this man is a confessing Christian.
I forget his name so we’ll call him Craig. I asked Craig how God called him from darkness to light. After about 10 minutes of sharing with me his conversion story and his new found love for Christ, he told me something that brought tears to my eyes. He said that he can remember the day and also the face, so vividly, of the young man that told him and his friends about Jesus Christ at a bus stop one night. He said he was eighteen years old at the time. After listening to this man tell them about Jesus Christ, he remembers that as he and his friends (who were out drinking) were getting onto the bus, the man pleaded with him, the last one getting on the bus, “don’t forget Jesus, don’t forget Jesus.”
Craig said he remembers this so clearly, and he never forgot about Jesus. The man at the bus stop (decades ago) never saw the fruit, but he was faithful in proclaiming the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation. His reward is in heaven. We’re called to plant and water, it is God who brings about the growth in his timing.
“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers.”
1 Corinthians 3:5-9