October 28, 2010
Samantha Reed, P31 Executive Assistant
"I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth."
1 Corinthians 3:6 (NASB)
Every story has a beginning, middle and end. The same is true for the story of our life. Our education starts in kindergarten, goes through elementary and middle schools and ends in high school or college. A romantic relationship begins with friendship, passes into dating and culminates in marriage. Meals start with appetizers, lead to a main entrée and finish with dessert.
How about our salvation story? The middle of every believer's salvation story is a relationship with God, and the end is eternity with Him. What about the beginning? That's different for everyone. Maybe a salvation-seed is planted while attending church with a neighbor. Perhaps a grandma's prayers are rays of sunshine on a cold heart. Hard, bitter soil may soften through the kindness of a women making room on the pew. Or roots sprout when a stranger in the front of the line buys lunch for those behind her.
Yes, every salvation story has a beginning. Have you considered the possibility that you could be part of someone's beginning? Unbeknownst to me, I was part of my friend Javier's!
Javier and I were neighbors in college a decade ago. Our roommates dated, so we hung out often. We cooked dinner. Spent lazy afternoons watching movies. Cheered next to each other at football games. When I took guitar lessons, Javier taught me chords. Despite all this time together, I'm sorry to say I rarely brought the Lord up in conversation. Over the years we've kept in touch sporadically. So when Javier sent me this email, I was humbled and amazed.
Just wanted to thank you for being in my life in college. I came to Christ about four years or so ago and when looking back in my life, I think of people that were examples I wanted to follow. Even though we hardly talked about God, I knew you were a Christian and really admired that about you. Talk about planting a seed that didn't bear fruit right away. 10 years in the making. I am glad I am able to tell people who helped me find Christ how important they were.
The day I received Javier's email was one of the best days of my life! To know I had planted a seed in his salvation-story is an honor. Our key verse teaches we each can play an important role in bringing salvation to others. We may not always be fortunate enough to know the outcome of the seeds we plant, or water, but we can have confidence the Lord will cause growth.
Javier's story inspires me to plant more seeds by being intentional with my words, deeds and actions. I want to be the neighbor, grandma, woman or stranger... the friend or family member ... church member or coworker ... who plays a role in the salvation stories of others. How about you?
Dear Lord, You are in control of all things. Thank You for calling me out of darkness and into Your marvelous light. Please use me as an instrument in someone else's salvation story so they too may walk in Your light. I long to be a willing vessel; help me to do this for Your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
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Is there someone you have prayed to come to salvation for years? Re-read Javier's email and take heart. Seeds take time to grow. Keep praying. Our God is the God of hope (Romans 15:13, NIV).
Perhaps it's time to follow up with that person if you don't talk to them regularly.
Who in my life doesn't know the Lord?
How can I be part of their salvation story?
Matthew 5:16, "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (NIV)
John 13:35, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (ESV)
Luke 15:10, "There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (ESV)
© 2010 by Samantha Reed. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 28 October 2010.