Monday, April 1, 2013

sow with hope, reap with humility

I’ve tried to grow a garden multiple times.  I’m afraid I don’t have a green thumb.  If anything I have a black thumb.  Plants see me coming and they just start trembling. I’m the grim reaper of horticulture!

However, I continue to try and thus I continue to fail.  Even as I type this, I have begun yet another attempt to grow something successfully. 

It’s gotten so bad that even as I’m planting the seeds into the earth, there is a voice inside my head that says, “This is useless, it’s all going to die, it’s all for nothing.”  And so, even as I’m planting, I’m already defeated thinking this is a fruitless pursuit.

If I’m not careful, I can carry this same attitude into my sowing of Gospel seed.  We see lots of disinterest and even hostility towards the Gospel when we take it out.  Sometimes, even those who quickly believe turn out to be false “conversions.”  If I’m not careful I can hear that same voice inside my head as I’m casting the Gospel seed which says to me, “This is useless, no one is going to listen, no one is going to believe, it’s all for nothing.”  And so, even as we’re out sharing the Gospel, we’re already defeated.

Our Songhai team has adopted a team theme for this year taken from the 4th chapter of John.  That theme is this:  sow with hope, reap with humility. 

Jesus was talking to his disciples about an unexpected harvest in an unexpected place.  His disciples hadn’t even considered working in Samaria and were simply trying to pass through as quickly as possible.  Yet, here we find many who believe.  John is showing us faith where we’d never expect it (to contrast the disbelief he’s shown us where we thought we’d find it, namely Jerusalem). 

If you’d asked Jesus’ disciples about sharing in Samaria they probably would have scoffed and said, “That’s a pointless pursuit!”

Jesus is teaching them (and us) that we should never carry this attitude into our sowing of the Gospel.  And thus, we should sow in hope.  We try to go out prayerfully when we share with an attitude of expectation.  We expect the Gospel to transform lives and to make dead hearts alive!

However, the other lesson Jesus taught those disciples that day was to reap with humility.  A harvest was literally approaching Jesus as he spoke to the disciples as a crowd of Samarians were coming to Jesus to believe.  Jesus taught them that day that they will reap a harvest where they have not sown.

For us as well, we are in a very fruitful season of ministry.  We’re seeing things so many of our colleagues aren’t seeing and so many of our former colleagues longed to see.  Why is that?  The temptation is towards pride.  The temptation is to think, “This is because of our great faithfulness” or “This is because of our great strategy” when the reality is this is because of our great and faithful God.  We are simply reaping a harvest where we have not labored.

And so we go out expecting God to bring about fruit but when He does, we only boast in Him!

May we all sow in hope and reap in humility.   

No comments:

Post a Comment