THE POWER OF THE WORD
So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
When God called me into the ministry in 1995, I told my agnostic brother, Larry, about it. He was intrigued and promised me that he would come hear me preach my first sermon. I was so excited. I prayed that he would really hear the Gospel and respond to Christ's invitation. Well, he came, but there was no Damascus Road experience. He left the church the same way as he entered the church, without Christ.
I was discouraged. I prayed and believed God for a miracle of salvation, but it did not come that night. Bummer!
Can you relate to that feeling? Have you ever brought a friend or a loved one to church who needs Christ? You are so hopeful that person will hear the message of God's great love and give his life to Christ, but, alas, nothing seems to happen. Your friend/loved one leaves the service with very little to say about what they just heard. UGH! What gives, Lord?
BEHIND THE SCENES
I have learned that just because you and I don't see God working, that doesn't mean He is not. He promises in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word doesn't return to Him empty and void. His Word is living and active. It has power that we don't fully fathom.
Maybe this past Easter Sunday, you took someone to church who doesn't know Christ. You were praying for that one to receive Christ - but there was no response. What do you do? Throw in the towel and say, "Well, that didn't work." NO! Water the Word of God that was sown with your prayers. God's Word will continue to work on that person long after the service is over.
Pastor Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Woodstock says that you can never really tell from the surface how God is working on a heart. Even though we may get discouraged, thinking that our lost friend or loved one is not interested, God is doing things in them that we can't see.
THE REST OF THE STORY
Although my brother Larry didn't give His life to Christ that night I preached my first sermon, he graciously agreed to listen to my sermons on tape and provide me with helpful critique. As he continued to listen (month after month, year after year), God continued to work. In 2001, my agnostic brother received Christ as Lord and Savior. I had the awesome privilege of baptizing him in June of 2002. WOW! I prayed for Larry's salvation for 20 years - and God faithfully answered those prayers. Just as He promises, His Word did not return void.
As you pray and witness to friends and loved ones, be encouraged! God is working even when you don't see it. It takes time for God to soften a hard heart. Remember, prayer is what God uses to water in the Word. Keep praying and keep letting your light shine before men - "for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary" (Gal. 6:9).
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.