Planting and Watering
The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose (1 Corinthians 3:8).
In witnessing to others about our wonderful Lord, it is important to be sensitive to the person's readiness.
When I was young, my family used to visit my uncle's peach orchards in the country. Within minutes after our arrival, my cousin and I would enter the orchard with an empty bushel basket between us, and we would return with the basket full to overflowing and our tummies bulging.
It did not take long for me to learn that the best peaches were the ripe ones! We left the green fruit on the trees. When we returned to the orchard a few days later, something wonderful had happened -- the green, hard fruit we had left on the trees had now become ripe and ready. They just needed more time, and watering.
The same is true of witnessing. I encourage you to be sensitive to the "ripeness" of the heart that is receiving your witness.
Not everyone is at the same point of readiness to receive the message of God's great love and forgiveness. It could be that God has called you to only plant a seed in a person's life, or to water a seed that someone else has already planted.
Paul wrote about how God uses each of us for a role in introducing others to Christ, but also how it all depends on Him: "Through us God caused you to believe. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. My job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God, not me, who made it grow. The ones who do the planting or watering aren't important, but God is important because he is the one who makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose. Yet they will be rewarded individually, according to their own hard work. We work together as partners who belong to God. You are God's field, God's building -- not ours" (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
Some individuals will be ready to respond to Christ the first time they hear the gospel, but others will not. Do not pressure them into a decision for Christ. Instead, pray for them, continue to witness to them, and leave the results to God.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.