The Difference Of A Caring Neighbor
The good soil represents the hearts of those who truly accept God's message and produce a huge harvest-thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted (Matthew 13:23).
This is about two 18-year-old men who both received the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior.
One was a professional drummer, the other a party loving football player.
John, the drummer, was introduced to Christ by a friend who played guitar in his band. Soon afterward, the band was dissolved, and John was left on his own. He attended church for a time. But within two years, John was heavily involved in drugs and immorality. Today, he continues to wander far from God.
Dick, the other young man, found his faith very exciting, but soon missed his drinking buddies and wanted to go out with them.
"Oh, no you won't!" objected the neighbor who had introduced him to Christ. "You will study the Bible, and you will spend your time with your new friends from the church," she insisted. "You aren't strong enough in the Lord to socialize with those guys."
The neighbor faithfully shared Scripture after Scripture with Dick. She encouraged him to pray, and introduced him to other Christians. As a result, when Dick graduated from college, he went on to seminary. Today, he pastors a thriving church.
Our Lord Jesus tells us about what happens when the seed of the gospel is sown: "Now here is the explanation of the story I told about the farmer sowing grain: The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the Good News about the Kingdom and don't understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches the seed away from their hearts. The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But like young plants in such soil, their roots don't go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word. The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced. The good soil represents the hearts of those who truly accept God's message and produce a huge harvest -- thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted" (Matthew 13:18-23, NLT).
We have found that discipleship helps nurture the soil where the Good News is sown. The difference between the above two young lives was a matter of discipleship, and a caring neighbor who was willing to devote her time to her friend.
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
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