Read: Philippians 1:12-20
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:10-11 NIV
My attempts to sign people up for the garden club did not always meet with an enthusiastic yes, despite the program’s many benefits and free price tag. For every agreeable customer, I met a handful set upon simply ignoring the offer and a scattered few who were downright offensive about it.
It was for this reason that I felt rather hesitant when a lady stepped up to my table with the words, “This is the second time you’ve told me about this. I was here last weekend too.”
I smiled, feeling rather sheepish for not recognizing her (not that I should have been able to given the number of people who passed the table each day) and was about to apologize when she stopped me.
“I think I’ll sign up this time. It sounds useful.”
Astonished, I grinned and handed her the enrollment form.
She had begun to fill in her contact information when another customer walked over from the check stand, receipt in hand. “I’ve listened to you talk about this over and over while I was waiting in line. It sounds like a good deal and I’d like to sign up, too.”
Of course later, I couldn’t help considering the similarities between these women’s reaction to the garden club and the way some people respond to the Gospel message. While it would be nice if everyone we met immediately responded to God’s offer, statistics tell us that most people who accept Christ do so only after receiving a steady witness from another believer. As with the garden club, sometimes someone needs to hear the message just one more time before it makes sense to them.
God has promised that His Word will never return void … and it’s a promise that can be trusted. We may not always see immediate results, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep sharing!
Challenge: Are you feeling discouraged about your evangelism efforts? Don’t! Sometimes people just need to hear the message a few times before it sinks in. This week, take some time to talk to other believers in your community. Ask them how they came to faith in Christ. You may be surprised at how many of their stories sound like my customers’ tales!