This is a season of growth. The trees have leafed out, the grass is greening up, and the flowers are coming into bloom. Almost daily, I’m on my hands and knees in the yard pulling weeds and planting seedlings. It’s back-breaking work and I love it. But more than anything, it’s the joy of expectation as I await the emergence of my newly planted bulbs and flowers.
As I study my landscape from every conceivable angle, I can imagine the flow of colors and textures that will soon be taking shape right before my eyes.
No artist could ever hope to compete with the beauty of God’s creation. But He has given us a complete palate with which to paint and supplied the miracle of seed that enables us to spread that color around. The results are all His doing; we are merely the tools through which He has chosen to work.
It is nearly impossible to look at the glory of God’s creation and not see His sovereign and almighty hand at work. He is an amazing God in everything He does. Best of all, He blesses us by letting us play even a small part in His plans.
In the same way, God allows us to play a role in the salvation of those who are lost. At the time of our own salvation, He planted the seed of the gospel in our heart and then nourished that seed through the love of other Christians. When we stumble in our new life, He picks us up and encourages us through the words of others. He places us in Bible study groups so that we come to know Him in a most intimate way.
He follows our spiritual growth and when our faith is strong enough, He calls us to spread that same seed He gave us to the lost in the world.
Some are called to places far removed, across oceans and national boundaries. Others are called to places nearer to home; some even to the people on his own street.
The where to which we are called is not the issue; it’s the obedience we exhibit in following our calling that matters. God doesn’t ask us to “make” Christians of others. That is His job. Our role is to prepare the soil and sow the seed. Sometimes we are asked to water the seed; always we are responsible for encouraging and nurturing new believers and helping them to stand strong in the faith.
It is possible that we never see the fruit of our sowing. But we will reap the rewards of our efforts when we stand before His throne in heaven. According to II Corinthians 5:10, all believers will appear before the judgment seat of Christ and each will receive the rewards for his work here on earth. This is a judgment of rewards only and does not affect our salvation (for further explanation, see Paul’s teaching in I Corinthians 3:10-15).
God did not save us merely for the sake of our own salvation. He saved us that we would be instrumental in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that others might come to know Jesus and be saved as well. It’s a beautiful plan: be saved and then turn around and share that salvation with others. In this manner, God’s kingdom on earth is advanced and our responsibilities are fulfilled.