April 10 I Saturday
1 Samuel 15-16
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” —1 Corinthians 3:6-7
In the days of the book of Acts, churches are being planted and rapidly expanding throughout the Mediterranean world. The overwhelming fact the book of Acts teaches is that evangelism is the work of God. Every Christian is called to be a disciple for Christ, but to depend on the measure of our own techniques and ingenuity will be the measure of our powerlessness. We may be able to persuade a few into a Christian position, but we will not make true disciples or converts of them.
In our discipleship, we should not be inclined to think one size fits all; just anyone, anywhere, anytime. If there is no spark that is responsive, the timing is wrong. Many people are searching, but in the wrong places, and we can be quick to criticize that, rather than seeing the heart that is searching. The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah writes, “‘You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 29:13-14). This is because God is also seeking and He places within our hearts the appetite to seek Him and to know Him. In working with God, we learn to recognize His voice and be keen observers of God-given opportunities to witness for Him. He knows which hearts are ripe for the harvest and it is His Spirit who draws them into relationship with Him.
We live in a complex, pressure-filled world so the problem for many of us is that we miss opportunities because of hardships we are facing. We tend to be so engrossed in our own situations that we are no longer on the lookout for God-given opportunities. In Philippi, Paul and Silas had been arrested, severely flogged, cast into prison and put in stocks, yet they were singing hymns and praising God. They saw their painful situation as another opportunity to advance the gospel, which it did. God is not outwitted by any circumstance and in troubling situations we may very well be in the right place at the right time for God’s purpose.
Salvation is always a work of God. As Christians, we need to be available to Him, even in times of hardship, and in prayerful dependence upon Him we will begin to see things happen. Sometimes we will sow the seed and water it, and other times we will reap a harvest. Regardless of the role we are given, God is the one who makes all things grow. No matter what circumstances we face, may we be faithful servants of God, embracing God-given opportunities to align ourselves with His agenda and His call.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to align myself with Your agenda and Your call. May I seize every God-given opportunity for Your purpose. Thank You, Lord.