Sunday, April 29, 2007
Sowing seed is hard work...Jesus said, 'I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.' John 4:38 NIV
Most of the time the seeds we sow don't spring up in a day, sometimes it takes weeks, months, or years to see the harvest. It is a spiritual principle foundational to outward focus and outflow.
What we sow into our lives will bear fruit someday...That's why it is important to continually sow positive, good things into our lives. It is also why it is important to sow seeds into the lives of the people in our communities...the principle no sowing, no harvest.
My friend Doug met with some church planters recently all stated, 'We don't have the funding to sow seeds.' Doug was stunned, he then asked what business they were in? He clarified we are spiritual farmers, we sow seeds it is what we are called to do...the principle, begin where you are...with what you have. If you wait for tomorrow, you may have a long wait...He encourage them to begin now, invest in the community, fling seeds, invite, encourage, challenge the people to do the same, and experiment with what you have.
Last week I talked to a church planter who is beginning where he is. They went out to a local laundry mat to feed some quarters into the machines...only problemo...no people...many leaders would have become discouraged and quit...He being a good leader led the small group to a coin operated car wash and fed quarters to pay for the car wash...They returned encouraged.
Later, when asked how can he and his church begin to kick up the volume, by inviting people to become shareholders? I gave a tip...Invite the people to bring outreach items to the meetings...
This month is granola bar, trail mix and packs of peanuts. When you go shopping pick up a box or two of the above items we will store the items for our monthly outreach.
Are we a coke church or a pepsi church or a water church...I did this in Cincy and we raised 28,000 drinks for a summer outreach. Encourage the people to bring cokes, or pepsi, or water to the church each can or bottle is a vote...plan a 4th of July drinks outreach...and use the drinks as your outreach items.
etc. etc. be creative...
Yesterday at 11am we went out to a low income housing area with mainly a bunch of guys out of the 25 people who showed up only four were women. We delivered groceries and offered prayer. At one door one a single mom with 4 kids opened the door...she burst into tears...she didn't have any food to last that week...When prayed for she sobbed.
At 5 pm a van drove up in our parking lot. I noticed a lady looking lost so I went and greeted the lady and the 4 kids in the van...She was the lady. ... She had been so moved by her experience she felt she just had to come and see who we were...She also said thanks...
It is moving when something like this happens...it's not the norm. Most of the time seed sown is hidden in the ground of a persons heart. How it grows? Nobody knows it is a mystery.
Watering Planted Seeds
I was washing my car yesterday...a guy pulls up in a truck...gets out asks about the house next door...mentions his parents are returning from Vietnam that night, they are missionaries...I noticed he was a searching, needy guy...After our conversation, I ask if I could pray for him...Startled he agreed...I grabbed his hand and prayed blessing prayers over his life...that God would crown him with favor just as God had given favor to his mom and dad and family, that God would provide for him, that God would open doors for him. At the end of the prayer he said, 'You know, you're not the only person who has prayed for me lately.'
My job, your job, to water the seeds already sown in the hearts of men. God brings the increase.
I'm hoping my boys Mattie, Andrew, and Nathan will be prayed for by the believing people they meet...If you have a minute why not pray for them now. ... ask that God's favor would be on them and that they'd meet believing believers I'd appreciate it very much.