Thank God, I Have Another Opportunity
The title of this article, “Thank God, I Have Another Opportunity,” comes from the heart of a new Christian I knew in New Zealand more than fifty years ago. Like almost every new Christian, she could not wait to tell her friends of the great treasure she had found in Christ. Like almost every joyful Christian, she told her friends over and over again. They seemingly were not interested in what she had to say.
Then, the church planned its gospel meeting, and she now had a new approach to use. Her words to me, “I am so thankful when we have a gospel meeting. It is the best week of the year because it gives me one more chance to invite others to learn about Jesus.” She never saw inviting others as an unpleasant “chore.” Instead, it was a time of joy to do all she could to teach others.
Somehow we have failed to understand the parable of the sower. This kingdom parable shows Christians as a sower who goes out into the world to spread the seed. That seed of the kingdom is the word of God (Luke 8:11). The responsibility of the sower is very simple. As he walks through the field, he simply spreads the seed. He does not go out to find only the good soil and then to spread the seed there. His task is to spread the seed everywhere.
The seed when it is sown almost always does NOT produce an abundant harvest. Meditate on this parable. Sowers do not always produce fruit! The seed seems to be “wasted” on three out of the four kinds of soils. Somehow, we have overlooked this and think that our task is to baptize everyone. We were sent to teach, not to baptize (1 Cor. 1:17). It may seem strange, but He will not ask us, “Did you ever lead someone to Christ?” Think about what question He will ask us!
The Lord does not need scouts, He needs sowers. We have misunderstood our work. He never sent us into the world to be His scouts just looking out for receptive people. How can we really know the hearts of others? We can only look at the outward appearance, and only the Lord can know the hearts of those around us. We must forever remove from our vocabulary the phrase, “I cannot find anyone to teach,” which means that we cannot find anyone who we think might respond favorably to our approach. It is far better to see all hearts as soils worthy of the gospel. We can never say, “I cannot find anyone in whose lives I can sow the seed.” They are all around us! Hearts like wayside soil, stony ground and thorny ground are all around us!