Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)
TITLE: While Waiting for the Harvest
By Edmond Ng
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- And He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows -- how, he himself does not know. The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." (Mark 4:26-29 NAS)
When a relative of mine was diagnosed with brain tumor recently, I made every effort to reach out to the family to bring them to Christ, but nothing seems to go smoothly. My fervent prayers seem to yield no result and healing did not take place. In fact, it got worst and required a second surgery. Although there was a glimpse of light in the littleness of a partial answered prayed with the tumor turning out to be not as severe as the incurable with the help of chemotherapy, it was to the family disheartening to the point of losing confidence in the Christian faith, resulting in them seeking alternative faiths to try out and see if their gods can do a better job.
All these signs of unanswered prayers are understandably disheartening to the one who cast the seeds upon the soil in the hope of bringing the unsaved to the kingdom of God. But who are we to question God on the way He works or to the reason why He did not answer? God however always answers prayers, and prayers can always be answered differently with a yes, no, wait, or go through it. It is therefore not for us to know when the seed should sprout or grow, for it is God who causes the growth, not us.
- I [Paul] planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6-7 NAS)
Our efforts to reach the unsaved for Christ are never wasted. When we sow a seed of faith by caring for someone in the name of the Lord, no matter how small the seed may be, it will accomplish its purpose and not return to the Lord void (Isaiah 55:11), for though the seed may be small, yet it will grow and become larger than all the trees with branches big enough to shelter the birds of the air. Our part therefore is to stay steadfast and not be discouraged in continuing to care for these unsaved pre-believers in living out Christ in our lives, knowing whole heartedly that He who has begun a good work in us will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).
Dear Lord, teach us not to despair when we see our friends and loved ones fail to respond to You despite our every effort to bring them Your word and salvation. Help us Lord not to stop praying and caring for them. Mold us Lord to be more and more like You to reveal You in our lives so that the unsaved may know Your love everlasting and return to You.
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