Sowing the Gospel

April 06, 2018 at 6:00 AM

pepper-plants.jpgEven when faith may seem dead on the surface, the Holy Spirit is often working in parts of the heart we cannot see.  (Photo by Dan Breen)

Sowing the Gospel

By Dan Breen

A few years back my daughters and I began a little tradition of planting some seeds indoors on Super Bowl Sunday. Before this year it was mostly flowers, but last fall I laid the perimeter of a new vegetable garden which has opened up some new opportunities.

We decided to sow some pepper seeds on that early February afternoon. After reading the packet instructions and planting at the proper depth, we watered and waited.

Two weeks later, there were no signs of life. Three weeks passed, then four — still nothing more than lifeless potting soil sat in the windowsill. I was about to admit defeat to the ill-fated pepper seeds when I checked on the flats one morning and noticed something very small, yet very green had begun pushing out of the soil. A few days later another green head had emerged, then another.

I would have been happy with two or three plants considering how close I was to giving up on them, but over the next two weeks, more and more plants emerged until every slot in the flat had come to life. An assumed failure had turned into a flat of vibrant seedlings.

At its core, the Luke Society is about sowing Gospel seeds. Our directors are excellent farmers, who diligently prepare the soil, plant seeds of faith and water them.

Sometimes faith doesn’t emerge right away, or even at all — certainly not as quickly as we’d like. What we can’t see, however, is that underneath the surface, the Holy Spirit is moving and stirring. We, as individuals, can’t convert people. That’s the Spirit’s work. But we’re asked to play a role in His working.

It can be discouraging when it seems our prayers and evangelistic efforts are going unaccomplished. In these times we need to remember it’s very possible faith may be sending out roots where we can’t see them.

Several Luke Society ministries have introduced their people to the Gospel for the first time through “The Jesus Film.” Elsewhere, patients are engaging in times of devotions prior to their consultations. In Gracias, Honduras, a woman shares Scripture in the waiting room. Even people of different faiths are asking for prayers before their medical procedures. The examples are endless.

I have no way of knowing if my pepper plants will bear fruit later this summer, but I do know from Scripture that the Good News of the Gospel will not return void “but will accomplish what I desire, and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 5:11). Pray that the spiritual seeds planted and watered today will one day “produce a crop — thirty, sixty, or a hundred times what was sown” (Mark 4:20).


Next story:

Laughter: a universal dialect