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Good Soil

"Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." Matthew 13:8

He looked confused. "But I'm a Muslim...they won't let me in," he said. I had just invited the young man to church with me and he was quite surprised. I assured him that it would be ok for him to visit.

He agreed to come with me that Sunday, although this was not really a surprise. The young man was an Arab from a very conservative and very Muslim Arabic country. Out of an abundance of respect and politeness he would accept my offer, but I anticipated that he would politely find a reason to back out of the invitation later. I offered to pick him up that morning but he said he didn't need a ride. My wife and I prayed for him.

Much to my surprised delight, he showed up to church that morning! He was even a few minutes early! Our new friend enjoyed the service, seemed moved by the praise and worship, and had many questions about the Pastor's message of forgiveness of sins through Jesus. Over the following months we developed a relationship. It took a few more years, but the seeds that were planted eventually took root and grew and my new friend dedicated his repentant heart to Jesus!

A simple greeting and a conversation about the church across the street was an opportunity for a Gospel encounter and a chance to sow seeds that bore fruit. These opportunities are precious and must be redeemed. We don't know if the seeds we sow will take root and grow, in fact, many will not. Of those that do grow, some will be choked out and killed and others will be robbed of their fruitfulness (see the parable of the sower, Matt. 13).

Ours is to sow seed in obedience and faith, water when we are able, and to trust the Lord for the rest. A chance encounter with a young Muslim man outside of a grocery store planted the seed that resulted in that man's salvation. Furthermore, my friend eventually returned to his country and has been open with his faith. He has encountered intense resistance, but we are praying for him. The Lord of heaven and earth is not done with this young man. We are praying that the Lord will cause the seeds that our friend has planted to take root, grow, and bear a crop!


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