1 Corinthians 3:6-7 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”
Let me tell you a story…
We recently had a lady come to faith in Jesus. She was baptized a few weeks ago and will soon be voted into the membership of our church. We love her dearly, and we celebrate the fact that she is now a member of the family of God.
About seven years ago, we randomly met her little brother in a nearby neighborhood. He began coming to our Youth services. He was very involved. He played sports. He went to Youth Camp. He contributed to fundraising. He did it all. Some time after that, God saved him and he was baptized and became a member of our church.
From that time until now our church has a wonderful relationship with his family. Many of them have come to visit on various occasions. We have helped him and his family if ever there was a need. We have really become close.
Some time after he was saved, his sister (the lady first mentioned above) called me and asked if we could possibly baptize her children. I commended her for desiring for her children to be baptized and took the opportunity to explain to her the meaning of baptism, conversion, and the gospel.
Months and years went by and nothing much ever became of anything. We knew her and her family. We continued to love them and that is about it. The brother continued to be an active youth in our church.
Then after some more time passed, the lady called me again and asked if I knew of anyone who could be a ‘big brother mentor’ to her son. I told her we could find someone. We had a very faithful young man in our church volunteer to do that. Over the next several months, that volunteer college student and her son spent countless hours together hanging out, eating fast food, throwing football and going to the movies.
Then after a few more months passed, this same lady came to one of our Wednesday night dinners. After dinner she stayed for our prayer meeting. At our prayer meeting I introduced a challenge to everyone to read the entire New Testament in 30 days. After church she asked me for a New Testament stating that she wanted to read it. She admitted that she really didn’t know what one was. I gave her a New & Old Testament (whole Bible) that night. Over the next 30 days she completed the challenge and read the entire New Testament of the “living and active” Word of God.
Since then not a week has gone by that she has not been at one of our services.
During this time another lady in our church invited this lady out to lunch and they had a great time eating together while discussing what it means to “be saved and follow Jesus.”
Some time after that at a WMU women’s meeting on a Tuesday night, she heard the call to believe in Jesus and God saved her. Many ladies in our church rejoiced that God had forgiven another sinner and that another child of God had been redeemed.
Shortly after that, an older lady in our church began to meet one-on-one with this lady to disciple her and teach her what it means to be “in Christ”. She is also teaching her how to read the Bible and know God better.
Now the lady is very involved in our church, serving in various capacities, loving and being loved by the church.
There is not one, or two or three, little areas that one could point to that were the key to her coming to Christ. It was everything. It was the life of the church. It was the work of God. It was some planting, many watering, but God giving the growth. And for that we rejoice and give him the glory! May we be faithful and ask God to do it over and over and over again.
“If we keep our places in all lowliness our Lord will use us; but if we exalt ourselves he will leave us to our nothingness.” -Charles Spurgeon commenting on these verses.