October 26

Written by Bill Grandi on October 26th, 2022

Several times over the past week I have had the occasion to speak to someone about the “I plant; you water; God gives the increase” idea of sharing our faith.

You know how that goes. “I have prayed and prayed. I have tried sharing my faith kindly when the opportunity arise, but still, no response.”

Or “I pray daily for my child to come to Christ or to recommit his/her life to Jesus, but it seems like my prayers go unanswered.”

Those are tough to hear. They are tough to witness in one’s life. They are tough ones not to give Christian platitudes to. But the words which could be said (and are) are not mere pablum or empty words.

When I have those times in my life, I cling to Paul’s words in I Cor. 3:6- “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.” (NLT) 

It is not my responsibility to convert anyone. That is God’s. My responsibility is to share the message…to pray…to love. Most often, any change, any conversion, any re-commitment is the work of many. No one person has the right to say, “I did it.” It was a team effort.

The other principle is that we are called to be faithful. Plant the seed. Nurture the seed. That’s it. Be available. Don’t stress or fret over the results. A farmer know the crop will come in due time.

In God’s time.


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    Great wisdom here… I think another component that might be worth mentioning is that God will never force himself on anyone. He may allow circumstances to come, conversations to happen, opportunities to arise… but I don’t believe God will force a conversion… an acceptance of Him. I believe God will knock at the door of our hearts, He will send messengers to speak, He will send couriers to deliver… But He will not drag someone into a relationship with Him. At the end of the day, it is still up to the individual to make the decision. I think we can and should pray, I think we can and should be a witness. I do think, however, that if a conversion hasn’t or doesn’t happen, it isn’t because the prayer has gone unanswered… I truly believe that God desires more than we could ever desire to have every person that has lived, is living, and will ever live to choose to follow Him… but, it is they who must choose.

    I am not sure who was praying for me, but it took a one–two– punch to knock me on my tail so I would be willing to listen and respond…

    As a parent, I never want to see my children hurt or struggling. However, sometimes the hurt and struggle is exactly what is needed before one recognizes their need for God. I know that was the case for me.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Good add Ryan. I’m reminded of the Scripture where Jesus says, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to myself.” Not drag. Draw. Thanks for adding to the depth of this devotion.

  2. Ed says:

    I agree with Ryan, God definitely won’t force Himself on others. He will, however open the door of opportunity, even if it’s just a crack. It’s up to the individual as to whether to explore or not.

  3. gail says:

    Thanks for the devotion today. I think it’s important to really try to plant seeds all the time. I lost one of my best friends, and best hiking partner’s to ovarian cancer five years ago. She grew up catholic like I did, and I tried to plant gentle seeds, followed by more cultivating seeds, followed by a plea for complete garden over haul. Close to the end she told me, she did not need me to talk to her about God, she was comfortable where she was. I didn’t feel like she had accepted Christ as her Savior, but I stopped pushing. At her funeral, she played my way by Frank Sinatra. It broke my heart, and I felt like I let both her and God down. I came to accept I did the best I could at that time, and maybe in those last few days she had a breakthrough. Paul’s words bring me comfort, and it’s all true, each one of us has to come to Christ on our own.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Situations like that do break our heart Gail. I’m glad you are that sensitive to your friend, and especially to God to have your heart break over a friend’s insistence that she doesn’t need Him. You did what you could as far as I can tell. Like you, I tend to be more erring on the side of “I hope” than condemning. Only God know what took place in those last few days.

  4. You’re so right, Bill. We can plant the seed, encourage it to grow, water it, but only God can bring it to fruition.
    I’m glad to be back!!! I’ll tell you more about our trip in the next several blogs.