ODJ: underground serenade

September 18, 2014 

READ: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 

I planted the seed in your hearts . . . but it was God who made it grow (v.6).

I was wowed by a video clip in which seven singers performed an 800 year old hymn. They sang it a cappella in a German subway station where the underground acoustics created a haunting, beautiful sound. While the performance mesmerised me, I noticed that only a few people stopped to listen. With such a beautiful message and amazing delivery, I wondered why more people failed to attend the impromptu concert.
The lack of onlookers reminded me of the way some people respond to the gospel message. Some joyfully take it in, but don’t hold on to it; some are robbed of it by Satan; some overlook it because they become distracted by the world (Mark 4:15-19). Although others receive God’s Word and become believers, this may not happen as often as we wish it would. So we wonder: why bother sharing if no one will listen? Why set a good example when no one connects it to Jesus?

It’s encouraging to remember that God can use us in people’s spiritual journeys. Paul compared the conversion process to the growth of a plant. To one group of believers, he said, “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6). Some of us sow seeds of belief, and some water the seeds. Regardless of our role, spiritual progress doesn’t happen overnight—it can take time (vv.7-8).

Ultimately, it’s God who makes conversion possible, not us. Receiving Christ as our Saviour is a supernatural event, and we know that “no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). God is still at work in the world, calling people “to himself by means of His marvellous glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day plan› John 16:5-33

Look up 1 Corinthians 10:33 for an attitude God can use to bring people to Himself. Read Romans 10:9 to see how a person can be saved. 
Why does God want us to get involved in helping others to see their need for salvation? How can you help a person know more about Jesus this week?