Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sowing and Reaping - James Montgomery Boice

I'm preaching my way through John's Gospel on Sunday mornings.  Recently as I worked my way through John 4 I found a very helpful comment about personal evangelism by Dr. James Montgomery Boice.  It came in the context of verse 37 where Jesus tells his disciples, "For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.'"  For those who may not have the gift of evangelism please read carefully: 

If you obey the Lord Jesus Christ and witness as he has commanded you to do, there is no guarantee that in every case you will see the results of your labors.  Jesus will encourage you in your witness.  You will probably see people come to faith in him.  You will reap.  But is is also true that, when you sow, some of the results of that sowing will appear only in an age when you are gone and that you will not see it.  Do not be discouraged if that happens.  We are harvesting fruit that is the result of the efforts of our predecessors.  There will also be harvesting on the basis of the sowing that is going on today.  We may see the results.  We may not see the results.  But whatever the case, we are to keep on with our commission.

The question for us is, "Do we sow the seed?"  That is our job.  We are to take the Word of the living God to those who need to hear it and thus allow the Lord Jesus Christ to use it to bring forth a harvest in their lives.   The Gospel of John: An Expositional Commentatry, volume I.  Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 2005, page 329.
The believer is responsible for presenting the Gospel (sowing) not producing fruit (reaping).  Sometimes I think we get the two things confused which leads us to say little about Christ because we don't know how to handle their objections.

One of the things I learned as a college student involved with Campus Crusade was this simple definition of personal evangelism:  "Successful witnessing is taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God."  Are you sowing the seed of the Gospel?  

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