Monday, July 11, 2016

sowing seeds for Him.

Today I want to talk about sowing seeds for Christ.

It's not easy sharing the gospel, I'll be the first to admit it. I'm an extrovert, and even I find it hard to walk up to someone and hand them a tract at times. Because more often than not, they look at me like I've just flown in from Mars. Some people immediately throw the tract in the trash. Others awkwardly thank me. Some don't even say anything. It's uncomfortable. But then I am reminded of this verse.

Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

You many not think it means much by handing that Starbucks barista a tract. Maybe she throws it away. "What a waste," you think. But did you stop to think about the janitor who sees it in the waste basket? The trash-man who finds it when it drops out of the garbage can? You see, God uses His word in amazing ways. Ways that we could never think of. Sometimes God has already been working in a person's life (someone has already planted a seed) and He can use you to work in this person's life even more (watering the seed).

1 Corinthians 3:6 "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."

Did you know that by handing out just one tract, or telling just one person about the gospel, you have the possibility of changing generations?

Don't believe me? Let me tell you a true story.

On March 23rd, 1912, in Gate City, Virginia, a boy named John Carter was born. When this boy was 10 years old, his father died. John went to school like all the other children, but only until fourth grade. When he was a teenager, his mother left his family. John and his eight siblings were left to fend for themselves.

John had made a profession of faith at the age of 12, but it is unknown whether it was genuine. If it was, he did not grow in the Lord or choose to live for the Lord. In his teens and early twenties, life grew very rough for John. He drank. He gambled. And he was always running from people who wanted to get him on drugs. He owned a piece of a pool hall. He even went to jail for a time.

Sometime in his 30s, John went to a prayer meeting. During that prayer meeting he heard the gospel and was convicted... And John either accepted Christ as his personal Savior or rededicated his life to the Lord, depending on whether his profession at age 12 was real or not. From this point on, his life changed forever.

When he was 34, he moved to Indianapolis, Indiana and began attending church there. He met a woman named Marilyn in July of 1946. Two months later, they were married. John had a deep burden for sharing the gospel. He wanted so badly to talk to people who had been like him - drunks, gamblers- and show them that there is hope. For around 40 years, he would go to the city jail every Sunday morning and hold a service there. In the summertime, he would go to University Park in Indianapolis every Sunday afternoon with his family and preach there. He was even put in jail for a time for "disturbing the peace", though the charge was soon dropped and he was released. Not everyone appreciated his preaching.

John helped start the Good News Mission, which still exists today, and was even president of it for a while. Even before that, he would go to Indy restaurants at night and take their left-over food to the mission. He would participate in many evening services there during the week, where rough people would come and the smell of alcohol lingered in the air.

John even traveled back to his hometown in Virginia simply to share the gospel there. While on vacation, he and his family would toss tracts out the window of their car (before littering was against the law).

John was a witness to his own lost family and many of siblings were saved. He died in 1995. But his wife Marilyn is still living, at the age of 91. She continues to be faithful in sharing the gospel by handing out tracts to doctors and nurses and restaurant workers. She puts a tract in every bill before she mails it.

Why do I tell you all this? To show you that sharing the gospel is no small matter. Someone chose to tell John about the love of Jesus. And even though he went through years of drinking and gambling and sinning, his life was changed forever when he accepted Jesus. Not only his life was changed,but his family's as well. Generations were literally changed.

How do I know this? Because I am a member of one of those generations. John Carter was my great-grandfather.

Though I regret deeply that I never was able to meet him (he died a few years before I was born), I have known my Grandma Marilyn my entire life. I have seen their children serve and love the Lord, and their children's children. I want to follow in their wonderful example. I cannot wait to meet Grandpa Carter one day. Right now he is rejoicing and serving his Lord. :)

Friends, never forget what sharing the gospel can do. Obeying the Lord will never be a waste of your time.
Grandpa Carter preaching
Grandpa and Grandma Carter
Grandma Carter <3

I hope this was an encouragement to you in some way.

3 chatty people:

Connor O'Malley said...

Wow, that is a beautiful story. It is a good reminder that sharing the gospel can have a greater effect than we realize. Thanks for sharing.

Kathryn said...

A beautiful story because of God's beautiful mercy and grace. Thanks for reading. :)

Sunset said...

What an inspirational post. I am in complete and utter awe.

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