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News for Friday, February 7, 2014

Opinion — Guest Columnist
A Simple Conversation With Eternal Impact
By Larry Robertson
TBC president & pastor in Clarksville

The only difference between “what’s the point” and “that’s the point” is a single letter. We should not, therefore, overlook the importance of seemingly insignificant events or encounters. We may never know the impact of a simple conversation.

A few weeks ago I received a message from a lady who asked if I remembered a brief conversation with her several years ago. In a store where she worked at the time I had shared Christ with her. She said that even though she did not respond to what I shared with her then, she never forgot our conversation. She had chosen to follow Christ and just wanted me to know.

I thought, “Wow! A five minute conversation from which I walked away disappointed and dejected had not been in vain.”

I’ve thought a good bit lately about my recent exchange with my newly-discovered sister in Christ.

What if I had never opened my mouth? What if I had acted before her in such a way that my witness was diminished? What if I had been too busy to care?

Let me be clear — the Holy Spirit is the only Soul-winner. And any salvation testimony owes all the glory to God. Yet He has chosen to use flawed vessels like you and me to carry His gospel into the world.

One of my favorite parables is the one Jesus told about a sower who went out to sow. He cast the seed upon the ground and it fell upon different kinds of soil. In explaining the parable to His disciples, Jesus said the seed is the Word of God and the soils picture the different responses to the sown seed the sower might discover.

With 3.65 million lost people across this great state of ours, do we really have time for soil analysis? For that matter, did Jesus even call us to that task? There are benefits to “knowing your audience,” no doubt; I’m a believer in research. But if in all our preparation to sow the seed we never actually sow the seed, then we have missed our mission.

One directive of Jesus’ parable was to sow the gospel seed regardless of the response. That’s the sower’s responsibility — to sow the seed. The response is God’s responsibility.

One of my favorite definitions of evangelism was popularized by Darrell Robinson in his book People Sharing Jesus: “Witnessing is being faithful to share Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.”

The first phrase (“being faithful”) is challenging, the last phrase (“leaving the results to God”) is liberating, and the phrase in the middle (“share Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit”) is what makes our witness effective!

Our spiritual enemy, Satan, will whisper to your heart, “What’s the point?” God, on the other hand, cheers us on by declaring, “That’s the point!”

Sow the seed generously and broadly. You never know the significance of the seemingly insignificant.

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