One of the most intimidating things for most people when it comes to sharing their faith is the fear of what will happen afterward.
Even if we could muster up the courage to speak the words in the first place, the concern over the response of those we are talking to often stops us in our tracks.
Can I use the right words? How will they respond? What if they don’t want to hear it?
My response to that? It doesn’t matter.
Yes, you read that right. It really doesn’t matter. While yes, our hearts would be that everyone we share our faith with would wholeheartedly receive what we are saying and receive Jesus as their Savior.
But in all honestly, the outcome isn’t up to us. It’s up to God. He is the one who is responsible for the outcome of the seeds being planted in people’s hearts.
1. Your Responsibility Is to Plant the Seed
Our responsibility is just to plant the seeds. Inevitably, we have to recognize that not everyone will be ready to receive Jesus the first time we share the gospel message with them. And do you know what? It’s okay. Share anyway.
Jesus taught this very concept to the disciples in Matthew Chapter 13:
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
2. Take the Opportunities You Have to Share
In this season, Jesus was teaching in parables, and there was some confusion about what exactly He meant when He called them to share the good news of the gospel in this parable.
To clear up that confusion, Jesus explained to the disciples exactly what He was talking about.
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
You see if we start taking on the responsibility for people rejecting the gospel when we share it, then there is a danger of us also feeling like we can take the credit for when they accept it. And that is a dangerous place to be.
The preparation of the hearts of those who will hear the gospel message is something that starts long before we share the message with them. Some people will accept that message the very first time they hear it, and for others, it may be the hundredth.
3. Their Salvation Is the Work of the Holy Spirit
Our role is to simply be obedient to Jesus’ call to share with them, to plant the seeds. And then, we need to trust that God will do what only He can do in the hearts of those who hear that message.
I think that takes a lot of the pressure off, doesn’t it? As you think about this today, pray and ask the Lord to show you people you can share the hope of the gospel. Chances are, at least one of those people will have hearts that are fertile soil.
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Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Bohdan Bevz
Rachael Groll is a missionary, a podcaster, and the author of She Hears: Learning to Listen to Jesus. You can listen to more about Matthew 10 on the Hearing Jesus Podcast, What to Do When Others Reject the Gospel: A Devotional Bible Study on Matthew 10:7-15. Read more from Rachael at SHEHEARS.ORG