Managing Expectations

When we share the gospel, sadly not everyone who hears the good news of forgiveness in Jesus will believe it.  Jesus knew this too – he wept over Jerusalem, the capital city of his chosen people.  When we reach out with the gospel it can be helpful to go into it with eyes wide open.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to be discouraged evangelists – just realistic ones.  That reality is found in Mark 4.

Jesus shares the parable of the sower and the seed.  Sometimes when we reach out with the gospel, we are very careful how we speak, to whom we speak, timing, etc. What is remarkable about the parable is that the sower doesn’t care.  He flings the seeds everywhere.  The point of the parable is that the seed lands on different soils.  The gospel lands on different hearts.  Some never believe, some do but for X,Y, or Z reasons that faith dies.  Thankfully there are some where the seeds of the gospel produce an incredible crop.

People have tried to pick apart the parable trying to figure out who the sower is or how we can cultivate the soil.  That’s ok – there is always room for improvement.  When I walk away from this parable, I take two things.  First, I need to fling the seed.  If I do not share the gospel, where will that seed come from?!  The church is the only place where that is happening.  I don’t necessarily care what the results are because they aren’t up to me.  I’ll help where I can with encouragement, but the success and the failure of the gospel is too big for me.

The second has nothing to do with me.  Over fourteen years I have written many prayers for people who are going through a variety of hard times – financial, health, personal relationships, etc.  One of my go-to verses is Isaiah 55:8.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  The verses that follow aren’t about hurricanes and car accidents.  They are about the word of God and how it will change hearts.  More than that it will not return empty.  The word always works.

From time to time I try and grow grass in my yard.  So far it hasn’t turned into the thick wonderful turf I envision.  The seed of God’s word is far different.  This week fling God’s seed of the gospel with a reckless abandon so that as many people might hear those saving words and believe.

This is the twelfth and final lesson in the Bible class – Evangelism

Please click HERE to view the Bible Class slides.