BRINGING FORTH FRUIT WITH PATIENCE
BY ROBERT STROUP
In Luke’s account of the parable of the sower, Jesus said, ‘A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side…some fell a rock…some fell among thorns…and other fell on good ground.” Luke 8:5-8. Later in explaining the meaning of the parable, He said that the good ground represented “they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15.
Patience is a vital part of one’s walk with God. Jesus said, “In your patience possess ye your souls.” Luke 21:19. A person cannot tee saved without patience. Again Jesus said, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13. That final step of salvation is often forgotten. To be saved we must endure to the end. “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.” Luke 8:13. The writer of Hebrews said, “let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (12:1).This race is not to the swift – but to the determined. This race for salvation is not a sprint – it’s a marathon. At a recent family gathering we watched a home video of some of my nephew’s senior year activities at his high school in Mankato, Minnesota. His parents had filmed him giving a speech, playing his trombone, and running cross-country. In the cross-country race of 3.1 miles – I noticed that as Reed neared the finish line someone was saying, “Come on Reed. Pick it up a little bit – finish strong!” That should be the desire of every one of us in our race to glory we must finish strong! After all, it makes no difference how well we start the race if we fail to finish it. In your patience possess ye your souls!
But the importance of having patience is not limited to our own salvation. According to Proverbs 11:30, “He that winneth souls is wise.” One area where the soulwinner manifests wisdom is in that he brings forth fruit with patience. “Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:7. Soulwinning, like bringing in a crop, requires time. A farmer does not sow one day and reap the next. He goes through several steps in bringing that crop to fruition. He plows, he cultivates, he plants, he waters, he fertilizes, and he waits with long patience.
Soulwinner, I want to encourage you to not be impatient. I know that you are greatly burdened for your loved ones. I know that you want to be successful in winning your workmates, schoolmates, friends, and
neighbors to the Lord. I know you want to influence people for good wherever you go. But sometimes you are tempted to give up thinking, “What’s the use? They’ll never be saved! ” Don’t do it! Never give up! Keep on sowing…keep on watering…for the harvest is coming. “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6.
Recently we had Brother Denver Stanford at our church for a soulwinning seminar. He said, and I believe he is right, that Matthew 5:16 is to soulwinning whet acts 2:38 is to salvation. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” God sees your every act of kindness every effort that you make to be a blessing every tear you shed – every kind word that you speak. “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: l was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me… Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:35-36, 40. And He promises if we’ll do our part – He’ll do His. If we’ll do the people things – He’ll do the God things. If we’ll plant and water – He’ll give the increase!
In John 7:38, Jesus declared, “He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. ‘ If we stay full of the Holy Ghost, then as we go out into the world He’ll go
with us and His influence will flow through us like rivers of living water. As we speak, He will draw – “For we are labourers together with
God…” I Corinthians 3:9. We plant and water and He gives the increase.
“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight…He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not shine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” Ecclesiastes 11:1-2, 4-6. Don’t wait for ideal conditions. Just be nice to everybody. Let those living waters flow. You are living epistles known and read of all men – so just let the seed of God’s presence flow from you and touch as many lives as possible. Some seed will, no doubt, fall along the wayside, some on stony ground, some among thorns…but just go ahead and sow it anyway because some surely will fall on good ground. Just plant and water all that you can and God promises that in due season He will give the increase.
Thirty years ago this past summer my wife and I were deeply burdened for our unsaved family members. As we were in earnest prayer, the Lord gave us a promise. Among the encouraging words He spoke to us were these: “If you will follow Me, I will save them.” We thank the Lord that since that day some of them have come to know the Lord – but not all. Have we given up? After all it’s been over thirty years now. No – not by a long shot. We know that those who aren’t saved yet are in the process. If we do our part we know He’ll do His. Let us not be weary in well doing. Let’s bring forth fruit with patience. Remember, they that sow in tears shall reap in joy!!
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE INDIANA TRUMPET, DECEMBER 2000, PAGE 15.
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