For too many, “successful” evangelism/witnessing/rescuing occurs when someone makes the decision to follow Jesus…and another notch gets cut into our “get-’em-saved” six-shooter…
But the following reminds us that “salvation is of the Lord,” and that “no one comes to the Son except the Father draws him”:
“What is success in evangelism? Is it when the person you witness to comes to Christ?
“Certainly that’s what we want to happen. But if this is success, are we failures whenever we share the gospel and people refuse to believe?
“Was Jesus an “evangelistic failure” when people like the rich young ruler turned away from Him and His message? Obviously not. Then neither are we when we present Christ and His message and they turn away in unbelief.
“We need to learn that sharing the gospel is successful evangelism. We ought to have an obsession for souls, and tearfully plead with God to see more people converted, but conversions are fruit that God alone can give.
“In this regard we are like the postal service. Success is measured by the careful and accurate delivery of the message, not by the response of the recipient. Whenever we share the gospel (which includes the summons to repent and believe), we have
succeeded. In the truest sense, all biblical evangelism is successful evangelism, regardless of the results.”
by Tom Holladay
“An empty stable stays clean, but no income comes from an empty stable.” Proverbs 14:4 (NLT)
Life is messy! As one teacher who must have grown up on a farm put it, “There is no milk without some manure.”
In other words, if you want a good return it will cost you something – you’ll have to feed the ox. It will not be easy – you’ll have to shovel some manure.
On our church staff, we call this the N.M. – N.M. principle. No Mess – No Ministry.
The goal of life is not to keep the stable clean!
Anytime you do anything, there will always be some difficulty attached. Nothing will go exactly as planned. It always takes longer than you expected.
God told Adam in the Garden of Eden that one of the results of sin in this world would be weeds – work that is always harder than it feels it “should be.”
The only way to escape the difficulty is to not do anything. I know some people whose stable is clean and well organized – because they’ve chased all of the oxen out! The barn may smell better, but the fields go year after year without a harvest.
So, while you’re shoveling manure today (and you will be!) remember that the messes are a part of a meaningful life. Remember that those who make an impact on this world are going to have some really tough days.
And keep on shoveling.
>Keep these concepts in mind: You’ve failed many times, although you don’t remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim. …. Don’t worry about failure. My suggestion to each of you: Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.