God gives us encouragements in the midst of difficulties. And each encouragement is deeply appreciated. Your leadership challenge may be tough for reasons that are entirely outside yourself.
It’s great to hear news of numerical breakthroughs and blessing in other places. We’re often helpfully stirred to pray and believe for greater breakthrough in our own towns.
But faithfulness to God’s call, with a heart toward God and a helping hand toward man, can sow spiritual seed that will produce fruit not only in our generation but also in the one to come.
After preaching each day for a week in his home-town of Epworth (Lincolnshire, England), John Wesley describes the huge crowd who heard him and reflects on the faithful labours of his father, Samuel Wesley, who was a minister in that town.
Wesley preaches to ‘a vast multitude’
He writes, ‘At six I preached for the last time in Epworth church-yard [he had been preaching on his father’s grave stone, after being denied the use of the church pulpit] to a vast multitude gathered together from all parts…
‘I continued among them for near three hours; and yet we scarce knew how to part.
‘O let none think his labour of love is lost because the fruit does not immediately appear!
‘Near forty years did my father labour here; but he saw little fruit of all his labour…but now the fruit appeared.
‘There were scarce any in the town on whom either my father or I had taken any pains formerly, but the seed, sown so long since, now sprung up, bringing forth repentance and remission of sins.’
(John Wesley’s Journals, Vol 1, Baker edition, p.379-380)
Galatians 6:9 says, ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’
1 Corinthians 15:58 says, ‘Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.’
Be encouraged as you seek to share the gospel of grace in your community – and remember Epworth and how years of sowing did eventually produce a massive harvest!
More next time…
© 2010 Lex Loizides