“You don’t have to live this way. You don’t have to earn love. God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to die for you and cleanse you from your sins. Isn’t THIS the love you’re really looking for?” The first thought that crossed my mind: “This has to be the weirdest pick-up line I have ever heard.” When Sean asked me to go night surfing at Huntington Beach pier with him I expected the usual. Instead, he gave me this speech, a towel to sit on in the sand and handed me a Bible. “Just think about it.” He said. “Read this while I surf and we’ll talk more on the way home.” He wasn’t kidding. He talked the whole way home about how Jesus changed his life and how He could change mine too. When Sean finally dropped me off at my front door, he put one hand on my shoulder and said, “Can I pray for you?” Sure, why not. This night could not get any weirder.
Life went on. While I tried to ignore what Sean said, it had an undeniable effect on my life. O, I didn’t change anything about my lifestyle; but it wasn’t the same either. A few years later, my friend Bubba took me to my first non-denominational church service. I was a young unwed mother still looking for love in all the wrong places. When the pastor gave the invitation to accept Jesus as my savior, I raised my hand. But I went right back to my old life. Again, there was no outward change, but inwardly nothing in my life was the same. Time and time again someone would share the gospel with me; I would reject it or half-heartedly accept it, then turn right back around to live in the muck. Each time the gospel chipped away at my hardened heart until eventually I was ready to hear, ready believe and ready to surrender. I gave my life to Jesus 26 years ago and my life is definitely not the same!
The next time you’re discouraged by the lack of response to the gospel shared – remember me. Remember the girl who kept on rejecting but never forgot each account. Remember it left such a beautiful impression she named her son after her first friend who shared it! Mostly, remember the seeds of truth planted in the soil of her heart by faithful friends over many years eventually blossomed into her SALVATION.
1 Cor 3:7-8 (NLT) It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.