s2s - Thought for the month.
"He came to His own, and His own
did not receive Him.
John 1: 11 NKJV
My wife and I recently spent a few days in Edinburgh; whenever we visit we call into a Christian bookshop in the Old Town. The shop had been run for many years by brother and sister, Theo and Grace. Theo was called home by the Lord a few years ago which left Grace to carry on alone. I might add that I believe Grace to be in her 90s.
Having missed a visit last year, we wondered if the shop would still be open; my wife's conclusion that, if it is the Lord's will it will be open, proved that it is indeed His will; "OPEN" said the sign.
We climbed the stone staircase, treads worn after years of traffic from the feet of those in search of their fill of God's word, to be greeted by a younger man - the new face at the counter!
Sat in a corner of the shop, reading, was an elderly gent - George. I chatted with him awhile and he told me that he is a street preacher, and this he does several times a week. In fact we saw him, later that same day, striding along George street carrying his banner, "PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD".
In the course of conversation I asked George what response he received, out on the streets of the city. "Well, it's the same as it's always been", he said, "I remind you of the parable of the sower" (Matt 13)
I read the passage again that evening; while it seemed familiar it was worthy of reading again.
I could see why he compared his experiences with that parable, and why he said nothing changes; some listen and some don't, some take his preaching on board, but then fade away.
John also addressed this in chapter 1 of his gospel,
"He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him." v11
His OWN did not receive Him; they didn't want to listen, didn't want to know. George goes out and preaches on the streets of his own city, the city that he calls home. He preaches to his own people, the people of his own community.
George doesn't do this because he likes the sound of his own voice, he does so because he has a genuine heart for the lost, he has a genuine desire to see the lost saved, and he goes out on the streets for that reason.
But we don't stop reading at v11, we read on and see the blessing in v12,
"But as many as received Him. to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name;"
That, I'm sure, is the reason behind George getting out on the streets, among his own; knowing that while many don't listen, every one that does is a victory for God, not for George, he wouldn't claim the victory as his own, but a victory for God in adopting another child to call His own.
The sower doesn't stop sowing just because some of the seed falls by the wayside, nor will George stop just because some won't listen. He'll keep on serving his Lord and Saviour.
"I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray" Matt 18: 13b
if only we could all be more like George!!
God bless you.