“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”   (Isaiah 55:10-11)

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As a young man in my 20’s I decided to attend Briercrest Bible College to get grounded in my newfound Christian faith.  I worked in the Pulp Mills of northern B.C. in the summers to fund my education.  It was a rough environment, and during the inevitable conversations in the workplace, my co-workers would find out my college of choice and the mockery would become relentless.  Many would take great pleasure either making fun of me or wanting to debate me on religious topics.  I tried to deal with this attention with grace and integrity but will admit it was hard at times.

Some, however, would not mock.  They would seek me out and wanted to hear my views on God, faith and the Bible.  Of course, they sought me out privately so that they would not become a target of the same mockery.  I had many discussions with one man in particular.  He was an apprentice Welder, and as we talked, I could tell ‘the hounds of heaven’ were after him (as C.S. Lewis characterizes those who under conviction of the Spirit)  His questions were genuine and insightful.  After that summer and the dozens of conversations about the Christian faith, I often wondered through the subsequent years what happened to him.

Last year, I received a brief note from a Christian friend who also worked in that mill that summer and she said, “Oh remember ‘Jim’ (real name withheld to maintain confidentiality), well ‘Jim’ was affected by your many conversations and actually became a Christian 4 years later.”

So, I was a link in a chain in Jim’s life as God was pulling him to faith.  My ‘words’ reflected the ‘Word’ that goes out from God (Isaiah 55:11).  And as Isaiah promised, it did not return empty but accomplished what God’s desire was in ‘Jim’s’ life.

If you have shared the hope that is in you, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, no doubt you have exposed yourself to derision, mockery and ridicule.  But some you talk to will have “ears to hear” and God’s word, the message of salvation, will not return to Him empty.  Be encouraged by this promise!  What a privilege that our Creator chooses to work through us to bring others to faith.

In your day to day conversations in the workplace with employees, suppliers and customers – be prayerful of when you have a divine appointment to share the Word.  Be mindful that many people are just getting by in life with no sense of future or purpose.  We have a treasure in our faith.  We are partners with God in achieving the purpose of the Gospel message to others.

Even though it may take years, when the word of God goes out from His mouth, and from ours, it will not return empty.

REFLECTION

  • Have you had the opportunity to share your faith with someone seeking recently?
  • Talk with your Forum about how to discern the signs that someone is genuinely seeking to learn more about your Christian faith and how best to respond.

John Wiseman – Corpath Business Forums – www.corpath.ca