Isaiah 55:10-11 - For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Do you know what a soil seed bank is? It's the term that scientists use for all the millions of seeds that lie hidden in the soil. Those seeds come from trees and from grasses and bushes—from all sorts of plants, some of them living years or even centuries ago. There they lie, buried underground, until something exposes them to the light and rain—and up they come as fresh green shoots.
The seed bank is the reason gardeners never get rid of weeds. No matter how many you pull, there are always more seeds, waiting for their chance to grow. That sounds bad until you realize that the same is true for the plants we want. Even plants that we think are extinct may be hiding as seeds underground, waiting for conditions to be right—and then we get a joyful surprise.
God's Word is like this. I've known cases where someone has heard the Gospel as a child—maybe been baptized then—and left the church for seventy years or more. Their faith looks dead, doesn't it? But then, in old age—suddenly up it shoots, by the grace of God in answer to the prayers of those who love them.
And God is not least among those who love them! If you love someone who has left the faith, you are not alone in hoping for him or her to return. The God who died and rose for your loved one has not forgotten them; His Spirit is still calling them back, calling "Come home!" Jesus has given Himself into death for that person, laying down His very life to bring them home again. His Word may lie dormant in their lives for a long, long time; but it is not dead, anymore than Jesus Himself is. We must not give up hope.
So what is our part, then? Simply this—to love them; to pray for them; and to avoid behaving in ways that give them reason to stay far from Christianity. Don't let your anxiety get the better of you! Instead of pushing, let Jesus shine through you in patience, gentleness, and love. And trust His Word; wait patiently with prayer.
WE PRAY: Dear Lord, I pray for [name of person here]. Please bring this person back to You. And help me to truly love him/her. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Why is pushing someone to come to Jesus a bad idea?
2. How does God's powerful Word give you hope for people you care about?
3. Do you know of people who have come to faith years after God's Word was planted in their hearts? If so, tell the story.
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