No, I’m not starting a gardening blog. Well, not the HGTV kind, anyway.
Last night at the dress rehearsal for Judgement House, we had several groups of people working the event go through so 1. they could see the whole thing and 2. so our actors and actresses could get used to performing in front of the groups moving through each of their scenes (each scene is performed in a different room throughout the church, and guides take guests through in groups of about 15). After one such walkthrough, the child of one of actors told him: “Daddy, I thought it was time that I go ahead and ask Jesus into my heart. That way,I don’t have to worry about it later.”
Funny in the way only a child can put it, yes, but also very sincere. He texted me last night about 10:30, so I called him and he told me what happened. I told him it was a beautiful example of what Jesus meant when He talked about child-like faith in Matthew 18:3-4: “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”. He told me this morning that he talked a good bit with her after we got off the phone last night, and he prayed a prayer with her to make sure she understood what it meant to place her trust in Christ.
Over the next three nights, hundreds of people are going to come through Judgement House at Riverside Baptist Church. Some will already be believers, and some will not. Those who aren’t believers will have a choice to make at the end of their journey through the House–continue on as they have been, or receive the forgiveness Jesus paid for at the cross and allow Him to make them into the person He wants them to be. What will determine this outcome, however, is not how effective our actors and actresses are, how emotional the scenes, music, lighting and so on are, but how receptive people’s hearts are to the working of the Holy Spirit in their life.
Jesus tells a story of a sower who throws out seeds onto soils. The sower in the story does not change, nor do his seeds. What is very different, however, is the type of soil that the seed falls upon–some falls by the wayside, some falls on stony ground, some falls among thorns, and some falls on good ground. In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus explains His story: “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:18-23).
I have no idea who God is going to bring our way this weekend, or what decisions will be made. What I do know is this: last night, without anyone knowing it, God used what we are doing to reach a child’s heart with His love. That’s an awful good start to the weekend.
Keep us in your prayers, if you would, that God would continue to work in the hearts of those who will be coming to JH is such extravagant ways. God is so good!