The apostle Paul talked about how he planted a seed, and how his fellow disciple, Apollos, watered that seed, but how it was God who made things grow. Recently at Michigan State University, we had a taste of what that’s like.
There was a young man named Troy* who I’d seen around campus. I thought his heart was hardened toward Jesus, so I was surprised to see him at our Navigator Christmas party.
Troy grew up in the church and was familiar with the Bible, but he was rejecting God and living his own way. Almost two years ago, however, he met Alyssa, a student involved in our ministry. Troy couldn’t help but notice her transformed life, her unconditional love, and her passion for God. Alyssa had even shared the Gospel with Troy and some others while they were watching a show about demons.
In January, Troy told Alyssa, “I just don’t get it. You have a peace in your life that I don’t have. What makes your life different?”
She responded that Jesus’ love for her is the one thing that makes her life different. Later Troy told her, “I don’t have a close relationship with Jesus. I don’t understand how a perfect entity can love me.”
I tried to meet with Troy to share the Gospel with him again, but he seemed hesitant. Then, after a period of time, God opened the door! I had a lunch appointment with Jake who just happened to be sitting with Alyssa, who just happened to be sitting with Troy. It seemed like a perfect opportunity, so I asked Troy, “How would you describe your spiritual life right now?”
“Well, it’s complicated,” he replied. The hard heart toward God I’d sensed before was gone, and for the next two hours, we read portions of the Bible and discussed the parable of the lost sons, sin, Jesus’ forgiveness, and how God’s grace radically changes us.
Later that night, Alyssa texted me: “I’m pretty sure Troy accepted Christ and His forgiveness tonight. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life!”
Because he’s never experienced this kind of love before, Troy is in awe of how much Christ loves him, and has even joined our group studying 1 Thessalonians. And I’m in awe of how God uses a network of His followers to reach out to those who need Him. One plants, one waters, but God makes things grow!
* Not his real name