Bless You!

“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 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).
I had a humbling experience last week. When I finished my sermon Sunday morning, I got the response I usually get, which is to say, nothing. Nothing, that is, that I could see. Preachers learn to accept this, because most Sundays, after preparing, praying, pushing and prodding the material all week, we stand before the congregation, and preach our hearts out.
And we don’t see any response. It would be nice to baptize 3,000 following a sermon, but this doesn’t happen often. We console ourselves with the thought that, of course, not all responses are visual. And we believe it. Mostly.
But last Sunday a little girl, not quite in her teens went home thinking about the sermon. She even spoke to her parents and grandmother about it. She came back Sunday night, by which time I still had seen no visual sign my sermon had done any good. On Monday I came to the office to study for the sermon to be preached next week, hoping for a visual response then. In the meantime, this young lady with a soft heart and open mind continued to mull over the lesson.
Then that night, after ten in the evening, thirty-six hours after my sermon, she asked me to baptize her. Preachers should have more faith, I suppose, not in their abilities, but in the word we preach, and the Savior we proclaim.
Bless you, little Cassi, for reminding me that what I cannot see ?- your tender heart ?- is just as real as what I can see!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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