Live to plant and water

By Ted Traylor

One person plants, and another waters, but God gives the increase. When one is sowing gospel seed, you never know what the Lord of the harvest will do. And sometimes you never see it until eternity.

In the first half of the 20th century, Southern Baptists sent missionaries to South Africa. In the tiny sugar mill town of Sezela, those missionaries were introduced to a Hindu couple. The man and the woman were ill. They had tried various remedies. They had been taken to the Hindu priests at the temple. As the missionaries shared Christ in the village, they met the sick husband and wife. The couple heard the gospel, and they were converted. Intercession was made, and God in His grace healed them. They were baptized and joined the local church. They would soon have a son. And that young man was saved. He, in turn, shared the gospel with a young lady who would become his wife. All of the lady’s family was converted. From this second couple came a son. After his conversion, he would hear the call of God to sell all and travel to America as a missionary.

Shaun Pillay is that young man’s name. After being a church planter in Connecticut for ten years, he joined the Olive Baptist Church staff in January, 2017.

The missionaries had no idea the seeds they planted would result in such a harvest. And never could they have imagined God would use their work to produce a missionary that would return to America with the gospel. They were planting and watering. God was giving the growth. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

We must all be sowing seeds and planting the gospel. Someone else will come with heaven’s water to harvest. Rest assured, God will give the increase. He is more concerned for souls than we are and chooses to use us in the process of evangelism and discipleship.

Sometimes we grow discouraged because we do not observe conversions. You may not know until heaven’s roll call what your planting and watering has accomplished. Live above “see level,” and work by faith. That’s what some missionaries did in Sezela, a place you never heard of. Trust me, God knows where it is, and He knows where you are. Plant and water!

Published May 30, 2018

Ted Traylor

Since 1990 Dr. Ted Traylor is the pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. His weekly radio and television ministry, At the Heart of Things, reaches thousands of homes along the Gulf Coast and through weekly podcasts and streaming. Dr. Traylor’s bold and practical preaching brings people to a fresh understanding of God’s Word and challenges them to become bondservants for Christ. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Religion from Samford University in 1997 and a Master of Divinity (1981) and Doctor of Ministry (1986) degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as First Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000 and President of the Florida Baptist Convention in 1995, Dr. Traylor was President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s 2004 Pastors’ Conference, 2010 Pensacola Bay Baptist Association moderator, and was part of the 2010 Great Commission Resurgence Task force team. Currently Dr. Traylor is proud to serve on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes board for the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!).