The Old Father and his Lawn
How do believers become inspired to proclaim the gospel? Since evangelism is not a requirement for heaven, nor a means to seek God’s approval. What does it take for Christians to share the Good News with others? A story about an old man and his lawn may give us an answer.
Charles is eighty years old. Salesman by trade, he and his wife raised five children who have now grown up and are grandparents themselves. Charles loved yard work. He took great pride and ownership in having the best-looking lawn in the neighborhood. The grass was always green, the edges sharp, and the bushes trim. Mowing the law was not a chore for Charles. It was his escape. Basking in the sunlight, sweat dripping down his brow, Charles would lose himself in his thoughts while carefully manicuring his lawn.
As Charles grew older, he was having a more difficult time doing yard work. He no longer had the strength, nor the stamina. Tasks were taking twice as long as before. Mowing the lawn was becoming more of a task that sapped him of all strength for the day. Last winter, Charles took a bad fall. He slipped on some black ice on his driveway and injured his shoulder and hip. The healing was taking a long time.
Charles was sadly coming to the realization that he could no longer mow his yard. He needed help.
He called his oldest son if he could come by and mow his lawn, but he was too busy.
He asked his second son, but he hated yardwork. Even though he said that he would stop by soon, the old man knew that his arrival would be unlikely.
His third son lived too far away.
His youngest child, a daughter, lived down the block. Since the lawn was unimaginably long and desperately needed to be mowed, according to Charles’ standards, he reluctantly asked his daughter to come over and help.
Rebecca arrived the following day and patiently listened to the detailed instructions from her father. Her plate was already full that day, and she did not particularly enjoy yard work. Besides, she had been begging her father to hire out a lawn service, but he wasn’t listening. Feeling ill-equipped to operate her father’s mower, scared that she wouldn’t meet his standards, and trying to think of any valid excuse to get out of it, Rebecca began to mow her father’s lawn.
Why did she do it?
Mowing the lawn was her father’s desire.
She knew that he would love her no less, if she declined to help.
She knew that he would love her no more, if she did.
Out of love, respect, and thankfulness for all the sacrifices that he had done for her, she helped her father because this was something he asked her to do. Love, respect, and thankfulness — that is what drove her to mow that lawn.
Believers are not able to comprehend the depth of God’s love nor fathom the depth of his grace. His perfect love brought forth a great sacrifice and he was nailed to the cross as our substitute. Whoever believes in what Christ has already done for us, receives eternal life.
One of our Father’s greatest desires is to have his children share the good news of salvation.
Sometimes we respond like the older brother and are too busy.
Sometimes we respond like the second brother. We mean well, but just good intentions have a habit of resulting in inaction.
Most of us feel like the daughter. Ill-equipped. Afraid. And looking for a way out.
The daughter ended up mowing the lawn. She did this not out of obligation, but out of love for her father. She knew that this was what he desired. And there was nothing more satisfying to her than pleasing her father for whom she loved dearly.
Love and thanksgiving prompts, inspires, and motivates believers to be God’s messengers.
Those who are justified by faith are not afraid to exercise their faith. Secure in their salvation and fully trusting God’s promises, they welcome opportunities to step out in faith to share their faith with others. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13) Love prompts action. Sacrificial love rescues lost souls.
Rooted in Christ, believers display God’s love.
Assured in Christ, believers plant the seeds of the Gospel.
This is what God desires for all believers. This is his commission for all who trust in his Word.
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