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You Reaped the Benefits

Amazed, I finally grasped…

Jesus’ statement to his disciples grabbed my attention. “One sows and another reaps.” He continued to explain to them, “Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor” (John 4:37-38 NIV). Halted in my process of study, my mind considered what those words meant to me. Amazed, I finally grasped how privileged I have been to freely reap so many benefits of those that labored before me.

During the Depression years, of the 1930’s, there were many destitute families in need of financial assistance. The Salvation Army had mobilized their workers to assist people during this difficult time in history. My grandparents were beneficiaries of their aid and bags of groceries. Through these kind acts, my ancestors listened as the Salvation Army personnel shared the gospel story of Jesus Christ, and through this testimony they made the decision to accept Christ as their Savior.

Studying the Word of God my grandparents realized they too were to share the gospel story. Andy, their son, and his wife Pauline then became acquainted with the story of the love of Jesus. Pauline pondered this gospel news. Later she responded to an altar call when she decided to visit a large outreach church in her home city of Chicago. This church had been started, several years previous from the hard work, determination and ministry of evangelist Dr. Dwight L. Moody. Through their outreach many people had come to accept Christ. Now, because of this church’s outreach Pauline became another one of their converts.

Pauline, my mother, then shared Jesus with her children. Although Andy, my dad, had not yet accepted Christ, Pauline actively planned for her children to attended a Bible believing church where they could hear and learn about Jesus and His great love for them. As a young girl I, Florence, listened as other dedicated church workers shared the story of Jesus and His death on the cross for my sins. I willingly accepted God’s plan of salvation. It was through the ministry of a committed Sunday school teacher named Martha, and a determined mother, that I grew to hide God’s Word in my heart.

While in my teens, I listened to an anointed speaker at a youth gathering, who had earnestly prepared and prayed for that service. God’s Spirit gripped my heart that night and I felt Him calling me into His harvest field. I prepared myself for that ministry when I entered Bible College. Two years later I married David, a young man whom God had called to prepare himself as a pastor.

For 40 years we purposely did the hard work, touching people’s lives and rejoicing when individuals accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Many of our church young people and others, reaped from our faithful preparation and responded to God’s call for ministry. They benefited from our sowing of the Word and prepared themselves to be used in the harvest. Some of our children are involved as well in working and sowing the seed to build believers for God’s kingdom, and even our grandchildren have gone on mission trips to share Jesus.

Five generations have reaped from others who previously did the hard work. The following generations in turn did much work in sowing, while other individuals reaped from them. One sows, another reaps. From whom did you reap? Are you now doing the hard work so others can reap salvation, and pass it on? If not, it’s your turn?

Florence Simmons writes to glorify God and to help believers know Christ. Contact her,